An Oldie but a Goodie

Your classic tropical cocktail, the Mai Tai.

The history of the Mai Tai is very interesting, but we’ll leave that for another day. But the best one I’ve had, the one that got me started on cocktail recipes, was from Gaylord’s, on Kauai. The keys are Koloa Hawaiian Rum and vanilla simple syrup.

Gaylord’s Mai Tai


  • 1 oz Koloa gold rum
  • 1/2 oz orange liquor (triple sec, Cointreau)
  • juice of 1 lime (1 oz)
  • 1 tsp vanilla simple syrup
  • float of Koloa dark rum


  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Pour into a highball glass and add a float of Koloa Dark Rum.
  2. Tradition dictates a garnish of lime wedge, pineapple and an umbrella. But in the immortal words of Felix Leiter, our preference is “keep the fruit”. Umbrellas are for tourists.
  3. (note: we discovered this recipe after a visit to Gaylord’s on Kauai. It’s the only “tourist venue” Mai Tai I’ve ever had that was worth a damn. Gaylord’s is on the Kilohana Plantation, where you can also find Koloa Rum, distilled on Kauai. You can make this recipe with other rums, but then, it just wouldn’t be right.)
Like what you read? Give The Aspiring Mixologist a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.