Thank Goodness It’s Tai-Day

The sun is beaming, in all of summer’s glory. A coastal breeze blows, as I feel the warm sand beneath my feet, and a cold drink in my hand. Isn’t Hawaii absolutely amazing?

Well, I’m sure it is. Unfortunately, I’m not on the Big Island (insert sad mainland face), but I DO have legitimate island envy. In the spirit of Friday, the hot weather—and being overdue for a drink recipe—there’s no better time than the present! What epitomizes the tropics better than a Mai Tai? There’s something about this rum & citrus libation that has me wanting some R&R, not to mention it’s delicious. In fact, wait . . . here’s a little Jimmy Buffett inspiration to get us in the mood—It’s 5:00 Somewhere.

There are as many variations of this tiki-themed drink, as days of summer. Well, which recipe is the best? That, my sun-worshiping friends is up to you! Since this post is up to me, I created a version that might not be the original, but still incorporates many Mai Tai elements I love—rum, and some other rum.

This was easy to make with just a shaker & fresh fruit juices. Time to fill our tiki glasses, shall we? 

5 from 1 reviews
the dinnvervine Mai Tai
Cool off this summer with our take on a classic tropical drink, the Mai Tai!
Serves: one 5.5 oz cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 1 oz light rum (I use Bacardi)
  • 1 oz med dark, spiced rum (I use Captain Morgan)
  • ½ oz darker rum, as floater (I use a dark variety by Captain Morgan called “Tattoo”)
  • 1 oz juice of an orange (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 oz juice of pineapple, (freshly juiced, or from a can)
  • ½ oz fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz Cointreau
  • ¼ oz Amaretto liqueur (I used in place of orgeat syrup)
  • *small splash of grenadine, for color, optional
  • *pineapple chunk for garnish, optional
  • *umbrella for garnish, optional
  • *sprig of fresh mint for garnish, optional
What to do:
  1. Squeeze/juice fruits as needed.
  2. Fill an old fashioned glass (chilled glass optional), fill ~1/2 way with crushed or shaved ice.
  3. In a cocktail shaker with ice cubes, combine all main ingredients, EXCEPT the darker rum for floater & grenadine (if using).
  4. Shake well for ~ 1 min, use strainer & pour directly into old fashioned glass with crushed ice.
  5. Pour ½ oz darker rum floater on top, and splash of grenadine (if desired), don’t stir.
  6. Add a cocktail umbrella with pineapple chunks, or a skewer & a sprig of fresh mint.
  7. Imbibe.
I prefer freshly squeezed orange, lime & pineapple, versus pre-made or concentrate juices, but you can use pre-made also. For the rum floater, I tried a newer variety of dark rum called “Tattoo” by Captain Morgan. It is a dark variety with a slight hint of orange & cherry, though it wasn’t sweet or too noticeable, but worked well with the citrus in this. Also, you can use Tripe Sec in lieu of the Cointreau, if you don’t have any. Double recipe as needed.

Many folks debate the origin of this polynesian pour, but its roots have been widely accepted to be from California . . . I had no idea? There are two rumored pioneers, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber—both restauranteurs in the Golden Sate. I wasn’t around in the 1940’s to compare them, but these guys were doing something right. Mai Tai’s have evolved into a timeless cocktail, loved by vacationers everywhere! I’ve tried many variations, some with pineapple juice, some grapefruit, and you know what? I’ve never met one I didn’t fancy. I don’t like mine too sweet, but I do prefer a splash of fresh pineapple juice, freshly squeezed orange, lime, and a few types of rum. Many varieties call for simple syrup and/or orgeat syrup, which is almond based. I don’t keep orgeat around, so I decided to substitute with a splash of Amaretto, which gave us a little of the smooth almond flavor. I skipped the simple syrup altogether, since the fruit was just enough. As for the rum, I used a light variety, and a dark spiced variety (since I had on hand). I topped off our creation with a traditional dark rum floater, which no Mai Tai should go without! The little umbrella . . . well, that’s optional, but it never hurts to be festive.

I thoroughly enjoyed sipping this to welcome the weekend. Sometimes you just need a moment of vacation . . . maybe next time, Hawaii.

 Hali pau to you!

mai tai - 17

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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