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Classic mai tai cocktail
Food and Drink

Classic mai tai cocktail

Mai Tai cocktail on grey marble

PHOTOGRAPHY FROM SPIRITED: COCKTAILS FROM AROUND THE WORLD BY ADRIENNE STILLMAN, PHAIDON.

A classic cocktail synonymous with good times, this mai tai recipe will be a hit at your next social gathering.

Origin: California, United States, 1920s-1940s

Legend has it that when Trader Vic created this cocktail in the 1940s, his Tahitian friends pronounced it “mai tai roa,” which translates to “awesome”. Contrary to popular belief, a classic mai tai does not call for a rum float.

Trader Vic’s original calls for Wray & Nephew 17-year rum, which no longer exists. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry recommends using dark Jamaican rum, and aged rhum agricole is a good substitute. Alternatively, you can use 60ml of any aged rum.

Ingredients

30ml dark Jamaican rum

30ml rhum agricole vieux

15ml curaçao

30ml fresh lime juice

15ml Orgeat (almond syrup)

1/2 teaspoon rich simple syrup*

Lime shell and mint, to garnish

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

2. Pour unstrained into a short glass.

3. Garnish with the empty lime shell and a mint sprig. Serve with a sustainable straw.

Dipsologist Adrienne Stillman has tirelessly grilled bartenders from Nairobi to Hong Kong, spending long nights sipping and sampling, to bring you this sumptuous summer favourite.

Spirited: Cocktails from around the world by Adrienne Stillman, Phaidon.

Spirited: Cocktails from around the world by Adrienne Stillman, Phaidon.

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