Top 10 Mai Tais of 2024 (so far)

It’s June 30, which is halfway through the year so this is a great time to review our list of the best Mai Tais we’ve had at commercial or home tiki bars so far this year.

Note that many of these feature custom rum orders 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 typically be able to accommodate the request. This can often lead to an excellent cocktail.

10. Mister, Might I… by Doc Parks at The Kon-Tiki
Besides being a great Mai Tai, this was served with a side of pineapple juice that allows the customer to decide what to do with it. Some might incorporate it into the cocktail, but I took it as a chaser.

9. My Tie, Youse Tai
Served at the home tiki bar of Stephan Curran, this elegant cocktail used premium aged rums from Jamaica: Appleton 15 and Appleton 21. I felt like a celebrity drinking this amazing upscale Mai Tai.

8. Stray Pirate
The standard-issue Mai Tai at Vegas’ newest immersive bar is really great and uses Jamaican and Martinique rums.

7. Matiki
I was totally blown away by this outstanding Mai Tai at Vienna’s modern tiki bar. It uses Rhum Saint James Agricole along with Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross Jamaica rums.

6. The Beachcomber
Fans of Rhum Agricole know The Beachcomber is the place to be in London. Their off-menu Mai Tai is savory and sweet and just as good this year as it was last year.

5. Strong Water Anaheim
The strong cocktail program at Strong Water means that their standard Mai Tai is really great, using Demerara Rum and Jamaica Rum.

4. Dr Funk ($8 MTM)
The quality control problems in this San Jose tiki bar seem to be addressed with their formidable Mai Tai back on track. This one was only $8 for Mai Tai Monday and still uses Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross. So good.

3. Trader Sam’s 1944 w/Smith & Cross by Maddie
Skipper Maddie killed it with some off menu cocktails and her presentation for a classic Mai Tai nailed the look and the taste. Amazing.

2. Kon-Tiki with Hamilton Pot Still Blonde
When tasting rums at The Kon-Tiki I’ll often have them in a Mai Tai. I’m such a fan of Pot Still Blonde and the bartenders made it perfectly.

1. The Sinking Ship at Tiki-Ko with Rhum J.M Terroir Volcanique
I couldn’t believe how much I loved this Mai Tai made just with Rhum Agricole aged in heavily charred casks. The sweet orgeat rounded off the smoky edges from the rhum and it was heavenly.

Runners up:
11. Mai Tai with Appleton 15 at Rumpus Tiki Budapest
12. Trader Vics’s Emeryville
13. Zombie Village with Saint Benevolence Rum Clairin
14. Lost Inferno
15. The Fink
16. Trader Vic’s San Jose Airport
17. Trailer Happiness
18. Equiano Rum Mai Tai at The Shipwreck

Honorable Mentions:
Wilfred’s Lounge, Our Big Luauski, Trader Vic’s Munich, The Formosa Cafe, Red Dwarf, Hula Hoops (Lilikoi Tai), Golden Tiki

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