The Original Mai Tai Recipe

The Original Mai Tai
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Active Time: | Makes: 1 drink

The mai tai is one of the most perverted cocktails out there, frequently made with wrong ingredients like pineapple juice and grenadine. This recipe is the real deal: It traces back to Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron Jr. in the 1930s, and comes to us via Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove. See Cate demonstrate how to make it in our You’re Doing It All Wrong video.

What to buy: Orgeat is an almond-sugar syrup traditionally made from whole blanched almonds. The nut oil gives the syrup (and cocktails made with it) a richness that can’t be duplicated with a cheap syrup made with almond flavoring and sugar. Try to find a high-quality brand such as Small Hand Foods or Trader Tiki’s.

This recipe was featured as part of our Tiki Cocktails photo gallery.

  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, juiced lime half reserved
  • 1/2 ounce orange curaƧao
  • 1/4 ounce Rich Simple Syrup, also known as rock candy syrup
  • 1/4 ounce orgeat
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except the mint sprig in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, and pour the entire contents into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the juiced lime half and a mint sprig.