Mai Tai6

Classic Mai Tai

Mai Tai

* 2 ounces Jamaican rum
* 1/2 ounce orange curacao
* 1/2 ounce orgeat syrup
* 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
* Mint sprig for garnish

Combine all liquid ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and shake until cold. Strain into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

This is the classic Mai Tai recipe, the one Trader Vic created right here in Oakland in 1944, updated slightly. The recipe originally called for rock candy syrup (ie, simple syrup), which can be omitted if your orgeat syrup is sweet enough to balance the lime juice. I’m using Monin almond syrup in these because it’s what I have on hand. Not a true orgeat, but close enough, and sweet enough that I don’t need additional sweetener.

This recipe is not to be confused with the “Hawaiian” or “Island” Mai Tai which contains orange and pineapple juices. Nor is it to be confused with the fruit and flower-laden monstrosities that have become somewhat synonymous with the name “Mai Tai” over the years. For best results, order a “Classic Mai Tai” and hopefully your bartender will know the difference.

Comments 6 Comments So Far

delirium tremens

That looks less like a mint sprig than a lime hat :)

Kenn |

You make do with what you have. We weren’t going to let something like not having mint ruin our drinks!


The Edison – the one time I was there.. makes their Mai Tai’s like that.

Pretty good!!!


Theres a place that i go to called mai tai and they make some good mai tais

Matt Schacht |

I love Trader Vic’s recipe for this drink.

What Jamaican rum do you use? I typically use 1 oz. Coruba and 1 oz. Appleton Estate V/X. Also, I recommend the Torani Orgeat – no HFCS. I use 1/2 oz. and 1/4 oz. simple syrup.

AlchemistGeorge |

I find that using two or more different rums really makes the drink – I use Lemon Hart and Coruba