Mango Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe

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Mango Mai Tai Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Mango Mai Tai is a tropical twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail, which was created in the 1940s by Victor J. Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic. This fruity variation is perfect for those who love the original Mai Tai but want to try something new and refreshing. With its vibrant colors and enticing flavors, the Mango Mai Tai is a favorite among beachgoers and poolside loungers alike.

  • Origin: 1940s, by Victor J. Bergeron (Trader Vic)
  • Popularity: Beach bars, pool parties, and tropical-themed events
  • Ideal for: Summer days, vacations, and those who enjoy fruity cocktails

How Mango Mai Tai Tastes?

The Mango Mai Tai is a sweet, tangy, and refreshing cocktail with a hint of tartness from the lime juice. The mango flavor is prominent, while the rum adds a subtle warmth and depth to the drink.

Interesting facts about Mango Mai Tai

  • The original Mai Tai was named after the Tahitian word 'Maita'i', which means 'good' or 'excellence'.
  • Mangoes are native to South Asia and are considered the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
  • The Mai Tai is often associated with Tiki culture, which was popularized in the United States during the mid-20th century.


  • Light rum: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Mango juice: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Orange curacao: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Fresh lime juice: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Grenadine: 0.25 oz(8ml)
  • Dark rum: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Mint sprig: 1 (garnish)
  • Mango slice: 1 (garnish)

Light Rum

Used as the base spirit, light rum provides a smooth and subtle sweet undertone that doesn't overpower the mango flavor. Opting for less might make the drink too juice-forward, whereas more could hijack the delicate balance. If you substitute with vodka, you'll get a cleaner taste but miss out on the rum's sugarcane charm.

Mary Mitkina

Mango Juice

The star of the show, mango juice lends a tropical sweetness and full body to the cocktail. Without it, you'd lose the 'mango' from your Mai Tai, and let's be honest, nobody wants to attend a party without the guest of honor. You could try peach or papaya juice for a twist.

Emma Rose

Orange Curacao

This orange-flavored liqueur adds complexity and depth. Skimping on it can leave the drink one-dimensional, while too much may make the cocktail overly sweet and cloying. A dash of triple sec could stand in, if you're in a pinch.

Alex Green

Fresh Lime Juice

Here to add a zesty punch, lime juice balances the sweetness and rounds out the flavor profile. Missing out on this ingredient would make the drink cloyingly sweet. Lemon juice is an alternative, but it's like substituting Beyoncé with a tribute act—good, but not quite the same.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

This sweetener is the peacemaker when others in the mix are at odds. Its sugar content is key for smoothing over any sour or bitter notes. Without it, the cocktail might be too tart for some. Agave nectar can substitute, although its distinctive flavor will change the profile.

Emma Rose


The dash of grenadine contributes a hint of color and a whisper of red fruit flavor. Without it, you'll miss the sunset-in-a-glass effect. Pomegranate juice can sub in for grenadine, but it'll be more tart—a different kind of beauty.

Alex Green

Dark Rum

Float this for a bold, rich layer on top. It's like the final brushstroke on a masterpiece painting. Without this, the drink lacks its iconic look and the nuanced flavor that only aged rum can deliver. Bourbon could be a stand-in, imparting a bolder, oakier taste.

Mary Mitkina

Mint Sprig & Mango Slice

These garnishes are more than just eye candy. The mint adds an aromatic touch, inviting the nose to the party, while the mango slice doubles down on tropical vibes. Your drink will still taste fine without them, but why miss the chance to dress to impress?

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Mango Mai Tai Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the light rum, mango juice, orange curacao, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake well.
  3. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with crushed ice.
  4. Drizzle the grenadine over the top of the drink.
  5. Carefully float the dark rum on top of the cocktail.
  6. Garnish with a mint sprig and a mango slice.

Pro Tips

  • To achieve the perfect rum float, slowly pour the dark rum over the back of a spoon held just above the surface of the drink.
  • For a more intense mango flavor, muddle some fresh mango in the shaker before adding the other ingredients.
  • Use fresh lime juice for the best taste.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers: The sweetness from the mango and the kick from the lime juice play nicely with seafood, especially when it's grilled.
  • Coconut Chicken Tenders: The tropical flavors in the Mai Tai complement coconut-breaded chicken quite well, invoking a beach-side dining experience.

Main courses

  • Hawaiian BBQ: The Mango Mai Tai's fruity profile pairs beautifully with Hawaiian BBQ's smoky and sweet flavors.
  • Fish Tacos: A no-brainer—fish tacos with a zesty slaw will dance along with the fruity and tangy notes of the Mango Mai Tai.


  • Key Lime Pie: For dessert, a key lime pie would enhance the cocktail's citrus notes without overpowering the mango.
  • Mango Sorbet: Doubling down on mango, a light and refreshing mango sorbet would be a sweet end to a meal paired with this drink.

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What you could change in Mango Mai Tai

  • Orange Curacao: You can substitute with Triple Sec or another orange liqueur.
  • Dark Rum: You can use a spiced rum or a different dark rum of your choice.
  • Mango Juice: If you can't find mango juice, you can blend fresh mango with a little water and strain it to create your own juice.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Coconut Mango Mai Tai

  • Replace mango juice with coconut water and add a splash of coconut cream.
  • The taste will become creamier and less tart, resembling a tropical smoothie with a rum kick.

Spicy Mango Mai Tai

  • Muddle a slice of jalapeño with the lime juice before shaking.
  • This will add a spicy punch to the sweetness, bringing a thrilling contrast for those who like a little heat with their sweet.

Herbal Mango Mai Tai

  • Substitute simple syrup with a homemade rosemary or thyme syrup.
  • The drink will acquire an herby note that complements the citrus and mango, perfect for those who enjoy a botanical touch in their cocktails.

In case you forgot basics how to make Mango Mai Tai

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Mango Mai Tai

Can I make the Mango Mai Tai with a different type of juice?

Certainly. While mango juice gives the cocktail its distinct flavor, you could experiment with other tropical juices such as pineapple or guava.

What can I pair with this Mango Mai Tai?

The Mango Mai Tai pairs well with spicy or grilled dishes, seafood, or tropical-themed desserts.

What other garnishes can I use for the Mango Mai Tai?

You can also use a pineapple slice, cherry, or an orange wedge to garnish your Mango Mai Tai.

Can I make it without any alcohol?

Yes, you can omit the rum and Curacao to make a virgin Mango Mai Tai. You might want to add a bit more fruit juice or a splash of soda water to make up for the missing liquid.

What's the best type of glass to serve this cocktail in?

The Mango Mai Tai is traditionally served in a 'hurricane' glass but it can also be served in a highball glass or a tiki mug for a fun twist.

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