The Story Behind The Strawberry Sweetheart Mai Tai

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to go on vacation for Valentine’s Day. Thankfully, with ingredients that you can find easily in your local store and a little imagination, you and your partner will be able to romanticize about that Hawaiian vacation for as long as you like. Every element of this drink makes me think of a tropical warm paradise. The fresh sweet scent of vibrant red strawberries in the summer, lime juice to give it that little citrus kick, orgeat syrup, which is a mixture of orange water and almond as required in most Tiki-style cocktails, and finally, 2 types of rum.

I’ve followed the original recipe from Trader Vic and adapted it to create this light, fresh variation. Trader Vic first devised this concoction in Oakland in 1944; he offered a taste to a friend who, in Tahitian, said that the drink was “Mai Tai – Roa Ae,” which in English translates to “out of this world – the best”.


  • 1 ounce white (Martinique) rum
  • 1 ounce dark (Jamaican) rum
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • ½ ounce of orgeat syrup
  • 2 strawberries (chopped)


  1. Add white rum, lime juice, orgeat syrup, strawberries and ice to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake mixture then strain over crushed ice in Collins glass.
  3. Float dark rum on top of mixture.

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Updated: 2022-10-18

The Strawberry Sweetheart Mai Tai Recipe