Two mai tai cocktails topped with fresh mint

Mai tai

  • serves 1
  • Easy

This totally tropical cocktail is a heady mix of two types of rum, orange curacao, almond syrup and lime juice. Perfect with a pineapple wedge


Try these fruity mai tai cocktails, then check out our piña colada, frozen strawberry daiquiri, mojito, zombie cocktail and more refreshing rum cocktails. Also learn how to make your own sugar syrup to use in this cocktail.

Make your own homemade sugar syrup using our step-by-step recipe, it’s super easy!

Our drinks expert, Hannah Guinness, shares her at-home bar tips to help you take your mai tai to the next level.

What is a mai tai?

One of the world’s most famous tiki cocktails, the mai tai is thought to have emerged in the 1940s, and was created as a way to showcase premium rum. It’s a brilliantly balanced and fresh – if potent – cocktail, showcasing a blend of different rums.

Mai tai ingredients

As rum is the star here make sure you use the best white and dark rums you can find. We’ve tried and tested the best premium rums – check out the results. Use freshly squeezed juices to ensure the vibrancy of the cocktail.

Bar hacks and garnishes

To save on time, make a big batch of sugar syrup using our recipe. For an extra tropical twist, try swapping the white rum for a golden pineapple rum – we love Two Drifters Spiced Overproof Pineapple Rum. As the cocktail is served with plenty of ice use a generous tumbler in this recipe.

Make it a non-alcoholic mai tai

For a convincing alternative to rum, try mixing 3-4 tbsp of apple juice with a dash of almond extract.



  • white rum 30ml
  • dark rum 30ml
  • Orange curacao or Cointreau 1 tbsp
  • orgeat or almond syrup ½ tbsp
  • lime juice 30ml
  • sugar syrup ½ tbsp
  • mint leaves to garnish
  • lime wheel to garnish
  • pineapple wedge to garnish


  • Step 1

    Put all of the ingredients except the garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a tumbler filled with ice and garnish with the lime, mint and pineapple.

Discover more of our easy cocktail recipes

Piña Colada Recipe