I love rum. A lot. A great local tiki restaurant here in Columbus has a drink called Rum and Happiness, and for me that pretty much describes any drink that has rum in it. Coconut is one of the aromatics in this recipe: one of the three types of rum is infused with it, and the coconut water (which is one of the unique modifications I’ve made to make it “my mai tai”) adds another dimension of tropical nuttiness. If you can find raw coconut water, such as Harmless Harvest, all the better.
my mai tai
1 cup dark and/or spiced rum
¾ cup coconut rum
½ cup citrus rum
¾ cup triple sec or mango vodka
1½ cups mango lemonade (or ¾ cup mango nectar plus ¾ cup lemonade)
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups raw coconut water (also may use flavored, such as mango, peach, or pineapple)
1 cup pomegranate, blueberry or other dark juice
One can lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade
Add all ingredients except soda to a bottle with a cap. Shake well. Transfer to a pitcher, add soda and stir very gently. Serve with a fresh pineapple wedge on each glass. (Umbrella is optional!) Makes about eight servings.
All quantities should be adjusted to suit your taste, and feel free to experiment as well. I sometimes add lychee juice, for example, because I love the taste. The only real requirements for a mai tai is lots of rum and tropical fruit flavors.