1 oz Jamaican rum (dark, 7-15 year old)
1 oz Rhum Agricole, St. James Ambre
3⁄4 oz Lime juice
1⁄2 oz Curaçao
1⁄4 oz Orgeat
1⁄4 oz Simple syrup
1 spg Mint (as garnish)
Instructions

Shake, pour into low-ball without straining, garnish

Notes

Some use more orgeat instead of simple syrup. Some use Clément Créole Shrubb instead of Curaçao. Smith & Cross is a nice choice for the Jamaican rum.

Cocktail summary
Picture of Mai Tai (Trader Vic's)
2007, Creative Commons, Duluoz Cats, Astoria, NY, Wikipedia
Posted by Dan on 6/06/2010
Created by
Trader Vic's, Oakland, CA, or Don the Beachcomber, Hollywood, CA. Disputed.
Year
1944
Is an
authentic recipe
Curator
Not yet rated
Average
4.5 stars
(51 ratings)
YieldsDrink
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From other users
  • No simple…orgeat is plenty sweet for me. Also tried w spritz of mezcal (similar to the Tia Mia profile) - great addition! — ★★★★★
  • classic — ★★★★★
  • 8/16/20: 1/2 oz S&C, 1/2 oz Appleton Sig Blend, 1/2 oz El Dorado 12, 1/4 oz Barbancourt 8, 1/4 oz La Favorite Blanc, 1 oz lime, 1/2 oz PF curacao, 3/4 oz Liber and Co orgeat. — ★★★★★
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat — ★★★★★
  • fresh lime juice makes all the difference here — ★★★★
  • Yup use orgeat, skip simple. Used S&C, Barbancourt 8 yr — ★★★★★
  • Spring Break — ★★★★★
  • Made with S&C and Rhum JM, and more orgeat than simple. Strong! — ★★★★
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Comments

Here's a vote for the RumDood method: 1 oz each light and dark rum, 3/4 lime, 1/2 oz each Clement Creole Shrubb and Orgeat, 1/4 oz simple, shake, strain over crushed ice, garnish with a spent lime shell and mint. I used Smith & Cross and St. James Hors d'Age.

I think the main problem with Tiki drinks is that they all serve as dump buckets for every crazy flavored syrup in the repertiore - falernum, orgeat, grenadine, curacao, Pimiento Dram... they all go in, and it ends up being a messy drink without discernable flavors.

Thanks,

Zachary


Grenadine? Falernum? Light rum? Dark rum float? No curacao?
I think the current accepted standard recipe is 2oz of rum (both dark or amber, and of different styles in order to make for a more dynamic flavor), 1oz of lime juice, 1/2oz orange curacao, 1/4oz orgeat, 1/4oz simple syrup. Garnished with half a spent lime and a mint sprig.
Personally I double the orgeat, skip the simple syrup, and add a dash of Angostura. But I wouldn't put that in the recipe.


Dan commented on 12/03/2011:

Bingo. You're absolutely right. The previous recipe was a train wreck. Updated to the 1972 Trader Vic's recipe, which is a close approximation to the original, given that the origin 17 year old J Wrap Jamaican rum is no longer available. Thanks for pointing this out.


Dan commented on 12/03/2011:

After fixing this recipe, I merged two nearly identical recipes into this one (previously known as Mai Tai 2 and Mai Tai - Original Version). I hope everyone approves!



Adam,

The original 1944 recipe called for the legendary and impossible to obtain J. Wray 17 year old rum, and was designed to highlight that ingredient. The 1972 version referenced here uses an ounce of two different rums to try and approximate the flavor of the J. Wray.

Thanks,

Zachary


Perhaps the drink was originally created to highlight the J. Wray 17, but the rest of the formula is the same. I would argue that it's the same drink as long as it uses the same ingredients -- two ounces of some kind of rum -- and the same basic ratio.
Regardless of your feeling on that, where did you come up with 1972? That seems way too recent. For reference, see page 162 of Jeff Berry's "Sippin' Safari," which lists the same recipe, "as served at Trader Vic's in Havana, Cuba, 1958." Which is not to say that the formula was invented that late. Vic Bergeron apparently exhausted the supply of J. Wray 17 within a couple of years after creating the drink, so this two-rum formula was probably created in the late '40s.


Adam,

The link is under the reference section of the cocktail - it's a Wikibooks page that cites the original, then the 1972 update (which removed the J. Wray, added St. James Amber, and unspecified the brands of Curacao, simple, and orgeat).

Thanks,

Zachary


Dapuma commented on 4/17/2012:

jamaican rum should be appleton v/x
rhum agricole should be Clement VSOP
other than that it is good to go - personally i prefer juice of half a lime, but if using key lime i would use 3/4 oz