Legendary Mai Tai

The classic Mai Tai is both tart and boozy yet balanced.

Rum and Tiki-cocktail enthusiasts tend to agree that the king of cocktails is the classic Mai Tai. With a history dating back to the 1940s, the Mai Tai has spawned endless variations, eventually including a variety of tropical juices and store-bought mixes. However, the classic recipe will always reign supreme, as it’s both tart and boozy yet balanced. With just four main ingredients, this version is easy to assemble and will transport you straight to the beach.

The funk of Jamaican rum pairs well with dry orange liqueur, fresh lime juice and orgeat syrup. For this recipe, I prefer Appleton Estate Reserve aged Jamaican rum, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao and Giffard or BG Reynolds Original orgeat, all of which can be found at local liquor stores or online, but feel free to experiment with your own favorites.

Legendary Mai Tai

Add up to ¼ ounces more orgeat syrup if you prefer a sweeter cocktail.

Serves | 1 |

  • 2 oz aged Jamaican rum
  • ½ oz orange liqueur
  • ½ oz orgeat syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • ½ lime
  • 1 sprig fresh mint (for garnish)

| Preparation | In a cocktail shaker, add first 4 ingredients and fill with cracked ice. Shake just a few times and pour into a double Old Fashioned glass. Top with more ice, squeeze lime over top and garnish with mint. Serve.

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Rogan Howitt is beverage director of Good Spirits Co. in Springfield, Missouri.

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