In our book, the Mai Tai is not just a terrific Tiki drink, but also one of the great classic cocktails of all time. Sure, it's more seasonal than, say, a Martini or a Manhattan—you’d feel odd whipping up a Mai Tai in the deep freeze of February—but in terms of balance, flavor, and complexity, it can go toe-to-toe with those classics, as far as we’re concerned.
Some keys to getting it right: Pick rums that will contrast each other well (we go with Jamaican rum Smith & Cross paired with Rhum JM Blanc from Martinique—both easy to find and packed with complex flavors); use a quality orgeat (or make your own); and don’t forget the mint garnish! It adds excellent aroma to each sip.
Here’s the complete recipe:
- 1 oz Jamaican rum
- 1 oz rhum agricole
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- .5 oz orange curaçao
- .5 oz orgeat
- Mint sprig, for garnish
- Lime wedge, for garnish
- Add both kinds of rum, lime juice, curaçao, and orgeat to a shaker tin filled with ice.
- Shake to combine and chill.
- Strain over crushed ice in a Rocks glass.
- Garnish with a large mint sprig and a lime wedge.