Recipe

The Original Mai Tai

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The Original Mai Tai

1 drink Easy
4.0 6
(6)
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Ingredients (7)

  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, juiced lime half reserved
  • 1/2 ounce orange curaçao
  • 1/4 ounce Rich Simple Syrup (see Game Plan note), also known as rock candy syrup
  • 1/4 ounce orgeat
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish

Summary

This recipe is the real deal, tracing back to Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron Jr. in the 1930s. It comes to us via Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. (Who based it on the recipe found in Jeff Berry’s book Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari.) See Cate demonstrate how to make it in our You’re Doing It All Wrong video.

What to buy: Orgeat is an almond-sugar syrup traditionally made from whole blanched almonds. The nut oil gives the syrup (and cocktails made with it) a richness that can’t be duplicated with a cheap syrup made with almond flavoring and sugar. Try to find a high-quality brand, like the one from Small Hand Foods.

Game plan: You’ll need to make our Rich Simple Syrup before you begin.

Instructions

  1. 1Combine all ingredients except the mint sprig in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, and pour the entire contents into a double Old Fashioned glass.
  2. 2Garnish with the juiced lime half and a mint sprig.
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