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the ideal Mai Tai formula?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2004
Posts: 1368
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2005-03-28 10:30 am   Permalink

Thanks a ton Johnny.

I made a couple Kona Village Mai Tai's last night using:

1.5 oz Cruzan Estate Light for the light
1.5 oz Appleton Estate VX for the medium
1 oz Myer's for the dark.

Mixed that with:
.5 oz Orange Curacao
3 oz Sweet & Sour
4 oz Unsweetened Pineapple Juice

Pretty darn tasty. It was a little rich, so I was wondering if I was using too much dark rum.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 225
From: Tampa, FL
Posted: 2005-04-11 11:48 am   Permalink

I had some friends over last night for a bbq and drinks. Ended up making Mai Tai's and Blue Hawaiians. Here is the way I made the Mai Tai's:

- fill shaker 1/2 full of ice
1 oz orange cuacao
1/2 amaretto
2 second pour of Myer's
2 second pour of Cruzan Light rum (it was on sale yesterday, $17 for the big jug, 1.75L I think)
1/2 oz lime juice
2 oz pineapple juice
dash of bitters

They taste great and fill up a mug nicely!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 01, 2004
Posts: 2539
From: wisconsin northwoods
Posted: 2005-04-17 06:50 am   Permalink

this is the Northwoods Mai Tai...only
authentic in the sense that it will get
you authentically gassed...it is difficult
to find all the proper ingredients here
(I know we have the internet to order stuff)
so here goes...
1 1/2 oz light rum
1 1/2 dark rum (I use Appleton Estates)
1 oz creme de almond (replacing orgeat
syrup and curacao)
1/2 ounce triple sec
squeeze of fresh lime
couple ounces of lime aid (replacing rock
syrup or sweet/sour)
very refreshing!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 756
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2005-04-19 09:33 am   Permalink

My version of the Bali Hai Mai Tai. This is for the serious booze hounds:

1 oz. - Meyers Dark Rum
1 oz. - white rum (any, I use Bacardi Superior)
1/2 oz. - Orgeat syrup
1 oz. - Sweet n Sour

fill a mai tai glass with crushed ice, pour all ingredients directly into the glass. Pour glass contents into shaker or another bar mixing glass to gently mix contents (don't shake, just pour into the glass once). Then, pour back into mai tai glass, squeeze 1/4 lime wedge, garnish with scewered marachino cherry & pinapple chunk.

These will really get you hammered quick and they have a nice balance of flavors. And easy to measure and mix quickly!

My wife also likes to float a little Demerara rum on top for an extra zing!

[ This Message was edited by: Digitiki on 2005-04-19 09:36 ]

[ This Message was edited by: Digitiki on 2005-05-19 10:30 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 3006
From: San Diego, Ca.
Posted: 2005-05-13 1:51 pm   Permalink

I've seen taste testing of the Rums & Liquors used Mai Tai recipes, but what of the other parts of the drink?

I see several people noted the differences in taste between different limes, and that Dr. Z suggested fresh squeezing to extract some essensial oils from the peel, but I wanted to expand on some of the different limes & methods of squeezing.

On the different types of limes, I found a list from Professor & Horticulturalist Julian W. Sauls of Texas A & M:
Mexican lime is also known as key lime and West Indian lime. It originated in Asia, was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa by Arab traders and was brought to the Americas during the early sixteenth century by Spanish and Portugese explorers. It became naturalized in the West Indies, south Florida and some Caribbean countries.

The tree is somewhat small and bushy, with slender branches, having short spines (thorns). A thornless selection is somewhat more desirable but less productive. The fruit is small, rarely achieving 2 inches in size, round to oval in shape, and contains a moderate number of polyembryonic seeds. The rind is thin and yellow at full maturity, while the juice is faintly greenish yellow, highly acid and has the distinctive lime aroma.

Tahiti lime is also called Bearss lime and Persian lime. Although its exact origin is unknown, it appeared in a home planting is California about 1875 and is believed to have originated from seed of citrus fruit imported from Tahiti to San Francisco sometime after 1850. It is also believed to be of hybrid origin.

The tree is somewhat larger than Mexican lime, achieving heights of 20 feet under optimum conditions. The branches are variably thornless or armed with quarter-inch thorns--even on the same tree. The fruit is oval, about 2.75 inches long and up to 2.5 inches in diameter, but it will get even larger if left too long on the tree. It is characterized by the presence of a nipple on the blossom end of the fruit. The rind is thin, smooth and dark green at commercial maturity, becoming very light green to yellow at full maturity. The fruit is normally entirely seedless, although one or two seeds may occur when grown in close proximity to other citrus. The juice is greenish and acidic, having the distinctive lime aroma.

