• 2 oz Jamaican rum
  • 1/2 oz Orange curacao (i used Cointreau)
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz orgeat syrup


  • Pour every ingredient into cocktail shaker with ice cubes
  • Shake well
  • Strain it over crushed ice
  • Garnish with a lime

My favorite rum based cocktail 🙂 It’s rum with citrus flavor from lime and orange liquer and all that with the almonds in background.


There are two stories how the cocktail was made – from Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron or Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach. Both were early proprietors of tiki bars in California (and later Hawaii) and both lay claim to having made the first Mai Tai.

First, there’s Don the Beachcomber’s story. In 1933, he opened a small restaurant in Hollywood, decorated it with things he’d collected in the South Pacific — old fishing nets, ship’s lanterns and the like — and put up a sign that read Don Beachcomber’s. He created for his menu a collection of potent rum drinks, including the Zombie, Missionary’s Downfall, Navy Grog, and something called the Original Beachcomber Rum Concoction — the drink that later became known as the Mai Tai. That drink was made from Cuban rum, Cointreau, Pernod, Agnostura bitters, fresh lime juice, and fresh grapefruit juice. Those and other drinks were introduced to Hawaii with the opening of the original Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Waikiki in 1947.

Then there’s Trader Vic’s story. In the 1930’s, Vic Bergeron owned a restaurant in Northern California called Hinky Dinks, which was decorated with an Eskimo theme. Things like snow shoes and old bear skins were hung on the walls. Legend has it that Bergeron had been to Hollywood around 1934, where he saw Don the Beachcomber’s restaurant. He went back to Hinky Dinks, redecorated it with things from the tropics, and opened his first Trader Vic’s. As for his Mai Tai, another legend has it that in 1944 at Trader Vic’s, he wanted to make a special drink for two friends visiting from Tahiti. He combined a gold Jamaican rum, Orange Curacao, rock candy syrup, French orgeat, and fresh lime juice and served it to them. His friends took one sip and allegedly said: “Mai Tai roa ae” which is Tahitian for “out of this world, the best.” He then named the drink the Mai Tai, added it to his menu, and later served it throughout his chain of Trader Vic’s restaurants.

Alcohol (strong): 4/10


Mai Tai