These books are highly recommended for those wanting to learn more about the Mai Tai, rum, and the history of tropical cocktails. If you’re new to the tiki scene and tropical drinks this is the order I’d suggest acquiring and reading them. 

  1. Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki
  2. Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari (10th Anniversary Edition)
  3. Beachbum Berry’s Potions of the Caribbean
  4. Minimalist Tiki
  5. Trader Vic’s Tiki Party (or, the Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide Revised, see below)
  6. And a Bottle of Rum
  7. Rum: the Manual or Rum Curious or The Curious Bartender’s Rum Revolution
    Each of these has their own strong points but overall these books cover the same ground and all were published within 12 months of each other.
  8. Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails
  9. Beachbum Berry Remixed
  10. The Book of Tiki
  11. The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails
Books by Victor Bergeron

These are all long out of print, but are fairly easy to find on the second-hand market. The two editions of the Bartenders Guide are seminal resources for home bartenders and those interested in learning more about cocktails.

  • Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink (1946)
  • Bartender’s Guide (1947)
  • Trader Vic’s Kitchen Kibitzer (1952)
  • Trader Vic’s Pacific Island Cookbook (1968)
  • Trader Vic’s Bartenders Guide Revised (1972) *
  • The Menehunes (1972)
  • Trader Vic’s Book of Mexican Cooking (1973)
  • Frankly Speaking: Trader Vic’s Own Story (1973) *
  • Trader Vic’s Rum Cookery & Drinkery (1974) *
  • Trader Vic’s Helluva Man’s Cookbook (1976)

* = includes origin story/recipe for the Mai Tai

Mai Tai Articles

Trader Vic’s – Home of the Mai Tai

Tiki Resources, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels

Rum/Cocktail Enthusiasts

Mai Tai Enthusiasts on Instagram

These folks are in the same racket as we are, so we’re happy to give them a shout-out and suggest you give them a follow.

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