Created in 1944 by “Trader Vic” Bergeron, the Mai Tai was so popular that it supposedly depleted the world’s rum supply shortly after its invention. Our non-alcoholic Mai Tai is so good you might want to stock up on NA rum before the same thing happens to the booze-free stuff!
The original Mai Tai didn’t call for any of the orange juice, pineapple juice, or store-bought mixes we see at chain restaurants today. That devolution came when The Trader himself was commissioned to oversee the cocktail menu at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where he added tropical juices to make the drink more tourist friendly.
Fortunately for everyone who loves great drinks, Trader Vic’s original recipe saw a resurgence during the cocktail renaissance of the 90s and 00s. While not exactly the same, our version is close, and it makes one hell of a non-alcoholic cocktail.
We like to use Lyre's non-alcoholic White Cane Spirit and Dark Cane Spirit with this drink, but the Mai Tai was designed to showcase rum, so feel free to play around and use whichever rums you like. If you’re making this fully non-alcoholic, Lyre’s Orange Sec can be used as the curaçao, or for a low-ABV cocktail, use the traditional alcoholic stuff.
Mai Tai (Non-Alcoholic)
Non-Alcoholic Cocktail / Low-Alcohol / Zero Proof / Mocktail
1 ½ ounces non-alcoholic white rum
¾ ounce non-alcoholic orange liqueur
¾ ounce lime juice, fresh
½ oz orgeat syrup
2 full droppers All The Bitter Orange bitters
½ ounce non-alcoholic dark rum, float
Add all ingredients, except the dark rum, to a shaker with crushed ice.
Shake briefly then dump contents (including ice) into a rocks or tiki glass.
Slowly pour the dark rum over the back of a spoon to float it on top of the drink.
Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.
Feel free to play around with your favorite styles of non-alcoholic rum here, or blend a few different rums together! We like the combination of Lyre's White Cane Spirit with the half-ounce float of dark rum.
MAKE IT MINDFULLY LOW ALCOHOL
For a super low-ABV cocktail, use alcoholic triple sec (or Cointreau) here along with non-alcoholic rum. Bump it up just a little bit, without getting too crazy, by swapping out the float of dark rum for the full strength stuff.