Great Hawaiian Mai Tai Recipe

Hot summer days can be tough to handle. But they aren’t as bad if you’re in Hawaii. The name Mai Tai comes from the Tahitian word for “very good.” According to legend, when the drink was invented in the 1940s, the bartender served it to some friends from Tahiti. Their response “Mai Tai” led to the name of the drink. It’s the perfect name for this yummy, fruity drink.

Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Recipe

Mai Tai’s were originally served at the Hawaiian Royal Hotel in the 1950s, only a few short years after their invention. The Hawaiian Royal Hotel hosted famous guests such as the Rockefellers, the Beatles, and Marilyn Monroe. One can only wonder who many of these delicious Mai Tai’s have been enjoyed over the years.


  • 1 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1 oz. Light Rum
  • 1 oz. Orange Curacao
  • 2 oz. Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
  • Dash Orgeat
  • Dash Simple syrup (bar syrup)


Combine all of the ingredients in the order listed in a Old Fashioned style glass over shaved ice. Stir with a swizzle stick. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

We think you’ll find “very good” is an apt name.

Mai Tai Variations

The Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai recipe is often considered the original. It is at least one of the first widely accepted recipes for Mai Tai’s. However there have been other variations which rival the original for flavor and popularity. Here is another Mai Tai recipe from Let us know which one you prefer.

Mai Tai Ingredients

  • 2 cups light rum
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • 1 cup 151 proof rum
  • 1 cup orange curacao (orange flavored liqueur)
  • 1 cup almond flavored syrup
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 10 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 gallon fresh orange juice

Mai Tai Directions

In a large jar or drink cooler, combine the light rum, dark rum, 151 rum, orange liqueur, almond syrup, simple syrup, and lime juice. Stir and top off with orange juice. Do not use grenadine if you want the true Mai Tai! Serve in 8 to 12 ounce glasses with ice.

This recipe will make 1 gallon. Try using a 1 gallon sun tea jar for serving.

Try These Mai Tai Recipe Variations

Some have recommended substituting a mixture of light and dark for the 151 proof. This tends to taste better on the first day—it doesn’t store too well. Try using a combination for regular limes and sweet limes to keep it a little bit sweeter. Adding pineapple juice is another option that has had positive results.

Mai Tai’s are a great solution for a summer party or relaxing evening. But they aren’t the only option. Contact Julio’s to learn more about our excellent beer, wine, and spirits shop or come to our location in Westborough, MA to talk to our knowledgeable experts in person. They are friendly and informative.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Sign up for our Weekly eNewsletter and
Save up to 70% with our Online Flash Sales