Giant key lime was released by ARS-USDA in 1994. It is a spontaneous autotetraploid Key lime seedling that was selected in 1973. The major difference in this lime is that its fruit are more than twice the size of common Mexican limes. Budwood is not available in Texas, so it is only reported as an item of interest for the future.

Rangpur lime is an acidic fruit that more closely resembles mandarins than limes. Its fruit are highly acid, very seedy, with a loose, thin rind. It is primarily used as a rootstock for other citrus and as an ornamental tree.

Palestine sweet lime is not a true lime. Its fruit are pale yellow, juicy and subacid in flavor. Its primary use is as a rootstock, although there is some production in the Mediterranean, in India and in Latin America.

Limequats such as 'Eustis', 'Lakeland' and 'Tavares' are hybrids between Mexican lime and kumquat. The fruit closely resembles Mexican lime and the trees are somewhat more cold hardy than limes--though not nearly so hardy as kumquats.

Mexican lime and the limequats are sufficiently small trees that they can be readily grown in large containers in areas where cold temperatures would preclude their being grown in the ground.

This doesn't mention Kaffir, also called Thai or Wild limes, or mention the difference between the original Key limes & the current, Mexican limes being grown in parts of the keys as Key limes. It also doesn't mention that the Kaffir & original Key limes were the only truely green limes, and that the rest are really more yellow unless picked before they're ripe. One of the reasons that you don't get much juice from a lime is that they're under-ripe when picked.

Is there a way to collect a number of these different limes & test the difference they make in Mai Tais? I'd assume that Trader Vic was using either original Key limes or green Mexican limes, since they're the most popular limes in the US, but Bearss limes are a definite possibility since they trace their lineage to San Francisco. There's also the Australian lime, but that isn't related to the true limes.

To get more of the juice of the lime from the fruit, roll the fruit between your hand & the counter ot bartop before slicing it. If you want to get some of the essential oils from the rind when squeezing the fruit you'll want to either squeeze the lime in your hand or use a clamping-type mechanical juicer. A reamer or press-down hand juicer will squeese the rind less & get less oils from the skin.

Next, Mint: when people say "Mint" they usually mean Spearmint, has anyone tried making a Mai Tai with Pineapple Mint, Grapefruit Mint or Apple Mint? All three of these are versions of Apple mint (the same Mint that they use for Apple Mint Jelly) and have less menthol in them but finer flavors. Most of the other mints are too strong, although if you're drinking your Mai Tai through a straw the stronger mint scent of a Peppermint or Japanese Peppermint might be preferable.

And Pineapples for garnish, or (if you like them that way) juice: Most of the Pineapples & Pineapple juice found in the US is from the Del Monte Gold, a variety of the Cayanne Pineapple, the sweetest of the pineapple breeds available in the US, but you might find the tarter Spanish Red in Florida and the Carribean. There's also a Mexican breed called Sugar Loaf that isn't usually found in the US due to it's lack of shipability, but it's supposed to be delicious. Some of the other, lesser grown breeds of Pineapple are Hilo, St. Michael, Natal Queen, and Pernambuco.

Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S

[ This Message was edited by: freddiefreelance on 2005-05-13 13:53 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2004
Posts: 491
From: San Diego
Posted: 2005-05-21 10:23 pm   Permalink

I experimented with a bunch of mai tai recipes, but my favorite came from an unexpected source.

My sister came back from a trip to Hawaii, and she gave me one of those tourist booklets with ads to restaurants, tourist traps (like Hilo Hatties), etc. One ad had a mai tai recipe, so I copied it down and tried it out.

With a few adjustments, it has become my standard mai tai recipe:

2 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix
1 oz. of Appleton Special [I sometimes use more than 1 oz. ]
1/2 oz. DeKuyper Orange Curacao
1/4 oz. Torani Orgeat Syrup
1/2 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1/2 oz. Bacardi 151 (as a float)

Add all except the 151 in a mixer filled with ice. Shake well, and pour. Float the 151 on top, and decorate with an umbrella pick, natch.

The wahine likes a tinge of coconut, hence the Malibu. If the drink is too sweet, then cut back the orgeat to 1/8 oz.

Happy drinking!


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Joined: Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 7
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2005-06-21 08:57 am   Permalink

Yeah, me too, stuck in a small Wisconsin town where ingredients are lacking. I improvised a Mai Tai recently that was as good as I remember it being in Honolulu over a decade ago.

