The Mai Tai

I recently dined at the Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, CA with the family. Very nice dinner, but you don’t go there for the food. You go there for the ambiance and the Mai Tais. On the way out I picked up a couple Mai Tai glasses from their display case — determined to make the famous cocktail at home.

And so I did.

What follows is the original Trader Vic’s Mai Tai recipe — slightly updated with modern ingredients. Following that is a modified recipe using ingredients you might already have in your liquor cabinet.

Both are terrific. The first is spectacular.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

  • 1 oz dark rum (like Myers)
  • 1 oz light rum (like Bacardi Silver)
  • 1/2 oz orange curacao
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz orgeat (almond) syrup
  • Juice of a lime (about 1oz)
  • Mint sprig or lime slice for garnish
  • Optional: 1 oz pineapple juice — not authenticate, but the ladies like it!

Shake ingredients and pour over crushed (or not-crushed) ice. Garnish.

You can find orange curacao and orgeat/almond syrup at Total Wine and More (and probably BevMo).

Common Mai Tai

If you don’t want to stock orange curacao and orgeat syrup just so you can make Mai Tais, then consider this recipe that replaces them with triple sec and Amaretto. Not quit as good as the original, but still pretty darn tasty!

  • 1 oz dark rum (like Myers)
  • 1 oz light rum (like Bacardi Silver)
  • 1/2 oz triple sec
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • Juice of a lime (about 1oz)
  • Lime slice for garnish
  • Optional: 1 oz pineapple juice

Shake ingredients and pour over crushed (or not-crushed) ice. Garnish.