Mai Tail Mocktail, Nonalcoholic Mai Tai

Mai Tai Mocktail

Of all the drinks we’ve covered in our nonalcoholic cocktail series, the origin story of the Mai Tai is perhaps the most colorful…and contentious! With a history filled with mudslinging and lawsuits, it’s clear that the Mai Tai is a drink worth fighting over. Take a sip of our Mai Tai mocktail recipe for a sober take on this classic tropical cocktail.

Woman enjoying nonalcoholic Mai Tai cocktail, Hawaii, Diamond Head and ocean in background
One sip of our Mai Tai mocktail and you’ll be transported to the tropics (without the jet lag or hangover)!

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Who invented the Mai Tai?

The Mai Tai’s intriguing mix of Jamaican rum, lime juice, orange curacao, and sweet almond syrup took mid-century bars by storm, becoming one of the defining cocktails of American “Tiki culture.” The law gives the nod to Oakland’s Victor Jules Bergeron, proprietor of Trader Vic’s restaurant, for creating the Mai Tai cocktail, although Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt (tiki bar rival and owner of Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber) can make a legitimate argument to the contrary. According to Bergeron, the name “Mai Tai” comes from the Tahitian phrase “mai tai-roa ae” which translates to “out of this world!”, the words exclaimed by his Tahitian friend when she sipped the cocktail for the first time. Read the Mai Tai legend and decide for yourself which story holds the most rum, err, water.

How to make a nonalcoholic Mai Tai

The following nonalcoholic Mai Tai recipe pumps up the natural tropical flavor of the original with pineapple juice and grenadine. Orange juice captures the citrus notes of the curacao and nonalcoholic rum lends authentic rum flavor (without the alcohol). This version is a real crowd pleaser – and at sixteen servings it makes enough for a crowd, too! Non-alcoholic Mai Tai is perfect for family gatherings, work parties, sporting events, and other occasions where imbibing is either non-universal or not an option. Break out the Tiki glasses and cocktail umbrellas, this Mai Tai mocktail starts the party!

Mai Tai mockatil ingredients, tropical beverage flavors
Pineapple flavor is the star in the original Mai Tai cocktail.

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Learn About

Mai Tai Mocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 liter orange juice
  • 1 liter pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup almond syrup
  • 1/2 cup grenadine
  • 1 liter sparkling/seltzer water
  • Ice
  • oranges, limes, cherries for garnish
  • 1.5 oz. non-alcoholic rum per 7 oz. punch (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher mix together orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and almond syrup.
  2. You can keep this punch base in the fridge until party time.
  3. Once ready to serve you can serve in individual glasses by adding ice to a 16 oz. glass, filling the glass approximately 1/2 full of juice, and adding a splash of grenadine.  An optional 1.5 oz. of non-alcoholic rum can be added before topping the drink off with seltzer water and garnishing with fruit.
  4. To serve in a big punch bowl, mix grenadine and seltzer water to juice and stir together, then add ice and fruit.

Yield

16 servings

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