Mai Tai, Anyone?

February Mix-Off in Full Swing in L.A.



I don’t know about you, but my favorite decadent treat when I go on vacation whether it’s a cruise or a Hawaiian island retreat is to have a tropical drink at least once a day. So naturally we’re talking pina coladas or mai tais! That means great news for me this month – I don’t have to wait until my next vacation to Hawaii to partake in this exotic treat since the warm aloha spirit of the Hawaiian Islands has landed in my town. Los Angeles visitors and residents can experience festive mai tai mix-off events around town featuring the music, dance, flavors, and culture of Hawaii through the month of February.

Mai Tai Mix-Off Events

So we all know about wine tasting, but the mai tai mix-off events are your chance to taste specialty mai tais at restaurants, hotels and bars in L.A. during their designated week (refer to calendar below for details and dates). Just order your mai tai and then vote for your favorite version at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai where you'll be entered to win tickets to the finale event at Supper Club on February 23 as well as a Hawaii trip giveaway for two. The finale event sounds fantastic, but a free Hawaii vacation is even better in my humble opinion.

Origins of the Mai Tai

The mai tai has become synonymous with Hawaii and you can find varying versions of this classic tropical drink on cocktail menus throughout the islands. Two of the most popular bars known for their mai tai concoctions include The Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaii Resort on Oahu and Don The Beachcomber at the Royal Kona Resort on Hawaii Island. But surprisingly, this drink did not originate in Hawaii although a tropical inspiration was behind the invention.

There are conflicting accounts of the mai tais origins, with both Donn Beach a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber and Victor Bergeron a.k.a. Trader Vic claiming to have invented the original mai tai. Don the Beachcomber is credited with creating the tiki bar concept when he opened a bar in Hollywood in 1934 decked out in tropical schwag and served potent and original rum drinks. Trader Vic followed in Don’s footsteps and opened his own tiki bar in Oakland in the early 1940s and dates his original mai tai recipe to 1944.

Mai Tai Recipe: Make Your Own Mai-Tai

Today, Trader Vic’s recipe is the most commonly used “original” mai tai recipe. Here’s all you need to make the perfect mai tai:

2 ounces 17-year-old Jamaican rum
1/2 ounce orgeat (almond syrup)
1/2 ounce orange curacao
Juice of one fresh lime
1/4 ounce rock candy syrup or Simple Syrup
Lime slice for garnish Sprig of mint for garnish

Just shake ingredients and pour into an ice-packed glass. Garnish with lime and a sprig of mint.





February 2011 Calendar of Mai Mix Off Events

More mai tai mix off events may be added during the month and existing events are subject to change. For the most current information on Hawaii happenings in and around Los Angeles, visit gohawaii.com/perfectmoments.

Monday, January 31 – Sunday, February 6
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: BAR | KITCHEN

Bar | Kitchen, 819 S. Flower St., Downtown LA.
Nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Sip and savor mixologist Alex Day’s new take on the classic Mai Tai during the first week of February. Visit participating bars throughout the month, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale party, where the winner will be crowned. You’ll also have a chance to win the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, January 31 – Sunday, February 6
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: LA DESCARGA

La Descarga, 1159 North Western Ave., N. Hollywood.
Discover La Descarga during the first week of February and tempt your taste buds with Adrian Biggs’ take on the classic Mai Tai. Nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Visit up to nine bars throughout the month, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, January 31 – Sunday, February 6
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: TASTING KITCHEN

Tasting Kitchen, 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.
John Colthorp of Tasting Kitchen will showcase his take on the classic Mai Tai, when nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists compete for the title of Master Mixer. Visit participating bars throughout the month, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, February 7 – Sunday, February 13
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: CANA

Cana, 714 W. Olympic Blvd., Downtown LA.
Take a break during the second week of February and visit Cana for mixologist Allan Katz’s new take on the classic Mai Tai. He, along with eight of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Visit participating bars throughout the month, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, February 7 – Sunday, February 13
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: RIVERA

Rivera, 1050 S. Flower St. #102, Downtown LA.
Nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Sip and savor mixologist Julian Wayser’s new take on the classic Mai Tai during the second week of February. Be sure to visit participating bars throughout the month, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale party, where the winner will be crowned. You can also have a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, February 7 – Sunday, February 13
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: THE SPARE ROOM AT HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL

