Mai Tai

The Mai Tai is a cocktail based on rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice, associated with Polynesian-style settings.

Most current recipes for Mai Tais based on Trader Vic’s 1944 recipe include rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and orange liqueur (typically orange curaçao). Variants may include the addition of amaretto, falernum, bitters, grenadine, orange and grapefruit juices, and so on. Various books from Victor Bergeron described using rum from Jamaica as well as from Martinique, which in modern usage is a Rhum Agricole. As noted in Smuggler’s Cove by Martin Cate and Rebecca Cate, the Martinique rums used by Bergeron in the 1950s were most certainly not agricole rums.[11] Overproof rums are sometimes added to make stronger versions,[12] but Cate says references to such use as being from “the old way” was only because a 151 proof (75%) demerara float was the preferred variation of a frequent elderly customer.[13]

The Mai Tai became such a popular cocktail in the 1950s–60s that many restaurants, particularly tiki-themed restaurants or bars, served them. The Mai Tai was also prominently featured in the Elvis Presley film Blue Hawaii.

The Mai Tai is the usual drink of the character Frannie Halcyon in the Armistead Maupin book series, “Tales of the City“.

Today, the Mai Tai is synonymous with Tiki culture both past and present.

As of 2008, Trader Vic’s Restaurant chain began to open small establishments called Mai Tai Bars that primarily serve cocktails and pupus (appetizers).

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Ingredients

  1. WHITE RUM

    40 ml | 1 1/3 oz | 8 parts | 8/9 jiggers

  2. DARK RUM

    20 ml | 2/3 oz | 4 parts | 4/9 jiggers

  3. ORANGE CURAÇAO

    15 ml | 1/2 oz | 3 parts | 1/3 jiggers

  4. ORGEAT SYRUP

    15 ml | 1/2 oz | 3 parts | 1/3 jiggers

  5. LIME JUICE

    10 ml | 1/3 oz | 2 parts | 2/9 jiggers

Garnish

  1. Spearmint leaves

  2. Lime shell


Directions

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into glass. Garnish and serve with straw.

Alcohol: Rum (x2)

Mix: Orange Curaçao, Orgeat Syrup, Lime Juice

Garnish: Spearmint Leaves, Lime Shell

Drinkware: Old Fashioned Glass

Served: On the rocks; poured over ice