September Drink of the Month: Mai Tai

Close-up of a Mai Tai cocktail on a wooden countertop.

I am so fortunate to have some of the greatest clients that book repeat events and share their experience with colleagues and friends. We’ve gotten to know each other really well over the last year and now they feel like “regulars” at my bar. 

Part of the fun is their help in inspiring me to create new drinks for our virtual classes.  When a client came to me and said they have a team member in their group that loves Mai Tai’s, I said, “no problem, let me see what I can do.”  Just in time for the end of the summer, I came up with a delicious recipe that is easy to make at home.  

The long days of hot summer are over and there’s one last chance to enjoy a tropical drink before our Fall Cocktail List is featured. Fair warning, the Mai Tai is a strong drink.  Not because it’s got a lot of liquor, but because it lacks sweetness.  When trying to find balance in cocktails, sometimes the perfect cocktail isn’t exactly equal parts of each ingredient. Sometimes they’re complex in flavors, emphasizing the stronger flavors, while the supporting cast kind makes an appearance in the background.  This is one of those classic island drinks that relies heavily on rum!  

The secret ingredient is orgeat syrup, and it’s so fun to say. Orgeat syrup is a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water. This adds a subtle nutty profile to the cocktail to balance the citrus flavors of lime and orange.  

The origin of the Mai Tai dates back to the 1930’s in Oakland, CA.  Most well known for becoming a popular cocktail in Hawaii.  Named after the Tahitian word for good or excellent, its explosion in popularity particularly coincided with the rising popularity of tiki-themed restaurants and bars in the 1950’s-60’s.  The Mai Tai was Elvis’s drink of choice in his 1961 film Blue Hawaii.

Below is the recipe we teach in our virtual mixology class, book your event today

  • 1.5 oz Rum (Jamaican Rum is preferred, but any rum will work)
  • 0.5 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 0.5 oz Monin Orgeat (Almond) Syrup
  • 0.75 oz Monin Orange Syrup
  • Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry and enjoy!
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