If you find yourself wanting to like the original Mai Tai, but not quite able to do so, this is your drink. This recipe for Pineapple Mai Tai rum cocktails adds a couple ingredients to the quintessential rum cocktail making it a bit sweeter and more fruity.
This pineapple and rum drink has two ingredients too many to be an original Mai Tai recipe. We’re adding pineapple juice and simple syrup (or try pineapple simple syrup) to play up the tropical vibes.
There’s no orange juice in this recipe because you don’t need it if you use a good quality orange liqueur. That spirit will bring in the juicy orange flavor without needing to add another ingredient.
Like many other tiki drinks, this Pineapple Mai Tai has a lot of ingredients and when combined with ice, it will need a tall glass to hold it all.
There are tons of fun tiki glasses out there - I'm obsessed with the pineapple glasses in these pictures - but you can always use a simple highball glass if that’s what you have on hand.
What Does Mai Tai Flavor Taste Like?
Original Mai Tai cocktails are citrusy, a little tart, and a little sweet. For this Pineapple Mai Tai, the pineapple juice brings in another dimension of fruity and makes the drink more sweet than tart.
Pineapple Mai Tai Ingredients
- Light rum - Also know as silver rum white rum, this is a clear rum without any added flavors.
- Dark rum - Aged in oak barrels, dark rum adds a depth of flavor and little sweetness.
- Orange liqueur - Go for quality on this one. The better the orange liqueur, the more natural (and less candy-like) the orange flavor. Orange curaçao, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier are all good choices.
- Pineapple juice - Choose 100% pineapple juice without any additional juices mixed into it.
- A lime - Fresh only for this drink! You'll need about 1 lime per drink, depending on their size. Be sure to measure your fresh squeezed juice. Don’t squeeze the lime directly into the cocktail shaker because you’ll have no way of knowing how much (or how little) juice you got from the lime.
- Orgeat syrup - A creamy almond syrup that is necessary in any version of a mai tai. You can't skip or substitute this one. Orgeat is non-alcoholic and can be either made at home or purchased at your favorite store that sells liquor. Most stores stock orgeat syrup near the mixers, bitters, and other non-alcoholic cocktail ingredients.
- Simple syrup - Make this at home and give it a few hours to chill in the refrigerator before using it. Simple syrup keeps for weeks in the fridge, so you can make it well ahead of time.
How to Make the Best Pineapple Mai Tai
Place the light rum, dark rum, orange liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, orgeat syrup, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake very well.
Strain into a large tiki or highball glass filled with fresh ice. (I'm obsessed with these pineapple glasses for tiki drinks.)
Garnish with pineapple leaves, maraschino cherries, and/or wedges of orange, lime and pineapple.
Sip and enjoy!
How to Garnish a Pineapple Mai Tai
Garnish your drink with pineapple leaves, maraschino cherries, and/or wedges of orange, lime and pineapple. You can add a little or a lot - that’s completely up to you!
Looking for More Rum Drinks?
Rum has a delicious sweet flavor all its own and is used in so many delicious cocktails. If you're not a fan of super sugary cocktails, try my take on a Hemingway daiquiri which lets the grapefruit and lime flavors shine. Want something more fruity and sweet? My easy tiki cocktail is a celebration of rum and citrus.