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This recipe ditches the added sugar in many of today’s Mai Tais and returns to the smooth, tropical flavors at the heart of this tiki cocktail classic. Kerry, Recipe Hunter

Kerry Brunelle

THE RECIPE

The Mai Tai Cocktail

Take some well-deserved me time with this Mai Tai

Although there is some contention, the origin of the original Mai Tai has been traced by most back to the shore of San Francisco Bay, where it was created in the mid-1940s by the late Vic Bergeron, restaurateur behind the island-style Trader Vic’s franchise. It may be surprising to learn that a cocktail that conjures images of a secluded island originated in America, but, rumor has it, the name itself is at least Polynesian. Upon trying the just-created cocktail, a Tahitian friend of Vic Bergeron declared, “Maita’i roa ae!” (Tahitian for “Out of this world; the best!”). The Mai Tai is perhaps the most well-known member of the tiki cocktail family that became popular as a whole in the mid-1900s, and the use of the almond-based orgeat syrup gives it its unique flavor. Mary swaps the original ingredients of lime juice and rock candy syrup for pineapple juice to add color and a tropical twist. Serve with a sprig of mint and a paper umbrella, close your eyes, and suddenly you may swear you can feel the sand between your toes.

THE CHEF

Mary Younkin

Food Blogger & Photographer

Mary Younkin - Barefeet in the Kitchen

My goal is to give families great tasting recipes that will simplify meal times. Play in the kitchen, attempt something new, try not to stress it too much. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated.

As a wife and mother of three boys, Mary has learned a thing or two about the balancing act between time and taste — a wisdom that only comes from years of managing meals for a busy family. Luckily for us, she shares such wisdom on her blog, Barefeet in the Kitchen, which features tips for scratch-made essentials and over a thousand recipes since its creation in 2011. With her approachable style and variety of dishes, ranging from Spicy Barbecue Sauce to Flourless Chocolate Brownie Cookies, Mary demonstrates how feasible it is to make family friendly, comforting food from scratch. If you appreciate homemade meals prepared effortlessly (and who doesn’t?), run, don’t walk, to Barefeet in the Kitchen.

Head over to Barefeet in the Kitchen and say hello to Mary on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

THE TIP

What is Orgeat Syrup? (And How to Make it at Home)

Orgeat syrup is an almond flavored syrup, most famously used in the Mai Tai cocktail. Recreate it yourself at home with only a handful of ingredients.

Read the full tip >

  • Rebecca {Foodie with Family}

    AWESOME! I adore Mary and her recipes!!

    • Kerry Brunelle

      Thanks, Rebecca. We do too!