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This is the CLASSIC Mai Tai Recipe you’ll get in Hawaii! Can’t go khổng lồ the beach? Make this easy recipe và transport yourself to lớn the tropics.

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Learn how lớn make a Mai Tai and how khổng lồ substitute for ingredients you don’t have, plus learn how to make this in a pitcher for a crowd!

I miss the beach! We don’t have any tropical trips planned, so I think it’ll be awhile before we’re on the sand again.

One of my favorite things to do on a tropical (or, really, any) vacation is lớn sit in a lounge chair by a resort pool (preferably with a view of the ocean) and order cocktails while reading a good book. Mai Tai Cocktails are one of my favorite ones khổng lồ order (and they are for sure my husbands favorite!)

If you’re craving a bit of the beach, sun và tropical vacation vibes, then make yourself a Mai Tai at home! Close your eyes and pretkết thúc you’re at a swanky resort with a waterfall in the distance while you enjoy this tropical Hawaiian cocktail.

Table of Contents


What’s a Mai Tai Cocktail?

A Mai Tai is a rum based cocktail that’s associated with tiki-themed restaurants, Polynesian Culture, and Hawaii. The funny part it that the person who claims khổng lồ have sầu invented them created them for his restaurant in California.

A classic Mai Tai is a tart & svào cocktail, with a prominent rum flavor & a bit of orange and lime flavor on the backkết thúc. It’s not a particularly sweet cocktail, although you can change up the flavors a bit to your liking.

There are SO many different versions of Mai Tai out there and I’m going lớn tóm tắt some of them with you today. I’ll explain not only what goes into lớn this drink, but also how lớn vary my cocktail inlớn your own Mai Tai Recipe, depending on your tastes or what alcohol you have on hand.

Best Rum for Mai Tai Drinks

The Classic Mai Tai recipe has 3 kinds of rum in it: light, gold, and dark.


I told you it’s a svào drink! Three kinds of rum pachồng a punch.

I’m sure that a purist would tell you you HAVE khổng lồ buy top shelf rum (và, honestly, it probably tastes better with more expensive rum) but get what you lượt thích or what you want to lớn spend.

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I vày recommover Bacardi & Meyers for the light/dark but get what you like!

The gold & light rum go in the cocktail set itself & the dark rum is floated on the top (that’s the dark brown you see in the photos).

Mai Tai Ingredients

To round out the cocktail you need:

Lime JuiceTriple Sec (Cointreau or Orange Liqueur)Orgeat Strup or Almond Liqueur/Amaretto (see substitutions below)

I told you it was a svào drink: all alcohol & a little lime juice!

For a traditional mai tai, leave sầu the lime juice & triple sec in the drink. The easiest thing khổng lồ switch up is the orgeat syrup or almond liqueur. (I used almond liqueur – I mean I’m sure most of you have sầu orgeat syrup lying around…right? HA)

How to lớn make a Mai Tai from scratch?

To make the cocktail, you add all the ingredients (except the dark rum) to lớn a cocktail shaker, shake & pour over ice, then float the dark rum on top.

How vì chưng you make a pitcher of mai tais?

I’ve sầu listed the ingredients và method for how khổng lồ make a pitcher in the recipe thẻ. I also think it’s important to add pinetáo juice, orange juice, and/or letháng lime soda when doing a pitcher cocktail.

What does a mai tai taste like?

To me, a mai tai tastes like Hawaii! It has all those tropical flavors you expect when you’re at the beach. I always substitute amaretkhổng lồ for the orgeat & it adds a nice little touch of sweetness. This cocktail recipe, as written, is really svào. If you want it less so, add pinetáo bị cắn juice.

Is Mai Tai from Thailand?

Nope – people think so because of “tai” in the name, but it was actually invented by Victor J Bergeron, the founder of Trader Vic’s restaurant.



If you don’t have sầu a well stocked liquor cabinet lượt thích I vì chưng, you can definitely make some substitutions

Rum Substitutions

Use double the White or gold and leave sầu the other out, if you don’t have sầu it.Substitute coconut rum for one or both lớn make a Coconut Mai Tai.

Orgeat/Almond Substitutions

Orgeat is basically an almond flavored simple syrup. You can get it at the liquor store or at some grocery stores in the alcohol aisle. You can also make your own, but it’s kind of an involved process.

I substitute a bit of Amaretto lớn (almond liqueur) for the orgeat called for in a tradtional Mai Tai recipe, but almond liqueur isn’t something everyone has. It also depends on the sweetness level you lượt thích. Here’s what lớn substitute:

Use a different flavor simple syrup, lượt thích grenadine, orange or any other kind.Make almond or orange flavored simple syrup by boiling 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool then add 1-2 drops of almond or orange extract.Skip the simple syrup all together & add orange or pinetáo khuyết juice.

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Making Mai Tai Punch

Want to make punch for a crowd? You can bởi that too! This is where you’re going khổng lồ want some pinetáo bị cắn dở or orange juice lớn fill in the gap. Making punch out of just a classic mai tai recipe would be very expensive!

I love sầu serving Mai Tai Punch at summer pool parties and I can’t wait to lớn have a BBQ so I have sầu an excuse to make it.

Chuyên mục: Tin Tức