Looking for the best Mai Tai mix? The tropical, refreshing drink has become a staple at tiki bars and beachside resorts around the world.
The drink typically includes rum, lime juice, orange liqueur, and orgeat syrup with a fresh mint spring and lime wedge or pineapple wedge garnish. However, there are both premade mixes and recipes you can use to craft the perfect drink.
Let’s go over the best mixes you can buy, a few great recipes, and what you need to know before making one of these delicious cocktails.
Best Premade Mai Tai Mixers
Mr. & Mrs. T Mai Tai Mix
Mr. & Mrs. T is a staple bar brand, so it is no surprise that their Mai Tai mix is a great go-to. It has a made-from-scratch taste with the perfect balance of almond and pineapple flavors. All you have to do is add rum and ice!
Collins Mai Tai Mix
Collins has been making beverage mixes in Chicago since 1934, so they have stood the test of time. Their Mai Tai mix is made with real orange juice and lime juice blended with real sugar, so you won’t find any high fructose corn syrup in this one like some others.
Monin HomeCrafted Mai Tai Mixer
Monin’s Mai Tai Mixer transports you straight to the beach and is good for the environment, too. They have green packaging, and they send waste syrup to feed the bees! It is made with real fruit juices and is GMO-free, gluten-free, Kosher, allergen-free, and dairy-free. Perfect for everyone!
BG Reynolds Classic Tropical Mai Tai
BG Reynolds makes their mixes right in Portland, Oregon, and they use all-natural ingredients for the best taste. Their mix has the quintessential tropical flavors of lime juice, orange juice, and a bit of nutty sweetness from their Orgeat syrup. You can even use this one over ice without the rum for a tasty mocktail.
The Cocktail Box Co. Mai Tai Cocktail Kit
The Cocktail Box Co. makes a unique alternative to other mixes. Their Mai Tai Kit comes with everything you need to make three Mai Tais except for your liquor of choice. It has Syrup, lime juice, and orange bitters in pre-measured single-serving packets, a muddler spoon, cocktail picks, and even a linen coaster. These are truly mixologist-quality kits and are perfect for those on the go! (Yes, you can take them on a plane!)
Baja Bob’s No Sugar Added Mai Tai Mix
Mai Tais are notoriously loaded with sugar, but Baja Bob’s is a no-sugar-added option that is great for those watching their sugar and carb intake. It only has three grams of carbs per serving, but they haven’t sacrificed flavor either. It has a quite tasty authentic taste that isn’t overwhelmed with a sugar substitute aftertaste since they only use Splenda.
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Mix
Trader Vic’s, founded by Victor Bergeron, is the creator of the original Mai Tai, so it’s no surprise their mix made our list. Though the reviews are pretty mixed on Trader Vic’s mix, it seems there is a secret to getting a great balanced taste that the brand loyalists are obsessed with.
You have to use dark rum or aged rum with this one. Though many mixes can be used with dark or light rum, this one appears to be formulated specifically for the flavor profile the dark rum adds to the classic cocktail recipe. Try it out!
Zero Sugar RSVP Skinnies Maui Mai Tai
Mai Tais can add up in sugar and calories, so if you are looking for a lighter option, the RSVP Skinnies Maui Mai Tai mixer is a good choice. It comes in powder form in packets making it easy to store. Simply mix with water and your choice of spirit. They have no calories, carbs, or fat and are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and Keto-friendly certified.
Mai Tai Mixers Recipes
If you would rather mix up the best Mai Tai recipe, you can find rather than buy a premade mix, grab your cocktail shaker and try one of these delicious recipes.
Bob Chinn’s Mai Tai Mix Recipe
Bob Chinn’s Crab House has a popular Mai Tai beverage on the menu. Josephen & Animash have recreated Bob Chinn’s original Mai Tai recipe. It has classic Mai Tai ingredients like dark rum, light rum, Amaretto, orange juice, pineapple juice, and grenadine, though they have perfected the ratios and which brands of spirits to use.
