The Mai Tai is an absolutely essential tiki cocktail that any beach bum worth their salt needs to know. Don't be fooled by any neon-colored pretenders or bottled mixes—this is a classic drink that doesn't need to show off. It's simple, delicious, and shows off the almond notes of a good orgeat alongside a timeless blend of rum, orange liqueur, and lime.
To make a proper Mai Tai, you'll need to make two syrups: orgeat syrup and rock candy syrup. Orgeat is an almond-based syrup that's used in a number of tropical drinks, and rock candy syrup is just simple syrup made with a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. Be sure to use fresh-squeezed lime juice, and Grand Marnier is probably the best widely-available orange curaçao on the market.
|2 oz dark rum|
|0.75 oz lime juice|
|0.5 oz orange curaçao (or triple sec in a pinch)|
|0.25 oz orgeat syrup|
|0.25 oz rock candy syrup (2:1 ratio simple syrup)|
|Mint for garnish|
Preparation: How to make a Mai Tai
- Add all ingredients (except mint) to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into an Old-Fashioned glass with fresh ice.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint and half a squeezed lime.