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Mai Tai cocktail in highball glass.

Classic Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Kevin Mayfield
  • Prep Time: 2 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cocktail 1x
  • Category: Classic Cocktails


This rum-forward classic Tiki cocktail has been a favorite since it was introduced by Trader Vic's because it tastes fantastic and packs a punch!



1-1/2 ounces light rum

1/2 to 1 ounce orange curaçao 

1/2 to 1 ounce orgeat syrup

1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

3/4  ounce dark rum


  1. Place a scoop of fresh ice in a cocktail shaker
  2. Pour the light rum, orange curaçao and lime juice into the cocktail shaker and shake for 30 seconds
  3. Fill a highball glass with crushed ice
  4. Strain the ingredients from the shaker into the glass
  5. Gently pour the dark rum onto the drink so it 'sits' on top
  6. Rub a couple of sprigs of mint leaves around the rim of the glass to express the oils, then stick them directly into the cocktail
  7. Garnish the rim of the glass with a lime wheel


You can stir this drink to mix the rums or just enjoy the strong dark rum on the first couple of sips

Aside from going a little heavy on the sweet ingredients, I actually cut back a little on the lime juice because it can be very sour

Keywords: Tiki cocktail, Blue Hawaii movie, movie cocktail, rum cocktail, Hawaiian cocktail, tropical cocktail, mid century cocktail, madmen cocktail, rat pack cocktail, 1950’s cocktail