The Spare Room at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
Aidan Demarest of The Spare Room at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will feature his new take on the classic Mai Tai. Taste his concoction during the second week of February as nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists compete for the title of Master Mixer. Vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Sunday, February 13, 5:00-7:30 p.m.
“MAUI NUI NIGHTS” AT HULAVILLE ISLAND CAFE AND COMPANY STORE

Hulaville Island Cafe and Company Store, 2720 Camino Capistrano, San Clemente.
Come and experience a magical night with The Islands of Maui Nui – Maui, Molokai and Lanai – at the Hulaville Island Cafe and Company Store on February 13. Be surrounded by Hawaiian music and hula with Keoni Manuel and Halau Hula O Na Pua O Pakipika. Receive a fresh flower lei or relax with a hand massage from lomilomi (Hawaiian-style massage) specialist Kimo Palakiko, and be sure to meet with representatives from the Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau who can help you plan your next Hawaii vacation. This event is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 14, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
“ROMANCE ME MAUI” VALENTINE’S DINNER AT HONOLULU HARRY’S

Honolulu Harry’s Restaurant, 12206 Central Ave., Chino.
Come celebrate Valentine’s Day with the magic, warmth, and romance of The Islands of Maui Nui – Maui, Molokai and Lanai – at Honolulu Harry’s Restaurant on February 14. Delight in authentic Hawaiian music and hula with Keoni Manuel and Halau Hula O Na Pua O Pakipika. Enjoy fragrant fresh flower lei or receive a hand massage from lomilomi (Hawaiian-style massage) specialist Kimo Palakiko. Representatives from the Maui Visitors & Convention Bureau can help you plan your next romantic Hawaii getaway! Dinner reservations recommended. This event is open to the public.

Monday, February 14 – Sunday, February 20
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: FIRST & HOPE DOWNTOWN SUPPER BAR

First & Hope Downtown Supper Club, 710 W. 1st St., Downtown LA
Take a break at First & Hope Downtown Supper Bar during the third week of February and tempt your taste buds with Naomi Schimek’s take on the classic Mai Tai. Nine of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Visit the remaining bars this week, then vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, February 14 – Sunday, February 20
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: LIBRARY BAR AT HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL

Library Bar at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
Sip and savor mixologist Matt Biancaniello’s new take on the classic Mai Tai as he competes for the title of Master Mixer. Vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite Mai Tai and you could win tickets to the finale party, where the winner will be crowned. You can also have a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Monday, February 14 – Sunday, February 20
THE HAWAII MAI TAI MIX-OFF: THE EDISON

The Edison, 108 W 2nd St., Downtown LA.
Stop in at The Edison and sample mixologist Joe Brooke’s new take on the classic Mai Tai. He, along with eight of L.A.’s hottest mixologists will compete for the title of Master Mixer. Vote online at LAmag.com/promotions/maitai for your favorite for a chance to win tickets to the finale as well as a chance at the grand prize: an escape for two to the Hawaiian Islands, courtesy of Pleasant Holidays – complete with roundtrip air, accommodations at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, rental car, Mai Tais, and more! This event is open to guests 21 and over.

Saturday, February 26 and Sunday, February 27, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
KAUAI WEEKEND FUN AT AMERICAN GIRL PLACE

American Girl Place, 189 The Grove Drive, The Grove.
Come discover the beautiful Garden Island of Kauai at the American Girl Place store at The Grove, the weekend of February 26-27. Highlights include contest drawings to win Kanani, the 2011 American Girl of the Year doll from Kauai, and a free trip for two to Kauai, courtesy of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. Enjoy Hawaiian music and hula, learn about Kauai, and hear about the Hawaiian Monk Seal that is such a big part of Kanani’s story this year. This event is free and open to the public.

Vacation Photos: 10 Tips for Better Travel Photos

Don't forget to record your vacation adventures with photographic evidence of your good times. Your vacation photos are the best souvenir of any trip. I don't know about you, but I used to come back from trips with terrible photos so don't let this happen to you. Check out 10 Tips to Take Better Photos on Vacation. I have advice on not only how to take better photos, but also what's the best camera to buy, too.




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