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