Happy National Mai Tai Day

Last year, there was some hoopla about National Mai Tai Day, but this year there seems to be a lot less enthusiasm about marking the day with this quintessential Polynesian cocktail.

The Mai-Tai

While there are a ton of recipes for making a Mai Tai, I adapted the version from my dusty copy of Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s and Party Guide.


  • 2 ounces of rum
  • 1 ounce of triple sec
  • ½ ounce of grenadine
  • ½ ounce of lime juice
  • ½ ounce of orgeat syrup

Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a highball glass filled with crushed ice.

I had to make a few substitutions. As I learned to make my own grenadine earlier this year, I was in the process of reducing the cherry juice into a syrup but having left it unattended for too long, it literally caught on fire. Instead of buying more cherry and pomegranate juices, I bought some fancy grenadine from my local gourmet grocer.

Orgeat syrup can be very hard to find, even in a city like New York. I learned that a couple of stores in Manhattan have this precious nectar, but I was not in the mood to schlep to the city to get a $8 bottle of syrup. Instead, Sarah found that one can approximate orgeat syrup by mixing one part almond extract, which one can find in just about any grocery store, and eight parts simple syrup. I gave it a try, and it comes close to mellowing out the harsh rum flavor.

Cheers, everyone!

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