Mai Tai (American/Tiki) – A Tropical Paradise in a Glass

Mai Tai (American/Tiki) – A Tropical Paradise in a Glass


Get ready to transport yourself to a tropical paradise with the classic American/Tiki cocktail – the Mai Tai. Originating from the Tiki culture, this delightful concoction is a blend of rum, citrus, and tropical flavors, making it a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through creating a perfect Mai Tai with step-by-step instructions and variations to suit your taste buds, Mai Tai (American/Tiki) – A Tropical Paradise in a Glass.

Mai Tai (American/Tiki) - A Tropical Paradise in a Glass
Mai Tai (American/Tiki) – A Tropical Paradise in a Glass


  1. Dark Rum (2 oz):
    • Choose a high-quality dark rum to provide the rich, robust flavor that’s quintessential to a Mai Tai.
  2. White Rum (1 oz):
    • A lighter rum balances the deep flavors of the dark rum and adds a crisp, refreshing element to the drink.
  3. Orange Curacao (0.5 oz):
    • Orange curacao adds a sweet and citrusy note, enhancing the tropical flavor profile of the Mai Tai.
  4. Orgeat Syrup (0.5 oz):
    • Orgeat syrup, made from almonds and orange flower water, brings a nutty sweetness and texture to the cocktail.
  5. Fresh Lime Juice (0.75 oz):
    • Freshly squeezed lime juice provides a tartness that balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  6. Simple Syrup (0.25 oz):
    • Simple syrup, made from equal parts sugar and water, provides additional sweetness to the cocktail.
  7. Crushed Ice:
    • Use crushed ice to chill and dilute the drink, contributing to its refreshing quality.
  8. Garnish:
    • Mint sprigs, maraschino cherries, and a slice of lime for a visually appealing garnish.


  1. Cocktail Shaker:
    • A cocktail shaker is essential for mixing and chilling the ingredients effectively.
  2. Muddler:
    • Use a muddler to crush ice or gently muddle mint leaves for a burst of flavor.
  3. Strainer:
    • A strainer helps to strain out ice and pulp while pouring the drink.


  1. Prepare the Glass:
    • Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice to chill it while you prepare the cocktail.
  2. Combine Rums:
    • In the cocktail shaker, add dark rum and white rum.
  3. Add Orange Curacao:
    • Pour the orange curacao into the shaker.
  4. Incorporate Orgeat Syrup:
    • Add orgeat syrup to the mix for a delightful nutty sweetness.
  5. Squeeze Lime Juice:
    • Squeeze fresh lime juice into the shaker to add a tangy zing.
  6. Sweeten with Simple Syrup:
    • Pour in the simple syrup to balance the flavors and sweetness.
  7. Shake It Up:
    • Secure the lid on the shaker and vigorously shake the ingredients for about 15-20 seconds.
  8. Strain into Glass:
    • Remove the ice from the rocks glass and strain the shaken mixture into the glass.
  9. Garnish and Serve:
    • Garnish with a mint sprig, maraschino cherry, and a lime slice. Serve immediately and enjoy!


  1. Spiced Mai Tai:
    • Infuse the dark rum with spices like cinnamon, cloves, or star anise for a spicier kick.
  2. Fruit Twist:
    • Experiment with different fruit juices like pineapple or passion fruit for a tropical twist.
  3. Coconut Mai Tai:
    • Replace the simple syrup with coconut syrup and use coconut rum to enhance the tropical coconut flavor.
  4. Ginger Mai Tai:
    • Muddle fresh ginger with mint leaves before shaking for a spicy and aromatic twist.
  5. Frozen Mai Tai:
    • Blend the ingredients with ice to create a frozen, slushy Mai Tai perfect for hot summer days.

Get creative and tailor this classic Mai Tai recipe to your preferences, and let it transport you to a Tiki paradise wherever you are!

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