It’s June 30, which is halfway through the year and also the first of two unofficially recognized Mai Tai Day cocktail holidays. So, this is a great time to review our list of the best Mai Tais we’ve had so far this year.
Note that many of these feature custom rum blends compared to the standard-issue at these locations. Sometimes you want a Mai Tai with a special rum, and if you ask nicely the bartender will surely be able to accommodate the request. This can often lead to an excellent cocktail.
Honorable mentions: Deck, Halekulani Hotel, Drunk Munk, Tonga Hut, Trader Vic’s Emeryville and San Jose Airport
10. Trader Vic’s Mai Tai at Mamahune’s
When you use quality Jamaican rums the Mai Tai tastes great even if you free-pour.
9. Kuleana Hui Hui by Gabrielle Maser at Tiki Oasis
Great seminar cocktail using delicious Kuleana rum from Hawaii.
8. Casa de Christa Mai Tai
A homemade Mai Tai tastes wonderful when the host knows their stuff.
7. Golden Pineapple Craft Lounge
This off-menu request was amazing, using rare Holmes Cay Jamaica Wedderburn 2011 Single Cask Rum
6. Kon-Tiki with Hampden Great House 2021
The standard Mai Tai at Kon-Tiki is great, but this one with rich overproof Hampden was amazing.
5. Dr Funk
Their standard house Mai Tai is one of the best we’ve ever had.
4. Smuggler’s Cove with Appleton Reserve and Pot Still Gold
Asked for a different rum blend and it was delightful.
3. Maunakea Mai Tai at Skull & Crown Trading Co.
This ’44 Mai Tai features three rums and is fantastic.
2. Trader Sam’s Classic Mai Tai with Appleton 8 and Hamilton Pot Still Blonde by Skipper Nate
A credit to the Trader Sam’s bartenders at Disneyland that are so talented and willing to tweak their tourist-friendly Mai Tai. This one was amazing.
1. Birds of Paradise Lounge
With industry and event bartending experience it’s no wonder that the house Mai Tai with four rums from Mariella and Correy Bravo is fantastic. Great application of Appleton 12, Smith & Cross, Plantation Xaymaca, and Kō Hana Kea.