A Mai Tai cocktail with blue umbrella and pineapple slice in a classic tiki glass, with the Pacific Ocean in the background.

The best-ever classic mai tai cocktail recipe

Home » Jacinda Ardern » The best-ever classic mai tai cocktail recipe

7 January 2021

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A classic cocktail synonymous with good times, this mai tai recipe will be a hit at your next social gathering.

The mai tai originated in California. Legend has it that when Trader Vic created this cocktail in the 1940s, his Tahitian friends pronounced it “mai tai roa,” which translates to “awesome”. Contrary to popular belief, a classic mai tai does not call for a rum float.


30ml dark Jamaican rum or any other aged rum

30ml rhum agricole vieux

15ml curaçao

30ml fresh lime juice

15ml Orgeat (almond syrup)

½ teaspoon rich simple syrup

Lime shell and mint, to garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  2. Pour unstrained into a short glass.
  3. Garnish with the empty lime shell and a mint sprig. Serve with a sustainable straw.

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