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Classic Mai Tai Recipe

Happy Hour: Mai Tai

Despite a brief tenure as a bartender and a fascination with cocktail culture (and consumption), I've always been a bit apprehensive when it comes to venturing into the world of tiki cocktail creation, since many of these tropical tipples owe their complex flavor to a laundry list of ingredients. Thankfully, the Mai Tai — a rum-forward stunner — is comparatively simple, clocking in at a mere four ingredients, and has quickly become a staple in my home bar repertoire.

Even more crucially, this classic Polynesian recipe is dangerously quaffable — watch out; it packs a real punch — perfectly suited to Spring's warmer weather, and a solid choice for toasting to Sunday's Mad Men premiere thanks to its retro styling. Get the recipe and follow suit.

Trader Vic's Classic Mai Tai

Trader Vic's Classic Mai Tai

Trader Vic's Classic Mai Tai Recipe


2 1/2 ounces aged rum, divided
3/4 ounce orange curaçao
1/4 ounce orgeat or other almond syrup
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Parasol, lime wheel, and mint sprig, for garnish


  1. Shake 2 ounces aged rum, orange curaçao, orgeat, and lime juice in a shaker with ice.
  2. Strain contents into a lowball glass filled with fresh ice.
  3. Top with the remaining 1/2 ounce rum.
  4. Garnish with a lime wheel, sprig of mint, and a parasol.

Serves 1.

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mommie mommie 7 years
Just had a Trader Vic's yesterday, yum.
mommie mommie 7 years
Just had a Trader Vic's yesterday, yum.
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