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Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail

by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau (Ten Speed Press, 2016)

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Ingredients (5)

  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce Orgeat
  • ½ ounce Pierre Ferrand dry orange curaçao
  • 1 ounce Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum or Appleton Estate Reserve Rum
  • 4 ounces Brut Champagne, chilled
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Nutritional Information
  • Calories205
  • Fat0.05g
  • Saturated fat0.02g
  • Trans fat
  • Carbs8.71g
  • Fiber0.06g
  • Sugar5.89g
  • Protein0.15g
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium7.37mg
  • Nutritional Analysis per serving (1 servings) Powered by

Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco uses a Collins glass for this tropical classic, and garnishes it with a sprig of mint and a wheel of lime. Like the many maligned Mai Tai recipes floating about in the cocktail ether, the originator of this tiki classic has been muddied, with accounts naming Don the Beachcomber and others fingering his rival, Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron. Either way, Vic’s version is the one that lingers as the canonical formula. Austere compared to many kitchen sink–style tiki drinks, the Mai Tai pairs lime, almond syrup (orgeat), dry curacao, and, often, two styles of rum—Jamaican and Martinican. Cate’s spritz-ified version pares down the rum content in lieu of a Champagne topper in a nod to Trader Vic’s French heritage.

For more, see Cate’s original Mai Tai.


  1. 1Combine the lime juice, orgeat, curaçao, and rum in a small container and refrigerate for an hour or two.
  2. 2Pour the chilled mixture into a Collins glass, fill to the rim with ice, top with Champagne, and add the garnish.

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