It's Mai Tai Day & Tower Bridge's birthday
The Mai Tai is a truly great cocktail and its origins have been contested in court. Even when Mai Tai Day should be celebrated is disputed. Thankfully there is at least agreement as to the date of Tower Bridge’s birthday.
Mai Tai Day
Victor Jules Bergeron is credited for creating the Mai Tai cocktail at his restaurant in Oakland, near San Francisco in August 1944.
Despite this, most of the bar industry, and indeed the internet at large, celebrate Mai Tai Day on the 30th June. However, according to a signed proclamation on Trader Vic's website by Rebecca Kaplan, Council Member of the City of Oakland Mai Tai Day, at least in Oakland, should fall on 30th August.
You can read the honourable lady's proclamation while you sip on a refreshing Mai Tai made to our recipe and then perhaps make the drink again in a couple of months time according to Trader Vic's recipe. Indeed, you may also want to try Don the Beach's Mai Tai recipe as he is thought by some to be the drinks true originator. Perhaps also read about the controversy on our Mai Tai page.
It's Tower Bridge's birthday
After eight years of construction, London's Tower Bridge was opened today in 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.
As a fixed bridge would have cut off access for tall-masted ships, the new bridge over the river Thames was designed with spans that can be raised, and although river traffic is now much reduced, the bridge still prioritises river over road traffic.
The bridge has seen several famous incidents, including a double-decker bus that had to leap the gap in 1952 when the bridge started to lift mid-crossing, a couple of aircraft that dared to fly under its spans in 1968 and 1973, and the notorious division of President Bill Clinton's motorcade when he was separated from his police escort in 1997.
Tower Bridge sums up everything that's great about London, so today we're drinking to this splendid old bridge with a London Sour, a cocktail Trader Vic created for another London opening in 1963.