Look what I found in the back of the fridge. This Trader Vic’s canned Mai Tai hit the spot while watching the baseball game.
These canned Mai Tais are now available at BevMo stores in California, but with a twist. It’s a tweaked formulation that’s different from the earlier cans sampled at AZ Tiki Oasis and at the event this week at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville.
Most notably, the Mai Tai is much darker compared to the first version (see photo), based on less filtration during production (the product uses Belgian sugar). So dark that it looks exactly like the 1944 Mai Tai at the Trader Vic’s Restaurants. This is a plus for me, and once you add some lime and a mint you’d be hard pressed to be able to pick this out of a lineup of freshly prepared Mai Tais. Though, I am not sure this dark color is a “hearts and minds” win for Mai Tai newbies looking for mass appeal.
In terms of the taste, this is also notably different than the earlier formula. Not quite as bold, but also not so heavy on the coconut hints I was tasting. And perhaps just a touch less sweet, but more of a hint of almond here. There is still no funny aftertaste, which producer @tomi.garibaldi says is due to the omission of preservatives. Nonetheless, our cans say these Mai Tais are still good until 12/31/2022. Not that we’re going to wait that long to finish the four pack. These will go down easy on a hot day!
Overall, the Trader Vic’s Canned Mai Tai is still way better than the Cutwater Tiki Rum Mai Tai and half the price of the On the Rocks Mai Tai. Much, much better than the RTD Mai Tai from Koloa. So, a strong entrant into the market.
Retail price is $20 for a four pack at BevMo, priced $5 less if you’re a Club Bev member.
Ready to Drink Cocktails are still popular, so look for these canned Mai Tais from Trader Vic’s coming soon. There are two label designs, featuring iconic Trader Vic’s artwork.
Cocktail snobs know they aren’t the target market for these sort of beverages, and while this does contain rum, lime, cane sugar, and flavors it isn’t really comparable to a freshly made craft cocktail Mai Tai. But, that’s not the point of a canned Mai Tai anyway, which presumably is sometime to bring to a picnic, a cookout, or while camping.
We found these Trader Vic’s canned Mai Tais to be pretty refreshing, especially over ice. There’s a hint of coconut and tropical flavors, but no almond flavor unfortunately. At 10% ABV, these cans will do the job nicely and while we felt the booze the cocktail didn’t really have a boozy taste (this may be a pro or a con, depending on your preference). There is no funny aftertaste.
This is a better canned Mai Tai than the Cutwater Tiki Rum Mai Tai that has wide distribution, though it isn’t as good as the On the Rocks ready to drink bottled Mai Tai that is higher priced and has a different ABV profile. So, compared to the market leader for where this product is aiming, the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai is a good entry to the market.
Review sample was provided by Trader Vic’s.
Mrs. Mai Tai and I enjoyed some On the Rocks “ready-to-drink” cocktails last weekend in Monterey. We sampled the Old Fashioned and the Jalapeño Pineapple Margarita, and enjoyed both. The Old Fashioned has Knob Creek Bourbon and is booooozy at 35% ABV. Luckily that night I was only having the 200 Ml size!
Tonight we sampled the Cosmopolitan, which Mrs. Mai Tai said was even better than the Margarita. I’m not normally a Cosmo drinker but it tastes very good and not artificial like most RTD cocktails.
The On the Rocks Mai Tai is my top recommended ready to drink Mai Tai, so it is nice to see that the quality is consistent through out the lineup.