Mai Tai Recipe

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The Mai Tai cocktail is one of the most popular drinks in America. This Tiki culture based beverage highlights sweet flavors. Check out our Mai Tai recipe below for the best combo featuring ingredients like Orgeat syrup, lime juice, and more. Enjoy your Mai Tai in a highball glass for the best experience.

What Is In Orgeat Syrup Made?

Orgeat is a syrup made from almonds, flowers and nuts, and orange blossom water. It’s sweetened, often in the form of honey, and it’s often used as a substitute for almond syrup in desserts, non-dairy milkshakes, and mocktails. You can use an orgeat syrup in your next (or anytime, really) sweet dessert, either as is or in place of more typical almond syrup.

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What Can I Use Instead Of Orgeat Syrup?

Here are a few of our favorite almond-based liqueurs that are like Orgeat syrup. But you can use another sweetened almond liqueur, like an almond cedar whisky, for a similar taste without having to spend $20 on a bottle of orgeat syrup.

1. Bourbon-Based

This classic American bourbon is studded with almonds and cream.

2. Brandy

This floral flavored sherry-like brandy is made from a unique mixture of almonds, sugar, and other ingredients.

3. Champagne

Try adding a tiny bit of champagne into your sweet treat.

4. Sherry-Like

A sherry-like liqueur can be used in place of orgeat syrup. Still, for a less nutty flavor, we recommend using dried apricots or a combination of dried apricots and cherry brandy.

3. Cognac

This brandy-like liqueur is well-loved because of its intense character and richness.

What Type Of Rum Is Used In A Mai Tai?

A good rum will have caramel, vanilla, coconut, and chocolate notes, plus a touch of spice. While this classic cocktail recipe is widely enjoyed worldwide, it’s most closely associated with the liquor of Jamaica and (to a lesser extent) Puerto Rico.

Most Mai Tai drinks use a combination of different rums. White rums, aged rums, and dark rums are used in mixtures to create a great tasting drink. Try your own mix and see how others like it!

However, Tiki bars in the US have been serving up the Mai Tai for more than 40 years. They insist that the recipe originated in San Francisco. The drink’s modern incarnation bears little resemblance to the original.

What Is The Best Orgeat Syrup?

My favorite Orgeat syrup is Torani Almond. Others love Monin Almond Orgeat and Liber & Co. Many recipes call for the addition of a simple syrup of orange and lemon zest, orange blossom water, and sugar. However, the most common source of a basic orgeat syrup is simple syrup, consisting of equal parts of sugar and water.

Mai Tai Cocktail History

The Mai Tai is a classic cocktail based on rum, tiki mixers like lime orgeat, and orange flower water. The drink started to appear in 1920s drinks and restaurants, often listed as “Tiki” cocktails. While the real history of the drink is a bit of mystery, it’s known that founder Orry-Kelly (who called himself “Maitai”) made the cocktail in New York City. He then started Don the Beachcomber, a popular tiki restaurant, in 1933.

How To Make Orgeat Syrup

Mix all the ingredients in a large container and shake vigorously. Place in a dark glass bottle with a tight lid, and refrigerate for up to two weeks. It’s best to use when mixed right away, but this syrup can be kept for up to two months. The best (and only) source for the absolute best almonds is the region around orgeat. Many orgeat makers (as well as other almond-based syrups like almond milk) come from orchards in Normandy. Almond Milk and Orgeat are both made from almonds, orgeat is made from individual nuts, and almond milk is made from pressed almond pulp.

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Mai Tai Recipe

Mai Tai is a party favorite that's popular everywhere you go. It's not overly fruity and features a good blend of sweet and sour. Garnish with strawberries and lime for a great look!
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alcohol
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 240kcal


  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp amaretto
  • 1 lime slice garnish


  • Fill cocktail shaker with ice, place some ice in glass, set aside.
  • In the shaker, add in Triple Sec, amaretto, lemon juice and lime juice. Shake covered cocktail for 20 seconds. Strain into glass, garnish.
  • Serve.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Sodium: 6mg | Sugar: 13g
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