The Story Behind The Holiday Mai Tai

Ah, the holiday season. Some of us are lucky enough to travel to far-flung destinations. But many of us are stuck in our cold and rainy cities, bogged down by holiday shopping and other last-minute errands, undertaken while trekking through unpleasant weather. If you’re not one of the lucky few getting away, there are plenty of ways to make it up to yourself, starting with this delightful, tropical cocktail. Nothing signifies vacation in the sun quite like a Mai Tai. Take your taste buds on an exotic holiday with this revamped classic, fresh and light but also sassy and complicated. The cinnamon in the spiced simple syrup and the garnish will evoke the best part of the winter holidays, while also transporting you to a better, warmer place where refreshment is the order of the day.


  • 1.5 ounces white rum
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce spiced syrup (make ahead of time, recipe and method below)
  • ¾ ounce pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce aromatic bitters
  • 1 cinnamon stick (garnish)
  • ½ orange wheel (garnish)
  • 2 cups ice


  1. Finely crush 1 cup of ice
  2. In a cocktail shaker combine white rum, triple sec, spiced syrup, pineapple juice, orange juice and a cup of ice
  3. Shake hard to chill and combine ingredients
  4. Fill highball glass with crushed ice
  5. Strain shaker contents over crushed ice
  6. Float aromatic bitters on top
  7. Garnish with cinnamon stick and half orange wheel

Rate This Recipe:

(29 votes)

Yield: 1 cocktail
Updated: 2022-03-07

Spiced Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole allspice

Spiced Simple Syrup Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a saucepan
  2. Heat until all sugar has dissolved
  3. Strain into separate vessel
  4. Sit and allow to cool
Holiday Mai Tai Recipe