Mai Tai is a rum based cocktail that is a refreshing blend of dark rum, lemon, lime, apricot and almond essence. Not to forget, this also an ideal summer cocktail.
Mai Tai comes from the Tahitian word “Maita’i”, which loosely translates into ‘out of this world.’ A gorgeous drink, Mai Tai will forever be associated with the stylistic ‘Tiki’ culture that originated in the United States and eventually spread around the world during the 1950s.
As is the case with other classic concoctions, there is an amusing story to the invention of Mai Tai. The quirky bar and restaurant owner of Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California has claimed to invent the Polynesian-influenced cocktail in 1944. However, his rival at Don the Beachcomber refuted his claim, stating that he was the one who came up with the recipe 10 years earlier. Naturally, the debate is still on but what’s really interesting is that Trader Vic’s ‘original’ 1944 recipe included just one fruit juice- lime.
- 50ml/1.5oz dark rum (such as those listed above)
- 15ml/0.5oz Triple Sec/Cointreau/Grand Marnier
- 15ml/0.5oz Apricot Brandy
- 15ml/0.5oz Fresh lemon juice
- 15ml/0.5oz fresh lime juice
- 15ml/0.5oz Amaretto almond syrup
- A few dashes of Angostura/Orange bitters
- In a mixing glass build the liquid ingredients over cubed ice
- Place the Boston tin on top of the mixing glass and ensure a good seal
- Shake hard until the Boston tin frosts over
- Strain into an ice-filled tumbler/rocks glass
- Garnish with a mint sprig (and an orchid for an extra touch)
- Serve with straws
The key to making a great Mai Tai is the selection of the rum. Again, the Trader Vic’s recipe calls for a Wray and Nephew’s 17 year-old rum. However, if you are working on a budget, Myer’s Planters Punch Rum, Appleton Estate Aged Rum, Ron Barcelo Imperial or a Bacardi 8 year-old makes a delightful substitute.