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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Trader Vic's Rums
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Trader Vic's Rums
SugarCaddyDaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-01-13 12:26 pm   Permalink

I was looking over the TraderVics.com site and was reading the history/info on the Mai Tai,
http://tradervics.com/maitai1.htm
and it gives the evolution of Trader Vics Mai Tai recipe, and at the very bottom it gives the "Present Day Formula of the Mai Tai". In it, it shows 3 ingredients:
2 ounces Trader Vic's Premium Gold Rum
4 ounces Trader Vic's Mai Tai Mix
Juice of one large lime

Trader Vic's Rum?
I've NEVER seen Trader Vic's Rum. I always ask the clerk at just about every liquor store I go to if Trader Vic's makes anything in the drink line other than mixes and always get the same answer: "no, I've never seen one"....so I pick up the phone and call Trader Vic's direct (1-877-762-4824)...

I speak to Gayle Barber and she tells me the following information:
Trader Vic's has had rum out for a little over 2 years (actually it's name is licensed out to a "manufacturer" to produce it). Trader Vic's Restaurants uses all of the rums, but no one really notices that the bartenders are pulling out TV's labeled rums.

The Trader Vic's Rums out now:
  • Premium Gold
  • Silver
  • Spiced
  • Dark


Soon to be released: Trader Vic's Mai Tai Rum!

I was totally shocked (and excited)! Why? Well, I've scanned just about every post here at TikiCentral that had the word "RUM" and not one mention of Trader Vic's Rum! Yes, there's mention of just about every other rum, but not Trader Vic's!

Gayle gave me a distributor in California to call (which I did) to find out what stores carries the TVRum line. I called and left a message, and am waiting for a call back. I will edit and update this post as soon as I hear back from the distributor.

Now note that the information I get will be for Southern California, so those of you outside of my area will probably need to call Trader Vic's direct for YOUR local distributor.
Remember the DISTRIBUTOR doesn't sell direct to the public, they can only give you a list of stores that carry what they DISTRIBUTE.

more info to follow...

[ This Message was edited by: SugarCaddydaddy on 2003-01-13 12:50 ]


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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2003-01-13 12:44 pm   Permalink

That's good info. I have some mixes but haven't pryed them open yet. When we were at the Hukilau in Atlanta, Vics was running out of rum so they sent one of the natives down to the liquor store for a case of Ron Rico! Funny, but from what I could tell nobody noticed...

 
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1018
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2003-01-13 12:55 pm   Permalink

I know that Trader Vic's rums are available at both the Vendome liquor in Beverly Hills and at the Beverage Warehouse in Mar Vista. I have only seen the dark rum and the spiced rum there. Most other liquor stores that I have been to do not carry the TV rums, just the mixers. Although I have not been there, I have heard that Hi Time liquors in Costa Mesa carry items than Vendome or Warehouse.


 
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kahukini
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 28, 2002
Posts: 555
From: Saint Louis
Posted: 2003-01-13 1:38 pm   Permalink

Here's a thread from this summer concerning trader vic's rum..
http://tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=569&forum=1

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SugarCaddyDaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-01-13 6:20 pm   Permalink

Thanks Kahukini~
I wonder why the TC search didn't pick that up?....

SugarCaddyDaddy


 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2003-01-13 7:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:
I wonder why the TC search didn't pick that up?....




My guess?

User error.


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[ This Message was edited by: PolynesianPop on 2003-01-13 19:09 ]


 
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Doctor Z
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1613
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2003-01-13 7:17 pm   Permalink

I know the rum selections at Hi-Time very well, and as of the week before Christmas, they did not carry any Trader Vic's rums. They may have in the past at some point (or possibly carry some as of today), but I've been trekking down there regularly for about the past 4 months and have never seen any.

I'd like to try it, but, despite the TV name, it just doesn't sound promising...
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Doctor Z
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1613
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2003-01-13 7:27 pm   Permalink

Hey, wait a sec... Trader Vic's uses "Mai Tai Mix"? You mean they don't even follow Vic's OWN recipe? Ohhh... so THAT'S why my Mai Tai's taste so much better than theirs!

(and if you don't believe me, there's one a-waitin' for you here at the Castaway Lounge... come by and feel free to compare!)

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stentiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 892
From: Huntington Beach
Posted: 2003-01-13 7:28 pm   Permalink

Hey Doc, et. al.

I picked up some of the Trader Vic dark rum at Hi Time in November and I really liked it. It was really smooth and mixed really well in my mai tais. Needless to say, I ran out before I knew it. Went to Hi Time just before Mele Kalikimaka and I did not find it either, but I hope to pick up some soon. I swear, that is some fine stuff for the price!

Aloha,

Arty


 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2003-01-13 8:08 pm   Permalink

Quote:
Hey, wait a sec... Trader Vic's uses "Mai Tai Mix"? You mean they don't even follow Vic's OWN recipe?



