VIDEO: Bartenders shake up cocktails for Trader Vic’s 80th birthday

Trader Vic's

Trader Vic’s, the French-Polynesian bar and restaurant in London’s Park Lane, is celebrating not just its 80th anniversary this year but also the 70th birthday of the Mai Tai.

The cocktail, which mixes white and dark rums with curaçao, orgeat syrup and lime juice, was reportedly created in 1944 at the original Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California, by Victor J Bergeron.

To celebrate both milestones, five films have been shot at Trader Vic’s with bartenders from some of London’s leading tiki bars, recreating famous summer tiki cocktails including The 1944 Mai Tai.

They feature Paul McFadyen from Trailer Happiness, Dean MacGregor, previously at Trailer Happiness but now at Love Drinks, Matt Cowling from Made in the Shade, Stuart Vandyken from Mahiki, Vitaly Shvedko from Kanaloa and Trader Vic’s head bartender John Regidor.

In the video above, you can see Dean making a cocktail called the Hell and Pacific, which is sometimes known as Hell in the Pacific. The rest of the films can be viewed at

The Hell and Pacific by Dean MacGregor

40ml Overproof rum
10ml Dry cherry liqueur
15ml Pomegranate syrup
5ml Molasses
30ml Freshly squeezed lime juice

Shake the ingredients well with plenty of cubed ice. Strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a couple of cherries threaded through a cocktail stick.

The 1944 Mai Tai cocktail by Paul McFadyen and John Regidor

Lime juice
30ml Dark Jamaican rum
30ml Rhum agricole
30ml Curaçao
A dash of rock candy syrup
A dash of almond syrup

Squeeze the juice of a fresh lime wedge into a shaker glass and then add the Jamaican rum. Add more lime juice followed by the rhum agricole, curaçao and syrups. Add crushed ice and shake well. Pour into a tumbler and garnish with the used lime wedge and a large sprig of mint.

Jungle Juice by Vitaly Shvedko

20ml Freshly squeezed lime juice
20ml Freshly squeezed apple juice
20ml Freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 dash of Angostura bitters
20ml Chartreuse
20ml Dark rum
20ml Overproof dark rum

Shake the ingredients well with cubed ice. Strain the cocktail into a tiki mug over ice. Garnish with a bamboo straw, orchid head and a light spray of Chartreuse.

The London Fog Cutter by Stuart Vandyken

40ml Gin
40ml Freshly squeezed apple Juice
15ml Brandy
15ml Rum
25ml Freshly squeezed lemon Juice
15ml Elderflower syrup
15ml Passion fruit syrup

Shake ingredients well with cubed ice. Strain the cocktail into a tiki mug over ice. Top the cocktail with a little crushed ice. Add a straw and garnish with a few pineapple leaves, an apple fan and lemon wedge.

The Fish House Punch by Matt Cowling

25ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
25ml Rum
25ml Brandy
17.5ml Rock candy syrup
17.5ml Peach liqueur
50ml Chilled water

Shake the ingredients well with cubed ice. Strain into a goblet-style glass and garnish with a few pineapple leaves, lemon slices and a bamboo straw.
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