Modern Caribbean Rum

Mai-Kai cocktail review: Tasty Tahitian Breeze is packed with tropical flavors, history

Updated March 2024
See below: Our Tahitian Breeze review | Ancestor recipes | Tribute recipe
Related: Mai-Kai cocktail guide

Though it appears on the surface to be a simple, light and breezy rum drink, The Mai-Kai’s Tahitian Breeze is actually a complex creation with roots that date back some 90 years to the world’s first Tiki cocktails.

Tahitian Rum Punch

A close cousin of the Hidden Pearl in both look and taste, the Tahitian Breeze evolved from Donn Beach’s Tahitian Rum Punch, one of the original drinks served at Don the Beachcomber in Hollywood, Calif., in the 1930s.

Mariano Licudine, who created The Mai-Kai’s original 1956-57 menu, started working for Donn Beach in 1939 in Hollywood, then spent 16 years at the Don the Beachcomber in Chicago. So he most likely knew the Tahitian Rum Punch very well as it evolved over the years.

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