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Mai Tai Recipes-Coconut Rum and Trader Vics

Two delicious Mai Tai Recipes with very different ingredients and flavors. We give you both the original Trader Vic’s Recipe and the Island version as we call it. This is the fruity sweet Alcoholic drink recipe with Malibu rum and Captain morgans.

The Mai Tai cocktail was created by Victor J Bergeron, he is credited with introducing the drink to the Hawaiian Islands in 1953. The Mai Tai was then served at the Royal Hawaiian hotel and quickly become a famed cocktail in Hawaii.

The Trader Vics Mai Tai recipe features a dark Jamaican rum that gives the drink a richer taste. This version of the Mai Tai is popular among die hard cocktail fans.

Two Delicious Mai Tai Recipes With Very Different Ingredients And Flavors. Trader Vic's Recipe And The Fruity Sweet Alcoholic Drink Recipe With Malibu Rum And Captain Morgans.

Today there are many different versions of the Mai Tai cocktail. The original Trader Vics, The Beachcomber Mai Tai, and various tiki style drinks.

In this post we will go over the original Trader Vics version and a Tiki Version that I like to drink in the summertime.

What Does the Trader Vics Mai Tai taste like?

The Trader Vics Mai Tai has a rich rum flavor with a hint of citrus. This Mai Tai drink also has a rich sweet taste that counterbalances the dark rum. The rum that is used in this version is dark rum. Dark rum is typically made with molasses and is a very dark and rich tasting alcohol. This version of the Mai Tai appeals to those who love traditional rum cocktails.

What Does the Tiki Mai Tai taste like?

The Tiki Mai Tai has a lighter rum taste with notes of coconut, orange, pineapple, and sweet grenadine. This is an easy cocktail to drink. It is very smooth and is a fruity version of the Mai Tai. Cruise lines and other popular resorts like to serve this version to guests. This Mai Tai is great for a pool day or an island tiki themed party.

What Does Mai Tai Mean in Tahitian?

Mai Tai comes from the Tahitian word “Maita’i” this word translated to English means “good.” Victor J Bergeron named this cocktail the Mai Tai after he served it to guests in his Californian home. The guests he was serving were from Tahiti, they were delighted with the cocktail. One of his guests said “mai tai-roa aé” upon tasting the cocktail. This translated to English means “out of this world, the best!.”

This is also where the misconception comes from that the Mai Tai is a Tahitian drink and comes from Tahiti. The name was inspired by two Tahitian individuals. But the cocktail was actually created in California in 1944.

Find all of our rum cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Section

Island Tiki Mai Tai Recipe-Coconut Rum Drink:

Mai Tai In The Fruity Mixed Drink Form. Garnished With A Pineapple Wedge. Half Orange Slice And Maraschino Cherry
The fruity mixed drink version of the Mai Tai cocktail Is sweet and delicious.

This beautiful tiki drink tastes sweet and fruity with a hint of rum to warm up your taste buds. A much lighter rum flavor and much more fruity drink than the classic Mai Tai. If you love pineapple rum drinks with coconut rum go for this version.

Cruise ships and resort bars often serve some version of this fruity recipe. Sweet drink lovers adore this recipe.

Mai Tai Recipe
Malibu Coconut rum and Captain Morgan’s spiced rum team up to create a flavorful tiki drink with pineapple and orange juice. So yum!

If you order a Mai Tai you’ll most often get this sweeter Island Tiki Version. For all fruity mixed drinks connoisseurs this is the ONLY Mai Tai.

We placed the proportions for the single serving for this drink recipe in the printable recipe Card ingredients list.

The Method:

This drink comes together easily in a cocktail shaker. For best taste results, use a fresh squeezed orange to make the orange juice.

Simply place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. (about 30 seconds to 1 minute.)

Fill a cup up with the Mai Tai drink, garnish with orange slices, pineapple slices, and a maraschino cherry. Serve with ice to keep it chilled.

Island Mai Tai Ingredients and volumes for a Pitcher:

Ingredients For The Island Mai Tai
Ingredients and garnishes for the Island Mai Tai.

For a Pineapple Rum Punch:

This recipe is very easy to turn into a punch for a crowd. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of serving your punch bowl or pitcher will hold. OR use the number of servings you wish to make.

FOR EXAMPLE: If you wish to make 10 servings of this cocktail in a 3 quart pitcher here is the math breakdown for you.

