How To Make Mai Tai Original Recipe Quick

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The Mai Tai, a vibrant and refreshing rum cocktail, is a timeless classic that evokes images of swaying palm trees and sandy beaches. Its origins can be traced back to 1940s California, where Victor J. Bergeron, a restaurateur, is credited with concocting this now-iconic drink. The Mai Tai’s perfect balance of sweet, tart, and strong flavors has captivated palates for generations, making it a mainstay in tiki culture and beyond.

This guide delves into the original Mai Tai recipe, ensuring you can recreate this legendary beverage in the comfort of your own home.

The Original Mai Tai – A Couple Cooks
The Original Mai Tai – A Couple Cooks

Ingredients (Yields 1 Serving)

2 ounces Aged Rum (Gold or Amber)

  • ¾ ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ ounce Orgeat Syrup
  • ¼ ounce Orange Curaçao
  • ¼ ounce Demerara Sugar Syrup (or simple syrup)
  • Lime Wedge (for garnish)
  • Mint Sprig (for garnish)

  • Instructions

    1. Chill Your Glass: Begin by pre-chilling your coupe or rocks glass. Fill it with ice and let it sit for a few minutes. This ensures your drink stays refreshingly cold while diluting it minimally.
    2. Combine the Liquids: In a separate mixing glass filled with fresh ice, combine the aged rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, orange curaçao, and demerara sugar syrup.
    3. Shake it Up: Using a cocktail shaker, vigorously shake the mixture for 15-20 seconds. This step incorporates air into the drink, creating a delightful froth and chilling it further.
    4. Strain and Garnish: Discard the ice from the pre-chilled glass. Strain the cocktail mixture from the shaker into the glass, ensuring you capture the delightful froth.
    5. Presentation is Key: Express the oils from a lime wedge over the drink by gently squeezing it over the surface and then placing it on the rim of the glass for garnish. Top it all off with a fragrant mint sprig for a touch of visual appeal.

    Nutrition Facts (Approximate Values per Serving)

    Calories: 240

  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 5mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Protein: 0g

  • Please note: These are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific brands of rum, orgeat syrup, and other ingredients used.


    The original Mai Tai offers a complex flavor profile that perfectly balances the sweetness of orgeat syrup and orange curaçao with the tartness of lime juice and the depth of aged rum. It’s a delightful and potent cocktail that is sure to transport you to a tropical paradise with every sip.


    1. Can I use a different type of rum?

    Absolutely! While aged rum (gold or amber) is traditionally used for its nuanced flavors, you can experiment with other types of rum. White rum will create a lighter Mai Tai, while a dark rum will add a richer, more molasses-like flavor profile.

    2. What is a substitute for orgeat syrup?

    If you can’t find orgeat syrup, you can create a simple substitute. Combine equal parts almond syrup and simple syrup. Alternatively, you can muddle a few almonds in the shaker along with the other ingredients for a hint of almond flavor.

    3. What if I don’t have demerara sugar syrup?

    Demerara sugar syrup adds a touch of caramel sweetness to the Mai Tai. You can use simple syrup as a substitute, but it will lack the subtle caramel notes. If you’d like to create your own demerara sugar syrup, simply simmer equal parts demerara sugar and water until the sugar dissolves.

    4. Can I make this drink non-alcoholic?

    Yes! To create a mocktail version of the Mai Tai, simply omit the rum. You can adjust the amount of orgeat syrup and orange curaçao to achieve your desired level of sweetness.

    5. How strong is a Mai Tai?

    The strength of a Mai Tai can vary depending on the proof of the rum used. Typically, a Mai Tai falls in the medium-strength cocktail range, with an alcohol content of around 14-17%.