Classic Mai Tai Recipe
Some recipes are boozier than others, though the original recipe for a Mai Tai definitely sits on the boozy side. This classic from Crazy for Crust lives up to the tradition with light rum, gold rum, triple sec, Amaretto, and dark rum. The only ingredient that doesn’t contain alcohol is the fresh lime juice!
This is one strong drink that will transport you right to a tiki bar.
Hawaiian Mai Tai Recipe
Troprockin has developed a Mai Tai recipe that is the closest thing you’ll get to the ones you’ll find at the best tiki bars in Hawaii. It pays attention to the details with ingredients like orange curaçao, orgeat-almond syrup, vanilla simple syrup, and even just a touch of sugar cane juice. They use dark rum on top for the floater and gold rum for the base spirit, too.
There are even a few variations they suggest, like adding pineapple juice or passion fruit juice. Garnish this one with a mint sprig and a pineapple slice for an aromatic addition.
Mai Tai Tips & Buyer’s Guide
What is a Mai Tai?
A Mai Tai is a tropical drink typically featuring orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, different types of rums, fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup, or almond syrup.
The original recipe was created by Victor Bergeron in 1944 for the drink menu at his Polynesian-style chain called Trader Vic’s Restaurant. Since the classic version caught on so quickly, cocktail enthusiasts have created a ton of variations over the years.
In fact, it was rumored to be so popular throughout the late 40s and 50s that it depleted world rum supplies, and it appeared in the movie “Blue Hawaii” with Elvis Presley!
Rum Types to Use
Traditionally, Mai Tais are made with Jamaican Rum like J. Wray & Nephew Rum, which is what Trader Vic uses. However, there are a lot of options to consider.
You could go with a Martinique Rum, which is made from sugarcane juice and has more of an herbal flavor, or a simple white rum for the fruit notes to come through. An aged rum will be smooth with notes of caramel or vanilla, and dark rums add depth. Most places, like the World Famous Smuggler’s Cove and others, float dark rum on top and use other rums for the base of the drink.
You could even really switch it up with coconut rum or spiced rum.
No matter what you choose, a good quality rum will always take this simple drink to the next level.
If you are not making the Mai Tai mix yourself and are opting for a premade mix, it is important to consider any dietary restrictions. Monin’s mix is definitely the best for those with dietary restrictions, though others could work as well if you take a close look at the ingredients.
Keep in mind that a Mai Tai classically contains orgeat syrup which is made from almonds, so if you have a nut allergy, you may want to pick another cocktail in general just to be safe!
Premade Mixers vs. Recipes
There are benefits and disadvantages to using premade mixes versus homemade recipes.
Premade mixes offer convenience as all you have to do is shake together the mix and your choice of spirit. Homemade recipes offer the ability for more customization. You get to control the ingredients far more with a homemade Mai Tai recipe.
With both, you can still add extra additions and garnish according to your preferences.
We like to serve any Mai Tai recipe over crushed ice with a fresh mint sprig, lime wedge, and a maraschino cherry. Don’t forget the fun glass either to really make a happy hour feel like an event.
Who makes the best Mai Tai?
The tropical drink comes from Polynesian Culture, so tiki bars in Hawaii make the best Mai Tai recipes.
What is the Mai Tai mix made of?
Classically, the mix is made of orange curacao, lime juice, and orgeat, which is an almond syrup.
What kind of rum is best for Mai Tai?
Both white and dark rum can be used in a Mai Tai drink, though the best is often a combination of both to get a more complex flavor.
What alcohol goes in Mai Tai?
Rum is the primary alcohol that goes into a Mai Tai drink.
- Mai Tai mix is a convenient way to make this delicious tropical drink, and there are many to choose from, depending on your preferences.
- Many homemade recipes are based on famous restaurant or tiki bar recipes allowing you to make your favorites from home.
- There are many variations and ways to switch up this yummy cocktail.
- If you’re allergic to nuts, be mindful that the orgeat syrup used is almond flavored.