A Spicy Perspective

Best Mai Tai Recipe

The Best Mai Tai Recipe – A bright and boozy Hawaiian drink fit for the gods. If you are planning a summer gathering, our Best Mai Tai Cocktail is just the party punch to get the good times rolling.

Best Mai Tai Recipe

Best Original Mai Tai Recipe

There are a lot of fruity cocktails out there masquerading as Hawaiian Mai Tais.

However, real Mai Tais 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 most favorite tropical setting, to mentally relax and unwind. 

Say hi to your new favorite summer cocktail.

Tropical Cocktail

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 
  • Garnishes: Mint, Lime, Pineapple, Maraschino Cherries

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 Curacao (I like to use Cointreau Noir)
  • Orgeat
  • Citrus Salt
Out of this World

How To Make A Mai Tai

The Original Mai Tai Recipe is so easy to make, it’s just a matter of combine, shake, and pour. It is as simple as that! 

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with a big scoop of ice.
  2. Add all the liquid ingredients over the ice.
  3. Shake, shake, shake. Make sure that it is well mixed and frothy!
  4. Pour the Mai Tai and ice into a tiki mug, or a low ball glass.
  5. Garnish!
Original Recipe

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!

Mexican Mai Tai Cocktail

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Mai Tai? 

A Mai Tai is similar to a Daiquiri due to its tropical origin and taste. Daiquiris are made with rum, citrus, simple syrup, and additional fruit. Whereas, Mai Tais incorporate orange liqueur and orgeat, an almond flavored syrup. 

Why is it called a Mai Tai? 

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 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 a Mai Tai 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 into the cocktail. 

Can I Make Mai Tais 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 Tais up to 2 weeks in advance, making this a great cocktail to keep on hand all summer long.

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Mai Tai Recipe
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Best Mai Tai Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
A citrusy, refreshing cocktail with classic Hawaiian appeal. Learn How To Make A Mai Tai the right way.
Servings: 1 drink

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

MEXICAN MAI TAI VARIATION
  • 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
  1. 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). .
  2. 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink, Calories: 183kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 2mg, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin C: 6.4mg
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American, Caribbean, Mexican
Author: Sommer Collier

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13 comments on “Best Mai Tai Recipe”

  1. This drink tastes like summer!! It’s amazing!

  2. These Tiki mugs are awesome! Where can I buy these?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jered,

      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. :)

  3. Will be sipping on this all summer long! It was so good!

  4. I really loved how refreshing this is!!

  5. Delicious

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  12. Have to try this asap! Totally my kind of cocktail!