Recipe: Hawaiian Mai Tai


We had many different versions of Mai Tais over the past week in Maui, so that piqued my curiosity about the origin of the drink. There is much mystery about how this famous tropical drink came about, but many stories start actually at a bar in Oakland called Trader Vic’s in 1944. Much lore surrounds how the drink actually got to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu nine years later, but today this is the most famous tropical drink on Maui by far. This is my version of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel recipe, which has more fresh juice than the Trader Vic’s drink—fruity, not too sweet and with a bit of a punch.

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Servings: 2
Time: 5 minutes active and total

2 ounces light rum (1/4 cup)
1 ounces dark rum (2 tablespoons)
1 ounce orange curacao (2 tablespoons), (do not substitute triple sec, it is 30 proof and orange curacao is 80 proof)
1 orange, juiced (about 1/4 cup)
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 ounces pineapple juice
dash orgeat (an almond syrup, you might be able to substitute amaretto)
dash simple syrup (heat 1 part sugar to 2 parts water until sugar is dissolved)
Wedges of fresh pineapple, to garnish

1. Pour all the ingredients into a tall glass, cover and shake to combine. Fill two glasses with ice and divide the liquid among them. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple. Enjoy!

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog,, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun, and above all, tasty, lifestyle.