The Four Seasons Maui Mai Tai Recipe

So as you guys know, Kenny and I are getting married at the Four Seasons Maui – one of my absolute favorite hotels in the world. A vacation there is unlike any other – days spent out exploring the island, snorkeling, sailing, or just hanging in a poolside cabana. And, like any island vacation, a Maui vacation is best spent with a fresh chilled island cocktail in hand (and a Kenny Flowers shirt on, duh). Legend has it, when this fruity rum cocktail was created, it was so popular that it depleted rum supplies in the 1940’s and 50’s. 

The mai tai was invented by Victor J. Bergeron — aka Trader Vic — and it was never (and should never be!) a sugar bomb. It was a simple drink created to showcase the delicious flavor of Jamaican rum: Bergeron used two different types of rum, with just a touch of lime, orgeat, orange curaçao, and a little simple syrup. After shaking the concoction with (always crushed!) ice and presenting the cocktail for the first time to some of his visiting Tahitian friends, they ended up liking it so much one of them exclaimed, “Maita’i roa a’e,” which translates to “out of this world! The best!”, so Bergeron named his new cocktail “Mai Tai,” as in “the best.” 

The drink didn’t start in Hawaii, but it made it there pretty quickly, when Trader Vic was hired to oversee the cocktail menus for the bars at the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Surfrider Hotels in the early 1950’s (two of my favorite hotels in Oahu!), when Hawaii was just starting to become a popular tourist destination. Nowadays, Mai Tais and Hawaii go hand in hand. They are a symbol of a Hawaiian vacation – and no vacation in Hawaii is complete without sipping one on the beach. 

But, if you’re anything like me, a sugary, syrupy wannabe-Mai-Tai is a sad excuse for this island classic. But that being said, there are many ways to perfect the classic Mai Tai, and many different recipes throughout the islands. You’re welcome to find your own favorite Mai Tai in Hawaii – but this recipe is one of the best. BTW – Classic Mai Tai enthusiasts will tell you things like if the cocktail isn’t garnished with a sprig of mint and an unspent lime shell, which symbolize a palm tree and an island, then it’s wrong. And if it comes without crushed ice, it’s not a real Mai Tai.

So who has the best Mai Tai in Maui? In my opinion, it may just be the Four Seasons Maui, with their delicious take on the island classic. So what is the Four Seaons Maui Mai Tai recipe? I’ve got you covered!

Four Seasons Maui Mai Tai

Four Seasons Maui Mai Tai


  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Orgeat French Almond Syrup
  • 1 oz White Rum
  • 1 oz Dark Rum


  1. Combine all ingredients
  2. Shake in a cocktail shaker
  3. Pour over crushed ice in a highball glass
  4. Garnish with lime and an umbrella


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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.


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