Trader Vic's delivers a liqueur that won't impress chocolate snobs, but will offer a few grins to anyone who remembers what it was like to be a kid and slurp on a chocolate Tootsie-Pop. In 1936 Victor Bergeron became popularly known as Trader Vic. He transformed Hinky Dinks from a saloon into a tropical retreat with artifacts he collected on his extensive travels. The Trader then began to put into practice his research on rums and served simmering plates of Island-style cuisine and quickly became the first fusion restaurant concept.
Among Trader Vic's more tantalizing legacies is the original Mai Tai, the bracingly refreshing rum cocktail he created at the restaurant in 1944 and introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the 1950s. Tahitian for "the very best," Mai Tai became the slogan for his entire operation.