Best Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe
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The Best Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe – A bright and boozy Hawaiian drink fit for the gods. If you are planning a summer gathering, our Best Mai Tai is just the party punch to get the good times rolling.
Best Original Mai Tai Recipe
There are a lot of fruity cocktails out there masquerading as Hawaiian Mai Tai’s.
However, real Mai Tai’s are simple, made with fresh-squeezed lime juice, good rum, orange liqueur, and almond orgeat.
They can be served as a light and lively party beverage in tiki mugs, or as sophisticated cocktails in lowball glasses. Drinking one of these perky beverages can transport you to your favorite tropical setting, to mentally relax and unwind.
Say hi to your new favorite summer cocktail.
Easy Mai Tai Ingredients
- Aged Pot Still Rum – or Blended Rum
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Cointreau – or Orange Curacao
- Rich Simple Syrup – 2:1 sugar to water ratio
- Orgeat– a sweet syrup made with almonds and orange
- Garnishes: Mint, Lime, Pineapple, Maraschino Cherries
Mexican Mai Tai Ingredients
There is also a fun Mexican version of this recipe with slightly different ingredients. It is very similar, made with tequila, so it adds a Mexican flair to the cocktail.
- Reposado Tequila
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Orange Curaçao – I like to use Cointreau Noir
- Orgeat Syrup
- Citrus Salt
How To Make This Rum Cocktail
The Original Mai Tai Recipe is so easy to make, it’s just a matter of combining, shaking, and pouring. It is as simple as that!
- Fill a cocktail shaker with a big scoop of ice.
- Add all the liquid ingredients over the ice.
- Shake, shake, shake. Make sure that it is well-mixed and frothy!
- Pour the Mai Tai and ice into a tiki mug, or a lowball glass.
- Garnishes: mint, lime wedges, pineapple, maraschino cherries
FUN FACT: Why are most modern Hawaiian cocktails served in tiki mugs? Because the majority of traditional rum mixed drinks were made with dark liquor and fruit juice. So they were brown and murky in color, not bright pink and blue like today’s beachy cocktails. Therefore, tiki mugs with large bold garnishes were introduced to make them visually appealing.
Mexican Mai Tai
Looking for a twist on the Classic Mai Tai Cocktail? This Mexican Mai Tai Recipe is a little less sweet than the original… And incorporates tequila.
It’s citrusy, bright, and refreshing. A great way to kick off the weekend!
Get the Full (Printable) Best Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe Below + The Mexican Mai Tai Variation. Enjoy and Drink Responsibly!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Mai Tai?
This cocktail is similar to a Daiquiri due to its tropical origin and taste. However, Daiquiris are made with rum, sour notes of citrus, simple syrup, and additional fruit. Whereas, Mai Tai’s incorporates orange liqueur and orgeat, an almond-flavored syrup.
How Do I Rim My Glass?
To make citrus salt, grate the zest of an orange and a lime with a Microplane. Stir the zest into salt and let it sit for 10 minutes (to allow the oils from the citrus to coat the salt).
Rim a rocks glass with the citrus salt. Shake the tequila, lime, curacao, and orgeat with ice and strain over ice into the salted glass.
How Did This Classic Rum Cocktail Get Its Name?
As the story goes, in the 1930’s a man named Victor Bergeron had some friends visit him from Tahiti. He loved to cook and make cocktails to impress his guests. So one day he decided to make a new beverage for his friends to try. They loved it so much that they exclaimed, “Mai tai-roa aé!” In Tahitian, this means “out of this world, the best!” Since his friends loved it so much, he decided to name his new cocktail a Mai Tai which then means that this drink is out of this world.
What does this Aged Rum Drink taste like?
A traditional Mai Tai is a very boozy and citrus-forward drink that originally was very tart. Yet often tiki bars and lounges tend to make them overly sweet. You can add more or less simple syrup to adjust it to your taste preferences. However, in this original recipe, the lime and rum flavors are the most dominant. To soften the lime, orgeat and Cointreau are added to create body and depth in the cocktail.
Can I Make Rum Mixed Drinks Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely. Simply mix the ingredients, reserving the ice for later, and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour the Mai Tai mix in a shaker over ice and shake until frothy. You can make Mai Tai’s up to 2 weeks in advance, making this a great cocktail to keep on hand all summer long.
Other Rum Mixed Drinks and Fun Cocktails
- Spiced Manhattan Cocktail
- Large Batch Goombay Smash Caribbean Cocktail
- POG Punch Hawaiian Cocktail
- Perfect Mojito Pitcher (Ernest Hemingway’s Drink of Choice)
- Best Piña Colada with Dark Rum and White Rum
- Stormy Donkey Party Rum Punch
- Bahamian Blaster Party Punch with Coconut rum and Grenadine
- Drunken Monkey Rum Cocktail with Spiced Rum and pineapple juice
- Watermelon Rum Punch (Classic Daiquiri Style Drink) (Jennings Cox was supposedly the founder of the daiquiri.)
- Frozen Coconut Mojito (with cream of coconut or coconut milk)
- Perfect Manhattan with angostura bitters
- Lavender Meyer Lemon Tom Collins with Gin and lemon juice
- Frozen Strawberry Margarita (made with real strawberries)
- Hurricane Cocktail by New Orleans.com
- Painkiller by A Couple Cooks
- Havana Cocktail by Simmer + Sauce
- Rum and Coke (Cuba Libre Made with Coca-Cola) by The Spruce Eats
- Milk Punch Cocktail with Cognac and Vanilla, Garnished with ground nutmeg by A Couple Cooks
- Jungle Bird Cocktail & Bermuda Cocktail with orange juice by Diffords Guide
Best Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe
- 2 ounces aged pot still rum (or blended rum)
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3/4 ounce Cointreau (or orange curacao)
- 1/3 ounce rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water ratio)
- 1/4 ounce orgeat
- Garnishes: mint, lime, pineapple, marichino cherries
- Fill a shaker with 8 ounces ice. Add all the ingredients. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Pour all the contents (including the ice) into a tiki mug or low ball glass. Mint and lime are the classic Mai Tai garnishes. However, pineapple and cherries are great when serving in tiki mugs.
- 1 1/2 ounces resposado tequila
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce orange curacao I like to use Cointreau Noir
- 1/2 ounce orgeat
- Citrus salt
- To make citrus salt, grate the zest of an orange and a lime with a microplane. Stir the zest into salt and let it sit for 10 minutes (to allow the oils from the citrus to coat the salt). .
- Rim a rocks glass with the citrus salt. Shake the tequila, lime, curacao, and orgeat with ice and strain over ice into the salted glass.
Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
could use a little bit of summer right now and Mai Tai’s will definitely help to conjure that feeling, and thank you for so many different versions!
This drink tastes like summer!! It’s amazing!
These Tiki mugs are awesome! Where can I buy these?
LOL, thanks! I actually have a tiki mug collection. I believe I found this particular set on eBay. It’s fun to look at all the new and vintage options up for auction. :)
Will be sipping on this all summer long! It was so good!
I really loved how refreshing this is!!
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Have to try this asap! Totally my kind of cocktail!