The Original Tiki Cocktail: Mai Tai

Summer is just about here and while not all of us will be going on a tropical vacation this summer, we can bring part of the paradise experience home by making our own tiki cocktails. The most popular tiki drink undoubtedly is the Mai Tai. There are many variations for this cocktail but I’m going to tell you how to make the original recipe.

Mai Tai.jpg

The invention of the Mai Tai is debated because both Ernest Beaumont-Gantt (a.k.a. “Donn Beach,” the father of tiki culture) and Trader Vic founder Victor Bergeron claim to be responsible for its creation. The Mai Tai recipes that both men created are similar but slightly different, with the recipe created by Donn Beach including Pernod and Angostura bitters. This is the traditional recipe made by Victor Bergeron:

  • 1 ounce dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce orange Curacao
  • 1/4 ounce Orgeat syrup
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice from one fresh lime (about 3/4 ounce)

Fill a shaker with ice cubes and all of the ingredients except the dark rum and shake well. Strain into a glass filled with ice and float the dark rum on top. Garnish with a pineapple wedge, cherry, and mint sprig.

So even if you aren’t going on a trip to Hawaii or Polynesia, you can make a Mai Tai and have your own little tropical get away at home. Although there are many variations of the Mai Tai, this is the customary recipe. Try one and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Photo credit