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The Mai Tini


You must respect the Mai Tini. The naughtiness of the Mai Tai has been concentrated into a no no-nonsense, step up to the big boy’s bar, martini cocktail. It’s the classic, deconstructed, with the intensity dialed up to 10. Every flavor of is represented, but it’s more sophisticated, more elegant, and more potent.

You must respect the Mai Tini or suffer the consequences. – Kris

My wife and I love all things tiki. We love tiki bars, tiki mugs, Tiki Bar TV, and most of all, tiki drinks. I even grew up with and love the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. One night after making Mai Tai’s, we got to postulating about the essence of the Mai Tai, and what it would taste like if it was distilled down to its core and served upA couple of days prior I had picked up some Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki bitters (just because they’re tiki), but had no clue what to do with them. So we started experimenting, and thus was born the Mai Tini. It’s is a deconstructed Mai Tai that is served as a martini. Despite the similarities in ingredients, the Mai Tini is something else all together.

Tiki drinks are infamously potent. Drinks like the Mai Tai, the Suffering Bastard, the Jet Pilot and Zombie Punch (just to name a few) are fruity, delicious, and a one-way ticket to a really bad hangover if you have one too many. The Mai Tini is no different. I usually limit our guests to 2, but since this cocktail is so delicious and thoroughly bewitching, it’s been difficult to enforce this rule.

The Recipe

Muddle two mint leaves in the bottom of the shaker then add ice and the rums, curaçao, lime juice, Orgeat, and bitters. Shake vigorously and double-strain into a martini glass. Spank the third mint leaf between your hands and put it on top as a garnish.

Alternate Ingredients

The recipe above represents a vanilla-forward, rich cocktail. It took about a month of experimenting before we settled on the formulation, but you can alter the drink to your individual taste by changing some of the key ingredients. The easiest way to alter the profile is to change the spiced rum. Some good options are Sailor Jerry and Kraken. These provide less of a vanilla tone and in the case of Kraken, a darker, smoky profile. You can also get different results by replacing the Dry Curaçao with Combier or another high quality Triple Sec. I’ve found that changing out the Appleton for another gold rum does alter the flavor, but not to the same degree.  The Orgeat you choose can also have an impact, and the addition of more mint will make the drink more herbaceous.

The Recap

The Mai Tini is a concentrated Mai Tai served up, with strong notes of rum, vanilla, almond, orange and citrus. As with all tiki drinks, it’s very boozy, so you’ve been warned.

So leave your tiki mugs on the shelf, grab some chilled martini glasses and your grass skirt, and…



David isn't a professional mixologist, and he doesn't play one on TV. Instead, he enjoys making craft cocktails at home for friends and family.

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