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Unlock the best... way to make a Mai Tai cocktail

Rumour has it that the Mai Tai cocktail became so popular that it depleted the world’s rum supply in the 1940s and 1950s.

It’s history is a little murky, but apparently the drink was actually invented in California by Victor J. Bergeron back in 1944. It was almost a decade later that the iconic cocktail of the tiki movement actually made it to Hawaii when Bergeron was hired to oversee the cocktail menus at two hotels on the islands. It was here in Hawaii that pineapple and orange juice was added to the Mai Tai to further sweeten the drink for tourists in Waikiki.

To get our hands on one of the best modern-day Mai Tai cocktail recipes, we asked Erik from the Aston Hotel in Waikiki to show us how to make one of the hotel’s signature drinks. This one is called the Surf Mai Tai, so give it a go or request it next time you’re at Tiki’s Bar in Hawaii.

Watch the video and read on to discover how to shake up Erik’s Surf Mai Tai (or better yet, join our Hawaii Explorer, Best of Hawaii or Hawaiian Discovery tours and have the Tiki team do the hard work!).

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Unlock the best…. Mai Tai cocktail recipe


60ml (2oz) Pineapple juice
60ml (2oz) Passionfruit juice
15ml (½ oz) Orange juice
15ml (½ oz) Simple syrup
15ml (½ oz) Orgeat syrup
30ml (1 oz) White rum
30ml (1 oz) Dark rum
Cocktail shaker
Tall glass
Garnish: lime and pineapple slices
Cocktail umbrella or toothpick


First, take the glass half of your cocktail shaker and add fruit juice. This Mai Tai cocktail recipe takes equal amounts of pineapple and passionfruit juice, plus a dash of orange juice.

Next Erik adds two sweeteners. The first is simple syrup, a classic mix of half sugar, half water commonly found at bars. The second is orgeat syrup, a special almond syrup. 

Before shaking he adds a light, white rum and lots of ice. Close up the shaker and shake, shake, shake.

Pour the frothy contents into your final glass. Finish by floating the dark rum and top the drink with a cute tiki umbrella or toothpick with pineapple and lime.

And that is how to make a Mai Tai cocktail, the Hawaiian way.

GET INSPIRED BY: Hawaiian Discovery

RELATED BLOG: The best Hawaiian dishes and culinary experiences to try in Pacific Island paradise

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