Take time out for tasting whiskey, Mai Tais

Two gatherings with drink themes are coming up in The City.

WhiskyFest San Francisco, billed as the the largest independent whiskey event in the United States, runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Plaza. Hosted by Malt Advocate magazine, the event will allow guests to sample fine, rare whiskeys (250 will be offered) from around the world. Tickets are $105 general; $145 for VIP admission, which allows entrance one hour early. For tickets, visit www.maltadvocate.com or call (800) 610-MALT. A portion of proceeds will benefit the San Francisco Food Bank.

On Saturday, Trader Vic’s hosts what it’s calling America’s first-ever Singles Mai Tai Party. The bash will go from 8 to 10 p.m. at the restaurant, at 555 Golden Gate Ave. Trader Vic Bergeron is known for inventing the Mai Tai in 1944 in Oakland. Here’s the story: “I took down a bottle of 17-year-old rum,” Bergeron says. “I took a fresh lime, added some orange curacao from Holland, a dash of rock candy syrup, and a dollop of French Orgeat. A generous amount of shaved ice and vigorous shaking by hand produced the marriage I was after. I stuck in a branch of fresh mint and gave two of them to Ham and Carrie Guild, friends from Tahiti. Carrie took one sip and said, ‘Mai Tai…,’ which means out of this world in Tahitian. Well, that was that. I named the drink Mai Tai. It went on to become one of the most popular exotic drinks in the world.” Party tickets are $10; call (415) 775-6300

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