Villager Spirits Canned Mai Tai

Based in San Diego, Villager Spirits has a line of canned cocktails including a Mai Tai.

“Made with rum, curaçao, and lime” sounds like a great place to start. But things went sideways along the way in this very artificial coconut and pineapple flavored “Mai Tai.” Sadly, we couldn’t finish the can, so we can’t recommend this.

More handcrafting is needed.

New Site Feature: Ready to Drink Mai Tais

The market for Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails have trended upwards in recent years, offering a convenient alternative to beer and wine. RTDs are easy to prepare and consume, and are a worthwhile option for consuming cocktails away from home such as at the beach, camping, or on vacation. They also offer a convenient option at home, though their value is diminished at home since the quality is generally far less than from a freshly made cocktail.

Since the Mai Tai is a well-known cocktail, there are several Mai Tais on the RTD market.

View our recommendations on the new page: Ready to Drink Mai Tais

 

Boulevard Beverage Mai Tai Fling

Festivus was the other day and I was thinking that I didn’t really have any grievances to air. The next day I bought this terrible ready-to-drink “craft cocktail” Mai Tai, so let’s call this a late Festivus because I have a lot of problems with this cocktail.

Cans are 8% ABV, so quite a bit less than the Trader Vic’s and Cutwater canned Mai Tais that are in the same market segment. This one isn’t even all rum, since it contains both rum and “neutral spirits.” There is supposedly lime and orange, plus natural flavors and colors.

Does that color look natural?

It’s like Mountain Dew and a Midori Sour had a baby. And it got all the worse genes from each parent.

It is terrible. Like pour out the entire four-pack bad. It definitely would take “feats of strength” to finish one of these.

It doesn’t taste anything like a Mai Tai, and honestly it doesn’t taste like any “craft” cocktail I’ve ever had. Maybe it tastes like cheap Margarita mix and Vodka, so if those are your two favorite cocktail ingredients then maybe Mai Tai Fling will be your thing.

HARD PASS

Trader Vic’s Canned Mai Tai Available in 38 States

RTD is A-OK

Up an hour early today to take the dog in for surgery. Shitty week at work seeing how many colleagues are vax deniers. Then an hour wait to pick up the dog (she’s fine, but surgery wasn’t cheap). So it was a heck of a day.

So this tasty canned Mai Tai seemed like a great idea.

I purchased my canned Mai Tai at BevMo locally, but these are now available to order online and shipping to 38 states!

Order Now: drinktradervics.com

Proof Cocktail Co. Mai Tai

Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails are still a growth industry, and I’m always on the hunt for an acceptable Mai Tai in a can or bottled format.

Whilst perusing Bitters & Bottles for spirits, I reviewed their growing RTD section and came across the Mai Tai from Proof Cocktail Co. The four-pack of 250ml cans (two servings per can) was $27. ABV is 23%, so this is plenty boozy –especially if you drink the entire can as a single serving by mistake, like I did.

Proof is most definitely not playing in the low-end of the market, and a good comparison product is the On the Rocks line of cocktails (which retail for around $12 for a 375ml bottle). The ingredient list is White Rum, Barrel Aged Rum, Curacao, Almond Orgeat, Fresh Lime and Orange Juice, and Pomegranate Grenadine.

Thankfully, the OJ and grenadine flavors are not particularly noticeable and instead there’s a pretty good rum taste along with lime and almond. This is a flavorful, easy to drink cocktail, though I personally would have preferred a higher degree of aged rum. I for sure have had worse Mai Tais made from scratch at even good cocktail bars, but nobody is going to confuse this with an elite Mai Tai made by a master bartender or at a high quality craft cocktail or tiki bar. This is even better than On the Rocks which had been my go-to at the high end of the market.

Overall. the Proof Cocktail Mai Tai is pretty damn tasty and also plenty boozy. Which means it could work real well for vacation, camping, and patio/poolside cocktail scenarios.

Trader Vic’s Canned Mai Tai Redux

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.

Trader Vic’s Canned Mai Tai

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.

Update: the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai is available at BevMo with an improved flavor.

On the Rocks Cosmo and Old Fashioned

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.

RTD Mai Tai that does not suck!

Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails are trendy now, but don’t have a good reputation amongst cocktail snobs used to crafted cocktails with fresh juices and top-shelf spirits. Count me into this group of snobs.
 
But I am here to tell you that the On the Rocks “The Mai Tai” is actually pretty good. The bottle is 375ml at 40 proof, so more than double the booze in a regular can of beer. Served over ice, this would be quite fine to share with a friend.
 
The label says this features a blend of light and dark rums from Cruzan, along with a blend of flavors including orange, pineapple, orgeat, and coconut. This is the first RTD Mai Tai where I’ve been actually able to taste orgeat, and it’s quite good. Personally, I’d drop the hint of coconut but at least it does not overpower the cocktail. I enjoyed drinking this.
 
You’re going to pay for the quality, though. This one bottle retails for around $13, which is similar to the four pack of 12 oz cans from Cutwater.