Bartending/Cocktails/Mai Tai

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Mai Tai

Flavour Tropical
Units 2.4
Standard drinks 1.9

The Mai Tai is perhaps the canonical Tiki cocktail and there are innumerable recipes for it. Here are a number of them:

Authentic Trader Vic's Mai Tais[edit | edit source]


The Original from 1944[edit | edit source]


  • 2 oz of 17-year old J. Wray & Nephew Rum over shaved ice
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 oz Holland DeKuyper Orange Curaçao
  • 1/4 oz Rock Candy Syrup
  • 1/2 oz French Garnier Orgeat Syrup


  • Shake vigorously.
  • Add a sprig of fresh mint and spent lime shell

The "Old Way" from 1997[edit | edit source]


  • 1 oz (3 cl) Fine Jamaican Rum (15 or 8 year old)
  • 1 oz Martinique Rum (St. James)
  • juice from one lime (~3/4 ounce)
  • 1/2 ounce Orange Curaçao
  • 1/2 ounce Orgeat syrup


  • Mix and serve as in the Original Formula

"Current" Mai Tai Formula[edit | edit source]

This recipe is what Trader Vic's restaurants serve today:


  • 1/4 Lime squeeze (drop in glass as garnish)
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Trader Vic's Mai Tai mix
  • 2 oz Royal Amber Rum
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry, pineapple, mint sprig

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass over crushed ice. Garnish with fruits and mint, and serve with a straw.

Recipe #4[edit | edit source]

Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai

This version is much closer to what Don the Beachcomber served in his restaurants. It can be garnished with various fruits, as in the above recipe. Falernum is a spice and lime-based Caribbean liqueur/syrup with a very different taste from the Orgeat syrup used in the Maitai #1.


  • 2 oz (or 1/4 cup) water
  • 3/4 oz or 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz or 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz or 2 tablespoons sugar syrup
  • 1 oz or 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1-1/2 oz or 3 tablespoons golden rum
  • 1/2 oz or 1 tablespoon Cointreau or triple Sec
  • 1/4 oz or 1/2 tablespoon Falernum liqueur/syrup
  • 2 dashes or scant 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash or scant 1/4 teaspoon Pernod or other anisette-flavored pastis

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a tall highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with fruits and serve with a straw.

Recipe #5[edit | edit source]

The Warringtonian Mai Tai


  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Rose's lime juice
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz light rum
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 oz grenadine

Recipe #6[edit | edit source]

(aka the attempted Mai Tai.. happens in bars that do not carry Orgeat)

Fill a collins glass with ice. Add:

  • ¾ oz. Light Rum
  • ¾ oz. Dark Rum
  • ½ oz. Amaretto
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec

Fill with:

  • ½ Orange Juice
  • ½ Pineapple Juice

Lastly, add ½ oz. of Grenadine on top, it will sink to the bottom to create a layered look.

  • Note:

Grenadine is almost always heavier (more dense) than whatever beverage, alcoholic or not, you're making. That being said, if you'd like a thin red layer at the bottom of your beverages add it last. It also helps if you let it slide down the glass, as opposed to just pouring it in.

Recipe #7[edit | edit source]

O'Sheas Famous Mai Tai


  • 3 Ounces Raspberry or Regular Vodka
  • 3 Oz. Of Cranberry Juice
  • 3 Oz. of Orange Juice
  • 3 Oz. of Pineapple Juice
  • 3 Oz. of All Natural 7-Up


  1. Pour vodka over shaved ice
  2. Add juices, stir with vodka in cocktail shaker
  3. Strain or leave with ice.

Recipe #8[edit | edit source]

Aussie Beachcomber


  • 2 Shots - Good Quality Spiced Rum
  • 1 Shot - Cointreau
  • 1 Shot - Orgeat Syrup
  • Splash - Agave Syrup
  • 1/2 Lime - Juice
  • 2-3 Sprigs Mint
  • Mulled Pineapple (Optional)

Glass: Low Ball Glass

Pre-cool the glass with ice. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker including the mint (mint must bruise with ice). Shake vigorously and pour into the glass over ice.

Recipe #9[edit | edit source]

Samurai Steve's Iowa Mai Tai

  • 1 oz white rum (Paramount or better)
  • 1 oz spiced rum (Captain Morgan or better)
  • 1 oz orange rum (Bacardi O or better)
  • 1 oz Malibu rum
  • 1 oz Sour mix
  • 1/2 oz Grenadine
  • 4 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 2 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 Glass with Ice
  • 1 Swirly straw or tiny umbrella


  1. Mix rums into glass with ice
  2. Add Pineapple and Orange juices
  3. Top with Sour Mix and Grenadine
  4. Add swirly straw or tiny umbrella

Recipe #10[edit | edit source]

Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas Recipe

Very close to the original recipe.


  • 1 1/4 oz Appleton Jamaican rum
  • 1 1/4 oz Mount Gay Eclipse rum
  • 1/2 oz orange curacao
  • juice of 1 1/2 fresh lime
  • 1/2 oz orgeat syrup (almond syrup)
  • 1/2 oz rock candy syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water, boil until syrup)
  • Splash of Grenadine to achieve appropriate color.

In an ice filled mixing glass add above ingredients minus the appleton: shake until well-blended, strain into an ice filled 16oz glass or cup and float the appleton on top. Garnish with spent lime shell, mint spring and pineapple spear.

Recipe #11[edit | edit source]

Fuji & Jade Garden (State College, PA - 2010) Recipe

A slight tweak on the original recipe. The parenthetical ingredients hint at how this version of the Mai Tai evolved.


  • 3/4 oz Cruzan Estate Light rum
  • 3/4 oz Cruan Guava rum
  • 1/2 oz Trader Vic's Macadamia liqueur (or 3/4 oz Amaretto)
  • 1/2 oz DeKuyper triple sec (or Cointreau)
  • 1/2 oz Nellie & Joe's lime juice (or fresh)
  • 1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 3/4 oz Zaya 12-yr Trinidad rum [floater]

Glass: 12-oz Rocks Glass (aka Double Old-fashioned glass)

In an ice-filled mixing glass add the first six of the above ingredients. Shake until well-blended, then pour into a 12oz rocks glass. Top with Zaya 12-yr rum as a floater. Garnish with fresh mint, orange slice and/or a pineapple spear.

Recipe #12[edit | edit source]

Ethan Giroir Recipe

A recipe that increases the orgeat for more flavor, removes demerara syrup to reduce sweetness, and blends rums in order to achieve an authentic imitation of the discontinued Wray & Nephew rum.


  • 3/4 oz Orgeat
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand dry curacao
  • 1 oz Smith & Cross rum
  • 1 oz Rhum Agricole

Combine ingredients in a shaker, making sure to not pour orgeat last so it does not stick to your jigger. Shake with crushed ice and a few bigger chunks for proper aeration. Serve unstrained in a Mai Tai mug with a sprig of mint and a straw.

References[edit | edit source]