  • Captain Morgan rum-spiced 15 oz.
  • Malibu Coconut Rum-15 oz.
  • Orange Juice-20 oz.
  • Pineapple Juice-30 oz
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons of grenadine
Fruity Mai Tai

Your Printable Recipe Card: Island Mai Tai:

Mai Tai In The Fruity Mixed Drink Form. Garnished With A Pineapple Wedge. Half Orange Slice And Maraschino Cherry
Yield: 1 Mai Tai

Mai Tai Cocktail with Malibu Rum

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A Fruity alcoholic mixed drink with coconut rum, spiced rum and pineapple. This tiki drink is sweet and delicious!


  • 1 1/2 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced rum
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1 Tsp. grenadine


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in all of the Mai Tai ingredients
  3. Shake the shaker until very cold.
  4. Pour into ice filled glass.
  5. Drizzle the grenadine on top of the poured drink and let it flow to the bottom to create the look you see pictured.
  6. Garnish as desired.


Garnish suggestions:

  • pineapple wedge
  • half slice of orange
  • Peppermint leaves

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 251Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 4mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 0gSugar 22gProtein 1g

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For our rum mixed drink lovers with a strong attraction to dark rum drinks the Trader Vic’s original recipe might suit you very well.

Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Recipe:

Classic Mai Tai 1 1
This classic Mai Tai was popularized by Trader Vic’s tiki bar in Los Angeles.

It’s a beautiful drink best made with dark Jamaican rum aged in oak casks. This is a Tiki cocktail classic. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

Trader Vic’s Original Mai Tai Origins:

Victor J. Bergeron created the original Mai Tai, according to WikiPedia. Donn Beach, also known as Don the Beachcomber also claims recognition for this rum drink. Victor made the Mai Tai for his Trader Vic’s Restaurant in Los Angeles way back in 1944 and won the title for the originator.

This original Mai Tai recipe is a strongly flavored rum drink. Now a days the Fruity alcoholic drink version is what we see on cruise ships today.

You may have to request the Trader Vic’s mai Tai at a bar or restaurant. Nowadays Mai Tais often taste more sweet with coconut and pineapple flavor than this original Mai Tai with dark and aged rums.

Trader Joe Recipe Ingredients:

  • Jamaican Rum (we chose meyers rum)
  • Aged Rum
  • Simple syrup
  • Orgeat (an Almond syrup)
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime juice

It’s a very good rum drink but packs quite the punch!

Classic Mai Tai With Meyers Dark Rum
Yield: 1 Mai Tai

Trader Vic's Mai Tai Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A rum cocktail with lime and orange. This classic Mai Tai blends aged and dark Jamaican rum with lime and oranges.


mai tai ingredients:

  • 1/2 orange-squeezed
  • 1/2 lime-squeezed
  • 1 1/2 oz. Jamaican dark rum (Meyers rum)
  • 1 oz. aged rum (cruzan aged rum)
  • 1/2 oz. orange curacao
  • 1/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. Orgeat


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice
  2. Add in all the Mai Tai ingredients.
  3. Put the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds of so until the shaker is very cold.
  4. fill a tom collins glass with ice.
  5. Pour the cocktail through the shaker strainer into the tom collins glass.


Garnish suggestions:

lime shell

orange curl

lime wheel

mint leaves

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size

8 oz.

Amount Per Serving Calories 224Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 3gSugar 11gProtein 1g

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Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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The Trader Vics Mai Tai recipe features a dark Jamaican rum that gives the drink a richer taste. This version of the Mai Tai is popular among die hard cocktail fans.


Sunday 20th of September 2020

You forgot the grenadine in the list but not the pictures


Sunday 20th of September 2020

Hi Teddy, Thank you so much for pointing this out. I have updated the printable recipe card with the grenadine and it's instructions for use. I hope you enjoy it. have a great day!

Kate spencer

Sunday 26th of July 2020

We Like the Mai Tai's that you may get at a Chinese Restaurant. They are Brown. I've been told they have a shot of coke Syrup. Do you have That recipe??

Kayti Lavergne

Sunday 26th of July 2020

Hi Kate! I've never had a Mai Tai at a Chinese restaurant before so it's difficult to say. I did some research on some different recipes and if I was going to do the coke syrup, then I would replace the simple syrup and the orgeat with 1 oz of coke syrup. Let me know if you try it!

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