The Mai Tai – like countless other “tiki” drinks – was the brainchild of restauranteur Victor Bergeron, better known as “Trader Vic.” His original recipe called for a seventeen-year-old Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum that is all but extinct nowadays. To achieve a similar flavor, many recipes split the rum base between a dark rum (usually Jamaican) and an aged rum (usually Cuban or Martinique, but not an agricole).
That split-base flavor profile is what we aim for when making our own Mai Tais – but, as in all cocktail recipes, it’s a matter of taste (and availability, of course). Experiment with your own rum blends to find what works for you!
Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a bouquet of mint; slap it first to release the oils, and then poke it through an inverted lime shell, so it looks like a little tree on a deserted island.