I used a pint glass with half crushed ice.

2 shots Myers Dark
2 shots Bacardi Gold
1/2 shot Ogret Syrup (Torani)
juice from one whole lime
1 shot Triple Sec

Mixed it with a spoon.
I put the lime shell in but found that the glass was wtill not quite full so I added just a bit of pineapple juice and topped it with fresh pineapple slice.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 255
From: O.C., SoCal
Posted: 2006-01-25 2:43 pm   Permalink

Mai Tai recipe from the Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki as printed in the January 2006 issue of Sunset Magazine.

Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai

1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. Curacao
2 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
dash orgeat
dash simple syrup


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 54
From: North Jersey!
Posted: 2006-01-26 05:45 am   Permalink


No orange, pineapple, apricot, mango, what have you juice. You add juice other than the lime; you donít have a Mai Tai. Itís time for you to come up with a different name for the drink you have in your hand.

Mai Tai:

Like most well crafted cocktails, simplicity at itís finest
No Sweet & Sour mix. You have that with the Lime and Curacao & Orgeat. Matter of fact, NEVER use Sweet & Sour mix in any drink but oneÖ the name escapes me right now.

Well, at least thatís how I make a Mai Tai, Rich

"The only time I ever said no to a drink was when I misunderstood the question."

Will Sinclair

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Rum Balls
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 900
From: Da Big Island
Posted: 2006-01-26 07:11 am   Permalink

I had a Mai Tai many years ago at the Royal Hawaiian. Unfortunately, that was in my pre-Tiki life, and I didn't really appreciate it. Gotta get back there!

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Senor Pedro

Joined: Feb 02, 2006
Posts: 8
Posted: 2006-02-02 03:56 am   Permalink

"I think the key in a Mai Tai is to let the flavors of the rum come through. Which is why aged rums are better and the flavorings are used sparingly. You don't want orange or almond flavors to dominate the drink."

Im based in London, and we cant get the Variety of Rums that T.V called for in his original recipe.

A few people on this post have highlighted that even if the ingridients are'nt exactly the same, and the balance of the drink comes through, than we can still call the drink by its name.

Here at my bar, South London Pacific, we call it by its true name (even though its not the original ingridients), because there have been too many varients by adding juices and grenadine (????????)

Trader Vic Mai Tai

1 ounce Havana Club Anejo
1 ounce Captain Morgan
1/2 Cointreau
3/4 ounce fresh Lime Juice
1/4 ounce Orgeat
1/2 ounce Gomme

Shaken and served over crushed ice in 12oz Rocks glass

What do you all think???

Senor Pedro

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Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2006-02-02 07:42 am   Permalink

Welcome to TC, first off.

As for the drink, I'd drop the Captain and just go with two ounces of Havana Club. The rest sounds great- a little extra sweetener to compensate for the drier nature of Cointreau vs. Curacao.

I hope to get over there someday to have one from ya!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1230
From: 37? 47' N, 122? 26' W
Posted: 2006-02-03 12:39 pm   Permalink

On 2006-02-02 03:56, Senor Pedro wrote:

Here at my bar, South London Pacific, we call it by its true name (even though its not the original ingridients), because there have been too many varients by adding juices and grenadine

Trader Vic Mai Tai

What do you all think???

Senor Pedro

That's it, I'm going to London! Made the arrangements and I am set, see ya in March. Have to try one of these Mai-Tais. Ok, so the trip was planned weeks ago, but it makes for better copy. I must visit South London Pacific. How much one of these Mai-Tais go for? I'm dying on the ole conversion, the USD is weak, like my sister.


ps "drop the Captain", Wha I do this time....?

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Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3059
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2006-02-03 5:03 pm   Permalink

Speaking of the Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai....

From Trader Vic's Autobiography:

"After we came out with the Mai Tai, the Matson Steamship Line asked us to put together a list of good tropical drinks for their bars at the Royal Hawaiian, the Surf Rider, and the Moana, all in Hawaii. So I took Frank Puhlt, our head bartender, down to Oahu and we made a list of six drinks and illustrated them with hawaiian menehunes, the little people of Hawaii. Inside of three months the Mai Tai was the most popular drink in the Royal Hawaiian and everybody else in Hawaii was making Mai Tais with all sorts of crazy formulas."

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 4027
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2006-02-03 7:37 pm   Permalink

Well I stayed at the Royal Hawaiian last year in February and their Mai Tai was fabulous, just the best. The Mai Tai Bar was the best also. Can't wait to go back.

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