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HomeVegetarianThe Authentic Mai Tai – A Couple Cooks

The Authentic Mai Tai – A Couple Cooks

Right here’s find out how to make the unique Mai Tai recipe! Collect the elements for this tropical rum drink that’s as complicated as it’s fruity.

Mai Tai Recipe

The Mai Tai may sound like a easy fruity resort drink, but it surely’s something however! No, this drink is a basic cocktail from the 1940’s that’s been (cough) ruined by saccharine candy variations. How one can make a actual Mai Tai? The rum cocktail is breathtakingly complicated, that includes aged rum, orange liqueur, and almond syrup for nutty and vanilla notes towards sharp citrus. Float slightly darkish rum on high, and also you get to the core of a Mai Tai: it’s subtle, nuanced, and may we are saying…terribly particular.

What’s a Mai Tai?

Essentially the most extensively accepted origin story of the Mai Tai is that the cocktail was invented in 1944 at Dealer Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California. It turned very standard within the 1950’s and 60’s, particularly at tiki eating places. (And since Tiki tradition is constructed on appropriation, we received’t exalt the virtues of that phenomenon.)

Full disclosure: we weren’t followers of this drink till we tasted the basic model! The Mai Tai cocktail in its authentic type simply is sensible. It’s tropical, nutty, boozy and zingy: and it’s nothing just like the grownup fruit juice you could be anticipating. (I ordered a Mai tai at a bar just lately and it tasted like a Hawaiian punch juice field.)

Mai tai ingredients

Mai Tai elements

What’s within the authentic Mai Tai? Regardless of what you may assume, there’s no pineapple juice! There’s really no fruit juice, aside from lime juice. The basic Mai Tai cocktail is on the listing of Worldwide Bartender Affiliation’s IBA official cocktails, which means that it has an “official” definition. The elements in a Mai Tai drink are:

The basic Mai Tai elements additionally typically embrace easy syrup. Utilizing a touch of easy syrup accentuates the flavour for a fruity, candy tart Mai Tai. Omit the easy syrup and it makes a extra boozy, spirit-forward drink. I desire including easy syrup for the flavour of that basic tropical drink, however Alex prefers the boozier model. Attempt it each methods and discover your favourite!

Mai Tai Ingredients

What’s orgeat syrup?

You could have observed cocktails at bars that embrace the ingredient orgeat syrup. What’s it, and is it completely vital for a Mai Tai?

  • Orgeat syrup is a non-alcoholic almond syrup used for sweetening cocktails. It has a particular nutty taste with a touch of citrus that’s onerous to duplicate.
  • How do you pronounce orgeat? Say Or-ZHAAT, the place the “ZH” is just like the J within the identify Jacque.
  • What’s an alternative choice to orgeat syrup? There isn’t any substitute for the distinctive nutty citrus taste. A Mai Tai with out orgeat syrup simply doesn’t work. It’s a tasty drink: simply not an actual Mai Tai.
  • How a lot does orgeat syrup value? You possibly can seize a bottle for about $10. It’s simple to search out on-line: right here’s the orgeat syrup we now have. Burn up leftovers with a Japanese Cocktail, Trinidad Bitter, or Mojito Mocktail.
Aged rum

Orange liqueur: Grand Marnier vs Curaçao

A Mai Tai recipe historically makes use of orange curaçao, however it may be onerous to search out. Listed here are just a few notes on what else to make use of as an alternative choice to the orange liqueur:

  • Grand Marnier is your greatest guess. Grand Marnier is the best finish orange liqueur, and brings nuanced, subtle taste. We had a bottle (since we like Grand Marnier cocktails), so we used it right here.
  • Cointreau additionally works. Bought a bottle for making margaritas or different Cointreau drinks? You should utilize it right here too. The flavour is rather less nuanced, but it surely nonetheless works!
Mai Tai Recipe

Two forms of rum make the perfect taste

Many Mai Tai recipes use two forms of rum combined into the drink. Our model takes it a step additional and floats the darkish rum on high! It makes for a showy presentation and it’s develop into a convention that some individuals like of their model of this drink. Right here’s a bit extra in regards to the two forms of rum you’ll want:

  • Aged rum: Such a rum can also be known as golden rum, amber rum, or añejo rum (which means “aged”). Getting old offers it a fancy taste, extra like a Cognac. It has undertones of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel. The aged rum that we used right here was Brugal Añejo Rum.
  • Darkish rum: Also referred to as black rum, darkish rum has a darkish colour and a wealthy taste that’s smoky and candy.

What different cocktails use these kind of rums? Use aged rum in an El Presidente or Pineapple Rum Cocktail, and darkish rum in Rum Punch, Darkish and Stormy, or a Jungle Hen.

What persons are saying about this Mai Tai recipe

When you’ve received your orgeat syrup, stocked up on golden and darkish rum, and figured our your orange liqueur, it’s time to make your Mai Tai cocktail! That is the straightforward half: shake up the elements in a cocktail shaker with ice, pressure right into a glass, float the darkish rum on high and garnish! Listed here are just a few feedback from readers who’ve made this recipe:

  • “I assumed your recipe was wonderful. I added extra lime juice than listed by chance, however is turned out nice. The flavors are wonderful and I felt like I used to be again on Maui having fun with glad hour. It positive packs a punch! I’ll undoubtedly make this once more.” -Rosemary
  • “Used 15 yr outdated Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti topped with Bacardi Black with Grand Marnier. It got here out very good!” -Jim
  • “Wow, wow, wow! You guys hit this one on the top. Completely implausible recipe. The second I tasted this, the reminiscences of after I first had this got here again to me.” -Justin
Mai Tai recipe | Mai tai cocktail


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Right here’s find out how to make the unique Mai Tai recipe! Collect the elements for this tropical rum drink that’s as complicated as it’s fruity.

  • 1 ½ ounces* aged rum
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur: Curaçao, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • ¾ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce orgeat syrup
  • ½ teaspoon easy syrup (elective**)
  • ½ ounce darkish rum, to drift (elective)
  • For serving: Crushed ice or clear ice, recent mint, cocktail cherry, lime wedge

  1. Place the aged rum, orange liqueur, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and easy syrup (if utilizing**) in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake till chilly.
  2. Pressure the drink into an ice-filled glass. High with the darkish rum. Garnish with recent mint, a lime wedge, cocktail cherry and pineapple slice. 


Right here’s a hyperlink to these fluted lowball glasses.

*To transform to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.

**A touch of easy syrup accentuates the flavour for a fruity, candy tart Mai Tai. Omit it for a extra boozy, spirit-forward Mai Tai.

  • Class: Drink
  • Technique: Shaken
  • Delicacies: Cocktails
  • Weight loss program: Vegan

Key phrases: Mai Tai, Mai Tai Recipe, Mai Tai Components, Mai Tai Drink, Mai Tai Cocktail

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