They've been doing this for quite a while now. TV's uses their Mai Tai mix to make the taste of their Mai Tai's more uniform throughout their restaurants. You can still order a traditional Mai Tai made the original way - you just have to specify this when you order it.

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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2003-01-14 11:31 am   Permalink

Actually, according to the manager at Palo Alto, (25 year TV veteran), they make their own house mix from scratch that's different from the bottled mix. He said it was more concentrated, whatever that means. I mean, I doubt they simmered it into a reduction. Anyway, this was at Palo Alto and Emeryville- not sure it applies to all outposts.

 
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PolynesianPop
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2368
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2003-01-14 12:01 pm   Permalink

Sounds like something they would do over there in Palo Alto! Aren't they the bastard child of the TV chain?


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[ This Message was edited by: PolynesianPop on 2003-01-14 12:02 ]


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2003-01-14 12:03 pm   Permalink

The Polynesian Popster wrote:
"You can still order a traditional Mai Tai made the original way - you just have to specify this when you order it."

Not exactly. When you order an "original" at Trader Vic's they don't use the mix. However, they still use the cheap Trader Vic's brand rums (or Whaler's). The original recipe used 17-year old Wray and Nephew rum from Jamaica. Since that isn't available anymore in the U.S. the newest "original" recipe is made with 1 oz. Martinique rum (Rhum St. James is the most available) and 1 oz. aged Jamaican rum (Appleton Estate Extra or similar).

I would agree with Doctor Z that nothing beats a Mai Tai made at home from the original recipe. I have compared all 3 of the Mai Tais at Trader Vic's. The one made from a mix, the "Original", and the "San Francisco Style" made with a float of Whaler's (they used to use Myers' until the last few years). I really don't taste much of a difference. They are all pretty good as they are made with fresh lime and no pineapple juice or grenadine!

Speaking of Whaler's rum, I hate it! It's cheap rum made in the U.S. and darkened with caramel coloring. It tastes awful compared to Myers' so I can't understand why anyone would use it (especially Trader Vic's) except because it's cheap. Besides, Myers' isn't very expensive.
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1018
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2003-01-14 5:40 pm   Permalink

OK, well the last few times I have been to Beverage Warehouse they have had the TV rums, but only the dark and the spiced. Bev Warehouse also carries most of the better rums, including the St James Martinique rum, the Mt Gay Sugar Cane, all three ages of Barbancourt and the Noa Noa Tahitian.

I use Noa Noa to make my mai tais. It has a very unique aged taste and makes a great sipping rum as well as a great mai tai. I usually add a darker rum to it too. Usually Myers's, or maybe demerarra. If I make it from the TV's mix rather than from scratch, I add a couple shakes of Orange Bitters to enhance the flavor some.

It's true that TV's mix is different from the store bought mix. I noticed that both watching them pre-mix mai tais at the Bash and watching them mix at the restaurant bar. The restaurant mix is darker and more syrupy than the bottled mix. The bottled mix is also more sour. So, when using the mix I add a little more orgeat and the orange bitters and get a taste that is closer to what is served in the restaurant, even though the color doesn't match.


 
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SugarCaddyDaddy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2003-01-15 11:30 am   Permalink

***************Trader Vic's Rums 1/15/03 UPDATE***************

Here's what I've found out so far:
I spoke with Debbie at Metro Distributing. They PREVIOUSLY had the distribution of the Trader Vic's line, but have just moved out of state. The line will now be handed to Echo Wine Distribution...so I call Andy at Echo Wine. Nice guy and gives me the following info:

The "handing over" of the TV Rum line to his company will take a short while (a few days), then from shipment to him of the rums, THEN to his retailers will be a total turnaround time of (approximately) a few weeks.

I emphasized the fact that just a few bottles of the TV Rum is found sparsly at a few retailers and then never seen again! I spoke to him at length about TikiCentral.com (spreading "The Word" one member at a time, right TikiBong?), and told him with all the members here in California, I'm sure alot of us would buy at least one bottle of each(?) Rum, for either actual tasting/mixing, and/or as an additional display to our in-home Tiki Bars. He was excited that a consumer would go through great lengths to find a rum, and said he will follow through and will call me back with updates as to his distribution here in California. I also asked him to give me a list of his retailers who will not only carry the Rum, but also those who will ship to those not close enough to drive to pickup a bottle.

As for the actual manufacturer? Well, here's what I found out:
Johson Brothers is the actual manufacturer, also known on liquor labels as "U.S. Distilling Company". Some of you might have wanted to know, some of you don't care. Either way, there's the name of the manufacturer.

More info to follow and I'll repost.

SugarCaddyDaddy

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[ This Message was edited by: sugarcaddydaddy on 2003-01-15 11:32 ]


 
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