Top 5 Mai Tais

People often ask where they can get the best Mai Tai. These are my top Mai Tais made without any rum or ingredient substitutions. Note that for purposes of the “rating” on this list, it only about what’s in the glass and not about the rest of the bar visit experience (not that any on this last have poor ambiance, mind you).

Here are the top 5 Mai Tais that you can have right now.

  1. Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29
  2. Rumba
  3. Smuggler’s Cove
  4. Maunakea Mai Tai at Skull & Crown Trading Co.
  5. Dr. Funk

1. Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29, New Orleans

When I bumped into Jeff Berry at the Mai Tai Festival in 2019, he couldn’t contain his enthusiasm when I told him his Mai Tai was number one. This is made with Rhum Clément VSOP or Rhum JM VO Martinique Rhum, Coruba dark Jamaican Rum, and a dash of a secret undisclosed rum, along with Berry’s signature Latitude 29 Formula Orgeat.

2. Rumba, Seattle

Known for having one of the largest rum collections in any bar, Rumba’s Mai Tai has a unique rum offering with their House barrel aged Wray & Nephew, along with Rhum JM Gold.



3. Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco, CA

The Mai Tai has been stellar at Smuggler’s Cove for years, except for a brief period in 2019 when they switched their Orange Curacao. Always good, usually great, the SC Mai Tai is made with Denizen Merchant’s Reserve rum and homemade orgeat and a custom rich simple syrup. Smuggler’s Cove took the top two spots in my Top Mai Tais of 2021.

4. Maunakea Mai Tai at Skull & Crown Trading Co., Honolulu

Skull & Crown has three Mai Tais on their menu, but we prefer this traditional 1944 style Mai Tai made with Appleton 12, Clement Select Barrel, Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum, Dry Curacao, Lime, Orgeat, and Demerara Syrup. The three-rum blend works great alongside the fresh juice and sweeteners. Creamy and very flavorful.

5. Dr. Funk, San Jose

Dr. Funk uses Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross Jamaican rums as the base for their Mai Tai, combining it with house-made Orgeat. The team said they tried several different rum blends, including one featuring a Rhum Agricole, but found that this blend was the best. We agree! The heavier rums from Jamaica add flavor that truly punches through. 










Related Links

Top 10 Mai Tais of 2021

Top 10 Mai Tais of 2020

Top 10 Mai Tais of 2019