Home ยป Cocktail

Mai Tai Cocktail | Merry Merry

If you’ve never made a mai tai cocktail at home, you’ll be delighted to learn how easy it is and how delicious it is to drink. It is fruity and boozy enough that you’ll be glad you don’t have to leave the house to drink it.

The glass with the big bottom in front filled with the cocktail and the double old fashioned glass in the background

Why merry, merry?

The Christmas after my grandparents died, instead of making the seven fishes on Christmas eve, my parents ordered takeout Chinese food. That became a tradition.

Once my siblings and I got older, we continued the tradition, but we added a twist: we would go to the restaurant to wait for our food, and as we waited, we drank mai tais.

So, the mai tai drink equaled Christmas in my family.

Apparently, they meant Christmas to other people as well because every time we went to the Chinese restaurant, the bar was always packed. Great minds think alike.

After having one or two at the restaurant, I started making this mai tai recipe at home so we could enjoy them during and after meal.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you click the link and buy something. You can read my disclosure here.

Helpful tips

  • Be aware this cocktail is mostly booze so it is “potent,” as my grandmother liked to say.
  • You don’t need to use your best rum in this cocktail since there is fruit juice in it and you won’t notice a premium rum.
  • I prefer a premium orange liqueur like Cointreau but you can also use triple sec or orange curacao.
  • When I make these for my family, I make them in bulk as there are usually between 14 – 20 people to imbibe this tasty cocktail. In that case, I’ll use triple sec to economize.
  • This recipe is for two mai tais, but in the notes section, I tell you how to modify the recipe to make a pitcher.
  • Make your own simple syrup as it is so easy – Boil equal amounts of water and sugar – Add one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for five minutes. Let it cool before using it in a cocktail.
  • Mai tais are usually served with crushed ice, but I prefer ice cubes. Use what you prefer.
  • For garnish you can either just add a lime wedge, maraschino cherry or if you want to get fancy like me, cut a thin wheel from an orange, fold it in half and spear the orange slice and a cherry on a martini pick.
  • Amaretto is an almond flavored liqueur. Orgeat syrup is a non-alcoholic almond syrup and is usually in the mai tai that you get in restaurants, but it’s not as easy to obtain from a store. So, I have replaced the orgeat flavor with an easier to find liqueur, hence the Amaretto. And truthfully, I enjoy it just as much as if I used the syrup.
  • Using Amaretto will increase the alcohol content. (See the first point in the helpful tips.)

Mai tai ingredients and substitutions

  • Rum – I use gold rum but you can use a combination of light rum (white) and gold rum.
  • Cointreau – orange liqueur, you can substitute triple sec instead.
  • Amaretto – as mentioned in the helpful tips above, you can use an almond syrup like orgeat syrup.
  • Simple syrup
  • Lime juice
  • Orange juice – you can add a splash of pineapple juice, though I prefer it without.
  • Grenadine – a sweetened pomegranate based syrup.

How to make a mai tai cocktail

Pre-step

Get a cocktail shaker, measuring glass and two double old fashioned glasses.

Fill the shaker halfway with ice and once you measure out the ingredients, pour them into the shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – gold rum, amaretto, orange liqueur, orange juice, simple syrup and lime.

Rum, amaretto, cointreau, lime, grenadine and simple syrup on a wood table

Step two

Measure 4 ounces of gold rum.

Rum measured out with the rum in the background

Step three

Measure 2 ounces of orange liqueur. (A)

Step four

Measure 1 ounce of amaretto. (B)

Orange liqueur and amaretto measured out with the bottles in the background

Step five

Measure 1 ounce simple syrup. (C)

Step six

Measure 1 ounce fresh lime juice. (D)

Simple syrup and lime poured out with the bottle and fruit in the background

Step seven

Measure 4 ounces of orange juice. (E)

Step eight

Measure 1/2 ounce of grenadine. (F)

Orange juice and grenadine measured out with the bottles in the background

Step nine

Cap the shaker and shake for at least 15 seconds.

