A classic (very strong!) 60s cocktail, the Mai Tai is a combination of Curaçao, three rums, and Orgeat. This is our favourite, adapted from Death & Co.
The Mai Tai is a classic 60s cocktail invented in California, and it was first made famous when it was featured in the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii. Smooth rums, tart lime juice, homemade orgeat syrup, and Curaçao come together in a tropical, balanced, not-too-sweet drink.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of the post, or scroll to the bottom of the post, to see the full recipe card with ingredient measurements and instructions.
- Lime juice
- Jamaican rum
- Demerara rum
- Overproof rum
- Homemade orgeat syrup
- Angostura bitters
- Fresh mint leaves and lime slices for garnish
Add the lime juice, three rums, Curaçao, orgeat syrup, and a dash of bitters to a shaker filled with ice. Shake everything together vigorously until well chilled, about 20 to 30 seconds. You’ll know it’s ready when the shaker is freezing cold to the touch and a bit frosty on the outside.
Fill a glass with crushed ice. Crushed ice isn’t required but it is more traditional in a Mai Tai. An easy way to crush ice is to place ice cubes in a large plastic zip top bag and gently smash the cubes inside the bag with a rolling pin.
Strain the Mai Tai into the glass. Top it with a dash more of bitters, a sprig of fresh mint, and a lime slice.
Notes & Tips
You can use any combination of rum you like however:
- Jamaican rum – We like Appleton Select.
- Demerara rum – El Dorado 15 year or Lemon Heart is our preference.
- Overproof Rum – Wray & Nephew is a good choice.
If you don’t have orange curaçao you can substitute Cointreau, or even Triple Sec in a pinch.
Don’t feel like making homemade orgeat syrup? Pre-made bottled orgeat can be found in most specialty, Mediterranean, and Mid-Eastern grocery stores.
Skip the angostura bitters garnish if you want and instead float ½-ounce of blackstrap rum on top!
More Tasty Cocktail Recipes
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 oz Jamaican Rum
- 1 oz Demerara Rum
- ¼ oz Overproof Rum
- ¾ oz Orgeat
- ½ oz Curaçao
- Dash of Angostura bitters, plus more for garnish
- Fresh mint leaves and lime slice for garnish
- Add lime juice, rums, orgeat, Curaçao, and a dash of bitters to a shaker along with ice. Shake until well chilled.
- Fill a glass with crushed ice. Strain the Mai Tai into the glass. Top with a dash more of bitters, mint leaves, and a lime slice.
You can use any combination of rum you like however, for the Jamaican rum we like Appleton Select, El Dorado 15 year or Lemon Heart is our preference for Demerara rum, and we like Wray & Nephew for the overproof rum.
If you don't have orange curaçao you can substitute Cointreau, or even Triple Sec in a pinch.
Don't feel like making homemade orgeat syrup? Pre-made bottled orgeat can be found in most specialty, Mediterranean, and Mid-Eastern grocery stores.
Skip the angostura on top if you want and instead add a float of ½-ounce of blackstrap rum!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
This is an approximation of the nutrition offered in this recipe, and is created using a nutrition calculator.