Mai Tai

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Victor Bergeron – Trader Vic – created this drink back in the 40s, and is quoted in the 1947 edition of his Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide as saying, “Anyone who says that I didn’t create this drink is a dirty stinker.”

When I visited Trader Vic’s in Beverly Hills, I watched their skilled mixologists closely to try to learn the secrets of this drink (shaved ice is key here, kids) but I recently found the recipe online here.

When made properly, the Mai Tai is a smooth, slightly sweet, and potent concoction – and well worthy of our sophisticated palates (heh).


Mai Tai Print Me

  • 1.5 oz Appleton V/X rum
  • ½ oz Smith and Cross rum
  • 1¼ oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ oz orange curaçao (I use Grand Marnier)
  • ½ oz orgeat (almond syrup)
  • ¼ oz 2:1 simple syrup
  1. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Recipe printed courtesy of

11 Replies to “Mai Tai”

  • Dr. Coruba says:

    Agata, though it is related to Orange Curacao, Triple Sec is one of the weaker substitutes for what Orange Curacao imparts to a good Mai Tai. If you just can’t find it anywhere, the better substitutes are Cointreau or Grand Mariner – both are much more expensive than Orange Curacao, but at least you’ll be raising the bar on your Mai Tai quality not lowering it.

    Jeffrey, as always, is spot on about shaved/crushed ice for the Mai Tai. A proper shake with the right ice gives it just the right dilution and rapidly chills the drink so that the remaining ice melts very slowly.

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