Add fresh ice cubes to the glasses and divide and strain the contents of the shaker between the two glasses (including the ice.)

Add the garnish.

So pretty!

Two mai tais with slices of orange and cherries for garnish

And the vertical view.

Vertical view of the mai tai with an orange and cherry in as garnish

I hope you enjoyed this mai tai cocktail recipe.

Other fruity cocktails

And as always, may all your dishes/drinkies be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A double old fashioned glass filled with the mai tai with a cherry and orange slice on a pick

Mai Tai Cocktail

A potent but delicious fruity cocktail that can be enjoyeds any time of the year! It's refreshing and great to serve at parties.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: fruit cocktail, mai tai, mai tai cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 348kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce dark rum
  • 2 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
  • 1 ounce amaretto
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • .50 ounce Grenadine syrup

Garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a shaker halfway with ice
  • Add all the ingredients above, one after the other
    4 ounce dark rum, 2 ounce Cointreau, 1 ounce amaretto, 1 ounce simple syrup, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 4 ounces orange juice, .50 ounce Grenadine syrup
  • Cover shaker and shake for 15 seconds
  • Add fresh ice to the glasses and divide the contents of shaker between them. Add garnish
    2 orange wheels, 2 maraschino cherries
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
See all my favorite tools and gift ideas at my Amazon Store page!Check out Elaine’s Amazon Store!

Notes

You can adjust recipe to serve as many people you want.  To make a pitcher:  Serves many!
  • 3 cups gold rum
  • 1.5 cup Cointreau
  • 1 cup Amaretto
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 8 – 10 limes juiced
  • 1/2 gallon orange juice
Helpful tips
  • Be aware this cocktail is mostly booze so it is “potent,” as my grandmother liked to say.
  • I prefer a premium orange liqueur like Cointreau but you can also use triple sec or orange curacao.
  • When I make these for my family, I make them in bulk as there are usually between 14 – 20 people to imbibe this tasty cocktail. In that case, I’ll use triple sec to economize.
  • This recipe is for two mai tais, but in the notes section, I tell you how to modify the recipe to make a pitcher.
  • Make your own simple syrup as it is so easy – Boil equal amounts of water and sugar – Add one cup of water and one cup of sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature and simmer for five minutes. Let it cool before using it in a cocktail.
  • Mai tais are usually served with crushed ice, but I prefer ice cubes. Use what you prefer.
  • For garnish you can either just add a lime wedge, maraschino cherry or if you want to get fancy like me, cut a thin wheel from an orange, fold it in half and spear the orange slice and a cherry on a martini pick.
  • Amaretto is an almond flavored liqueur. Orgeat syrup is a non-alcoholic almond syrup and is usually in the mai tai that you get in restaurants, but it’s not as easy to obtain from a store. So, I have replaced the orgeat flavor with an easier to find liqueur, hence the Amaretto. And truthfully, I enjoy it just as much as if I used the syrup.
  • Using Amaretto will increase the alcohol content. (See the first point in the helpful tips.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 113mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 32.6mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Get new recipes in your inbox!Click here! to sign up for our newsletter

Originally posted December of 2016 and updated in 2018 and again in August of 2020.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. Your Christmas Eve sounds perfect!! Cocktails and Chinese food is my idea of heaven! Loving the look of this gorgeous, colourful cocktail too!

  2. Mmmm! I love all of the fancy cocktails served at Chinese restaurants! So fun! This Mai Tai looks so yummy! And the photos are gorgeous as usual!!

  3. I just adore mai tais! I can’t wait to try making them at home. What a festive addition to a winter celebration!

  4. Delicious! Honestly, I like cocktails far too much for my own good but, you have to keep with traditions on Christmas Eve! ???? Perhaps I need to start one…. ????

  5. Yum! This is amazing and just what I needed after this Monday! Thank you and glad I actually had this all on hand.

  6. This is SO good! Who needs to go to a bar when you can make such a delicious cocktail at home? Thanks for the recipe!