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Make a Mai Tai tiki cocktail at home


A fruity Mai Tai with juice makes for a summery long drink

The Mai Tai is a classic tiki cocktail, invented by the founder of Trader Vic’s, Victor Bergeron. The traditional recipe created by Bergeron was heavy on the alcohol and very light on fruit, but the recipe has been adapted many times over to make a lighter drink topped up with pineapple and/or orange juice. Below is the classic recipe but get creative with what’s in your cupboard or available at the supermarket/liquor store… and make something “Mai Tai” (Tahitian for “very good”!) to enjoy on your balcony or in the garden this weekend.


The original Mai Tai recipe was liquor heavy, creating a much more pokey short drink


  • 60ml rum (Bacardí Carta Blanca light rum works well and is easily available at liquor stores)

  • 25ml fresh lime juice

  • 15ml orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or orange Curaçao)

  • 7ml dash of orgeat syrup (there is an almond syrup available in the Monin syrup range but if you can’t get hold of that then try a dash of Van Kleef amandel likeur or an Amaretto liqueur which has the same flavour profile but a bit more punch)

  • 7ml dash of sugar syrup (you can make this at home: bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce the heat and gently stir in sugar until it has dissolved)

Simply add crushed ice to a shaker, add all the ingredients and shake to chill then pour all the contents including the ice into a glass. The traditional garnish is lime and mint but if you want to keep it fruity then orange and maraschino cherry work well.

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