The Best Mai Tai Recipe

Tiki bars have made a comeback — and the Mai Tai is a mainstay

Today’s Mai Tais aren’t forgettable, prefab sugar bombs.

Right as cocktails on tap and low-proof cocktails have started to peak in their popularity, the Tiki craze that started in earnest last summer is still going strong, and with good reason: when made well, Tiki drinks are actually nuanced, balanced, and delicious.

That Tiki drinks should be taken seriously has come as a surprise for most of us. Once fresh-made Polynesian drinks, Tiki cocktails had devolved over the years (read: the 1950s) into gaggingly sweet combinations of coconut rum, blue curacao, canned juices, and buckets of grenadine. They were as jokingly awful as savory aspics and cream cheese-frosted ham loaves.

Fortunately, those days are over, and just like real, homemade macaroni and cheese tastes nothing like the vile boxed variety, true Tiki cocktails are actually reasonably sweet, layered, complex delights.

Mai Tais are the most classic of all the Tiki cocktails, and we have a real-deal, tasty version for you here. This tastes less like your grandma’s mahjong juice, and more like a proper cocktail you’re not embarrassed to try in front of your friends.


Try out our Best Mai Tai Recipe.