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How to make a Red Robin style Mai Tai?


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I'm sure it's probably not considered an authentic Mai Tai, but I like the fruity and sweet approach of the Red Robin Mai Tai. I've had better in Hawaii, but they were along the same lines, but with better, fresher juice and fruit.

I've tried all sorts of mixes and recipes, and nothing seems right.

Can anyone help me out?



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From Trader Vic's website:


2 ounces 17-year-old J. Wray Nephew Jamaican rum

1/2 ounce French Garnier Orgeat

1/2 ounce Holland DeKuyper Orange Curacao

1/4 ounce Rock Candy Syrup

juice from one fresh lime

Hand shake and garnish with half of the lime shell inside the drink and float a sprig of fresh mint at the edge of the glass.

Curacao is an orange liqueur, like Triple Sec or Cointreau. Orgeat is an almond syrup. If you can't find that, use Almond Syrup. Some people even use Amaretto.

As the 17 year old J. Wray & Nephew no longer really exists for us mere mortals, most folks now use a blend of aged and young rums in Mai Tais.

Something like this from the drinkboy website:

    * 1 ounce light rum

    * 1 ounce gold rum

    * 1/2 ounce orange curaçao

    * 1/2 ounce Orgeat (Almond Syrup)

    * 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

    * 1 ounce dark rum

Shake all but the dark rum with ice. Strain into old fashioned glass. Top with the dark rum. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

In some places, it is common for a Mai Tai to include Pineapple, orange juice, and grenadine (and whatever else catches the bartender's fancy that day). Mai Tai's are a bit like Planter's Punch, in that every bartender seems to do them a bit differently.

There's another recipe over on the drinkboy website, that sounds awfully sweet and pretty darn light on the rum; but, might be closer to what they make at Red Robin:

Mai Tai (Pineapple variation)

    * 1 ounce light rum

    * 1/2 ounce triple sec

    * 1/4 ounce Rose's lime juice

    * 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

    * 1 1/2 ounces orange juice

    * 1 dash of Grenadine

    * 1/2 ounce dark rum

    Shake all but the dark rum with cracked ice.

    Strain into old-fashioned glass.

    Top with dark rum.

    Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

I would just continue experimenting until you get to something you like. It's hard to go too far wrong with Rum and fruit juice.


Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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when people ask me for mai tai's or the planters punches i've been making them "Bermuda rum swizzles"....

i use a 22oz. duvel glass.

2oz. Bermuda rum....

splash of Ameretto

splash of Creole Shrub

2oz. pineapple juice

juice of a lime.... and half a lime shell

fill the glass half full of ice then swizzle until a great froth developes due to the pineapple juice.

people seem to marvel at the unusual aromatic froth and are pleased by the uncloying sweetness that the drink leans on....

i try to top with more ice after swizzling and would prefer orgeat or falernum to Amaretto. the whole thing probably needs a bitter but its for a simple audience....

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes


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I found the Mai Tai on the Red Robin's menu through their website. Obviously it doesn't give you the exact recipe, but it at least says:

"Tropical Mai Tai - a blend of Bacardi Rums, Orange Curacao, fruit juices, grenadine & sweet n’ sour. Let’s Rumba! "

I agree with your earlier post that the juices are probably OJ and Pineapple. I would rule out lime juice since they include sweet and sour.

Personally, I'm not so interested in what the exact recipe is, but the Tiki glass they serve it in is a real knockout!


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Okay, my advice to all that want a recipe from a corporate chain. Ask! Ask! Ask!!!

Yes, I am aware there is the official recipe, which this purist believes should never deviate from, and then there's all of those other interpretations.

Most bartenders are (or should be) friendly enough to offer up the proportions, in exact ounces or parts, that will help a guest out on how to make the requested and favoured cocktail, at home.

Good luck JohnN!

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Personally, I'm not so interested in what the exact recipe is, but the Tiki glass they serve it in is a real knockout!

I'd be interested if anyone knows an online source for the tiki glasses also. I picked up a few at Disney's Polynesian Resort during my last visit, but they were 10.00 bucks apiece-- a bit expensive and too bulky to buy too many to fit in the luggage. If no one knows another source, the resort does accomodate phone orders for anything down there if you want em real bad, but hopefully someone knows where to get them online...

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

Looks like you're onto something...copycat mai tai.

We finally rounded up all the stuff and tried this one last night. It indeed is pretty close to the Red Robin recipe.

I'll still have to try the other suggestions.



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  • 7 months later...

Mai Tais, in detail...


In my book Tiki Road Trip...

(get it here): http://www.tydirium.net/tiki/tikiroadtrip.html

.....I wrote:

Mai Tai

The quintessential Tiki drink. During the past six decades, the term “Mai Tai” has devolved into a generic term for any swill containing cheap rum and canned fruit juice. We are here to remind you that this is a kick-ass drink, when made properly. Spread the gospel. Here is the original “Mai Tai Roa Ae” invented by Trader Vic himself, circa 1944.

1 ounce Jamaican rum (try 15 or 8 year old Appleton)

1 ounce Martinique rum (try St. James)

.5 ounce orange curacao

.5 ounce Orgeat

Juice from one fresh lime (a touch less than one ounce)

Shake all ingredients vigorously with crushed ice.

Add a sprig of fresh mint and the lime rind.

Hawaiian-style Mai Tai

Pretty much every single bar on the Hawaiian islands makes their Mai Tai thusly:

1.) Mix all ingredients except dark rum (such as Myers).

2.) Float the dark rum on top of the drink.

What the drink actually consists of varies widely. We recommend staying close to the recipe above, but pineapple juice is almost always added in Hawai’i. Avoid grenadine.

Note that modern Orgeat is more sweet than the stuff that was around in 1944, so the 1/4 to 1/2 oz of simple syrup called for in older recipes is no longer needed.


My new book is, "Destination: Cocktails", from Santa Monica Press! http://www.destinationcocktails.com

Please see http://www.tydirium.net for information on all of my books, including "Tiki Road Trip", and "Big Stone Head", plus my global travelogues, and more!

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