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Who Makes The World’s BEST Mai Tai? | The Educated Barfly

Today we explore four such recipes from world renowned bartenders in an attempt to crown Mai Tai Royalty.

The Mai Tai is one of those drinks that has become what is known as a “Call Drink”. That is a drink that has becomes popular that it people will order it at any bar in the world regardless of whether or not it appears on the menu. As such and with the rising popularity of tropical drinks, many of the worlds top bartenders have turned their talents to perfecting it. Dialing in ratios and rum blends to achieve the ultimate Mai Tai. Today we explore four such recipes from world renowned bartenders in an attempt to crown Mai Tai Royalty.

Garret Richard's Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Garret Richard’s Mai Tai

  • 5 drops saline (1:5, salt:water)
  • 1 ounce lime juice (reserve 1 spent lime wedge)
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Latitude 29 Orgeat
  • 1/4oz (7.5ml) Grand Marnier
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Clément Créole Shrubb
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Coruba Dark Rum
  • 1 1/2oz (45ml) Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8-Year Rum

The Nomad Hotel Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Mai Tai from The Nomad Hotel from Leo Robitscheck

  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Clément Créole Shrubb Liqueur d’Orange
  • 1/2oz (15ml) rhum agricole
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Orgeat
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Jamaican rum, preferably Appleton VX
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Guyanese rum, preferably El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve
  • 1oz (30ml) lime juice
  • Garnish: Mint bouquet and umbrell

Maison Premier's Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Maison premier’s Mai Tai

  • 1oz (30ml) Amber Rhum Agricole
  • 1/4oz (7.5ml) Blackstrap Rum
  • 1/4oz (7.5mp) Overproof Jamaican Rum
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Aged Rum
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Orange Curaçao
  • 3/4oz (20ml) Orgeat
  • 1oz (30ml) Fresh Lime Juice

Martin Cate's Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

Martin Cate’s Mai Tai

  • 2oz (60ml) blended aged rum, Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8-Year Rum
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao
  • 1/2oz (15ml) Smuggler’s Cove Orgeat
  • 1/4oz (7.5ml) Mai Tai Rich Simple Syrup
  • 3/4oz (20ml) lime juice
  • Garnish: spent lime shell and mint sprig

Smuggler's Cove Orgeat Recipe

For Smuggler’s Cove Orgeat

  • 1 pound blanched almonds (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
  • 4 cups water
  • 5 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 2 teaspoons column still lightly aged rum


  1. Add almonds and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Then strain the almonds and set aside.
  3. Reserve the Almond Water Separately.
  4. Add 2 Cups of the almonds to a food processor and process into small rice sized pieces.
  5. Slowly add around 11oz of the almond water to the almonds and blend until fully combined into a slurry or paste.
  6. Allow the paste to cool after which put the paste into a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze the liquid from the paste into a pot.
  7. With this done measure twice the amount of sugar as almond milk (you’re making a 2:1 syrup here) and add all to a pot over low heat and stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
  8. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then add orange flower water, rose water and rum

Simple Mai Tai Recipe

For Mai Tai Simple:

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups demerara sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Add Water and Sugar into a pot over medium heat and stir vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Allow to cool, add Vanilla Extract and Salt.

* Lasts several weeks (in the fridge.

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