Mai Tai Recipe – How to Make a Mai Tai

how to make a mai tai

The Mai Tai Recipe is relatively straight forward… it doesn’t require a load of special tools.You mostly need Light Rum, Dark Rum, Orgeat syrup, Lime Juice, a few other easy to find ingredients, a basic lesson, and before you know it,  you will know how to make a Mai Tai.

Mai Tai’s make me feel like I’m on vacation, even when I’m in my own living room. The flavors (especially the Rum and the Rum) come together with a special taste of the islands, which is ironic, since the drink itself was created at Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California.

History of the Mai Tai

Where Did the Mai Tai Come From?

“Anybody who says I didn’t create the Mai Tai is a dirty rotten stinker”- Trader Vic

In 1944, Victor Bergeron, the founder of Trader Vic’s in Oakland, was playing around in his bar… mixing this and that. He wanted to create a new drink for his Tiki Bar. Vic started with 17 year old J Wray & Nephew Rum, added lime juice, orange curacao and some sugar syrup… he shook it with some crushed ice, and served it to a couple of freinds visiting from Tahiti.

They tasted it and said… “Maita’i roa ae!”! the Tahitian word for very good!

The name stuck, Mai Tai!

Others may claim to have invented it, but Trader Vic had it first.

Mai Tai Recipe

how to make a mai taiGarnish your drink with a fun paper umbrella or a slice of pineapple… and it’s a vacation in a glass.

The original Mai Tai was made with 17 year old J Wray & Nephew rum. (Chances are you won’t have any lying around because they don’t make it anymore…)

BUT all is not lost….

Combining light and dark rum will give you a wonderful depth of flavor that approximates the original.

This recipe makes one drink…. I know you might be tempted to up the amounts of alcohol, don’t… the balance of the recipe is perfect as it is. If you want more, make another.

mai tai
Mai Tai from Bahooka in the Ruffus Mug

Mai Tai Ingredients

1 oz. Light Rum

1 oz. Dark Rum

1/2 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Orange Curacao

1/4 oz. Simple Syrup

1/4 oz. Orgeat Syrup (an Almond Flavored Syrup… not ORANGE)

2 cups Crushed Ice

Put the Ice, light rum, dark rum, lime juice, orange curacao and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Give it a good shake.

Pour the contents (don’t strain out the ice) of the shaker into a groovy looking glass (or a double highball glass).

For Bonus Points… float an ounce of dark rum on top of your drink.

Garnish with Slice of Pineapple, Cherry or a twist of lime.


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