Mai Tai

LAST UPDATED: Feb 14, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Nov 02, 2016 | By: Julie Blanner

How to make a Mai Tai and what’s in a Mai Tai – a traditional cocktail recipe with a twist for the holidays.

mai tai

Last week I was in Napa and San Francisco with a group of designers and bloggers. We spent the week indulging in some of the most incredible cocktails and eats at inspiring restaurants and wineries. One of my favorite stops was a darling restaurant, Leo’s Oyster Bar designed by Ken Fulk. Not only was it pretty in pinks, greens and golds, but they served a warm and fuzzy Mai Tai in a kitchy glass.

I decided to recreate Leo’s cocktail to warm you up as winter approaches.

mai tai in a pitcher

First, let’s take a peek at Leo’s, shall we? While there, I snapped a few iPhone photos.

Leo's Oyster Bar

Leo's Oyster Bar

Ken Fulk Leo's Oyster bar

Isn’t that light fixture gorgeous? Now back to the must have cocktail recipe…

What’s in a Mai Tai?

A traditional Mai Tai is made with rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice, but through the years there have been a lot of variations. I make mine (dubbed a Merry Mai Tai for the holidays) with pineapple juice, orange join, dark rum, and amaretto for the Best Mai Tai Recipe.

This Mai Tai is still a touch fruity, but more balanced than most thanks to the addition of amaretto, my first love.

Amaretto is so smooth, that it’s always a crowd pleaser, especially among light drinkers. My mom rarely drank, but when she did, she enjoyed an amaretto sour and when I came of drinking age, I did too. If you’re going to offer just one cocktail for a holiday get together, this is it – this (Merry) Mai Tai will put everyone in the holiday spirit!

mai tai with garnish

This Mai Tai is one of my favorite holiday drinks along with Spiked Apple Cider and an Apple Cinnamon Old Fashioned.

whats in a mai tai

I know it’s a little early to think about the holidays, but I assure you, you’ll enjoy this recipe all fall and winter long, especially at holiday get togethers.

More Easy Cocktail Recipes:

If you love this Mai Tai as much as I do, please write a five star review and help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!


We wish you a Merry Mai Tai - a crowd pleasing Christmas cocktail that will warm you up this winter {made in just 3 minutes}

Easy Mai Tai Recipe:

Zephyr hood designed by Fu Tung Cheng

Merry Mai Tai Christmas Cocktail

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Servings (hover to scale): 6


  • 12 oz pineapple juice
  • 12 oz orange juice
  • 6 oz flor de cana/dark rum
  • 6 oz amaretto
  • crushed ice


  • In a pitcher, whisk together juices, rum and amaretto.
  • Pour over glasses filled with crushed ice.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Mention @JulieBlanner or tag #JulieBlanner



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