Each year we celebrate the 10 best Mai Tais that we had the pleasure of tasting in the last 12 months.
Some of the Mai Tais involve rum substitutions from what the bar would normally serve. This presents the reader with more to consider when visiting these places, but highlights that making spirit substitutions is often what changes a good Mai Tai into a great one. A few of these involved tweaks to the sweet element as well.
For the list, we’ve limited each location to a single entry – otherwise Smuggler’s Cove and Trader Vic’s Emeryville would have dominated the list. So for those places we’ve chosen the best Mai Tai we had there and omitted some other great ones that would have landed further down the list. In both cases, the Mai Tai we chose isn’t the standard issue, but suffice to say that we think their default Mai Tais are pretty great too. Check later in the week to see where the Cove and Vic’s landed.
2021 Top Mai Tais: Honorable Mentions
These Mai Tais all had notable qualities and were enjoyable. If you have the opportunity you should definitely get the Mai Tai!
Here’s the list, more or less in order of preference. Sorry, Kon-Tiki, you just missed the top 10 but you won’t be sad when you see the final list, I assure you.
- The Kon-Tiki
- Tiki Tom’s
- Tonga Hut Palm Springs “all Coruba and heavy orgeat”
- The Cellar
- Tangaroa Terrace “sub simple for agave”
- Three Dots and a Dash
- The Reef “heavy orgeat”
- Trader Vic’s San Jose Airport
- Forbidden Island with Amrut Two Indies rum
- Bamboo Club