Trader Vic’s Emeryville put on a very nice event in honor of the Mai Tai’s 77th birthday, a day earlier than the official Mai Tai Day of August 30. Held in the parking lot, the event featured some art vendors including Woody Miller, Match Accessories, and B-Rex, along with Trader Vic’s merchandise. A raffle benefited the Easter Island foundation. There was a table for rotating rum samples, and a station from Liquid Alchemist. Hawaiian performers started the entertainment, and then we got to experience a couple excellent sets by Tikiyaki 5-0. I really love the surf sounds of 5-0, and due to being outdoors it played better than the softer exotica leanings of the full Tikiyaki Orchestra.
There were several bar stations, including one serving Trader Vic’s drinks, a station with the Mai Tai boat and slushy, one featuring the Conga Lounge Mai Tai, and station with rotating bartenders. Mrs. Mai Tai wasn’t drinking and said the Mai Tai slushy was pretty good. Meanwhile, I liked my Trader Vic’s Mai Tai but was most impressed by the premium Mai Tai made by Doc Parks and Adrian Castaneda using Appleton 12, Clement VSOP, and Doctor Bird.
Food wise, there was a station for a few grab and go options, including my favorite the Crab Rangoon. Or you could order takeout based on a somewhat limited food menu from the restaurant. The food options were pretty good for this event. Everyone received a bottle of water in the event package and a souvenir Mai Tai glass to commemorate the occasion.
Trader Vic’s CEO Rhett Rosen led the toast to the Mai Tai, and the Trader Vic’s team did a great job running everything. The staff was super friendly and everything seemed to go off without a hitch. Mahalo.
Best of all we got to see some old friends and make some new ones. So nice to see so many people in an outdoor setting on a breezy afternoon in Emeryville. Long live Trader Vic’s, long live the Mai Tai!