Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe

The Monkeypod Mai Tai: A Taste of Hawaii in a Glass

From Humble Beginnings to Global Popularity

In the world of cocktails, few can claim to capture the spirit of a place as well as the Mai Tai. This iconic drink, with its blend of rum, lime juice, and orgeat, is synonymous with the tropical allure of Hawaii. But among the many versions of the Mai Tai, one stands out for its unique twist and unforgettable flavor: the Monkeypod Mai Tai.

Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe

The Monkeypod Kitchen and the Birth of the Monkeypod Mai Tai

The Monkeypod Mai Tai was born in the Monkeypod Kitchen, a renowned restaurant chain in Hawaii. The Monkeypod Kitchen is the brainchild of Peter Merriman, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement in Hawaii. Merriman’s vision was to create a dining experience that showcased the best of Hawaii’s local produce, and this ethos extends to the Monkeypod Mai Tai.

The Monkeypod Mai Tai is not your average Mai Tai. It’s a cocktail that takes the classic recipe and elevates it with a selection of premium ingredients and a unique addition: Honey Lilikoi Foam.

A Tropical Drink that Defines Paradise

What makes the Monkeypod Mai Tai so special is its ability to transport you straight to paradise with every sip. Its bright flavors and tropical ingredients are quintessentially Hawaiian, making it a must-try when visiting any of Hawaii’s beautiful islands. It has become so popular that many bars worldwide have tried their hand at creating their own version of this iconic cocktail

But let’s be clear: there is nothing like having a true Monkeypod Mai Tai while savoring all that Hawaii offers. Whether you’re on a sandy beach or in a bustling city, taking just one sip will make you feel like you’ve been transported to an island oasis filled with sunshine and good vibes. 

The Perfect Cocktail for Any Occasion

Another reason why people love this drink so much is because it can be enjoyed in any setting or occasion.

Feeling stressed out from work? 

Sip on a refreshing Monkeypod Mai Tai as you unwind and relax at home. Hosting a summer party? 

This drink will surely impress your guests with its beautiful presentation and delicious taste. Overall, the Monkeypod Mai Tai symbolizes Hawaii’s laid-back and joyful lifestyle. 

It’s a drink that embodies the island spirit and celebrates all that makes Hawaii unique. So next time you’re craving a tropical escape, mix up a batch of this classic cocktail for an instant trip to paradise. 

The Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe: A Symphony of Flavors

Let’s first take a look at what goes into making the perfect Monkeypod Mai Tai.

Here’s what you’ll need


Flavor Profile

The Monkeypod Mai Tai starts with a base of three types of rum:

Old Lahaina Light Rum and Kula Organic Silver and Dark Rums.

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These Rums can be somewhat difficult to location outside of Hawaii. If you are making this recipe we have listed some comparable products below:

Rums Similar to Old Lahina Rum

  1. Plantation Original Dark Rum: This rum is mentioned as one of the best overall dark rums. It originates from Jamaica, Barbados, and France and has tasting notes of raisin, pepper, and caramel.
  2. Zacapa 23: This is a dark rum that is highly rated.
  3. Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva: Another dark rum that is often recommended.
  4. Gosling’s Black Seal: This is a popular dark rum that might have similar characteristics.
  5. Papa’s Pilar Dark 24 Rum: This is another dark rum that could be similar.
  6. Myer’s Original Dark Rum: This rum is also mentioned as a good dark rum.

Rums Similar to Kula Organic Silver Rum

  1. Selvarey White Rum: This rum is appreciated for its crisp and clean taste, often used in cocktails.
  1. The Real McCoy Rum 80 Proof 12 Yr: This rum is known for its balance and complexity, with a proof level of 80.
  1. Pusser’s Navy Rum 15 Yrs: This rum is recognized for its robust flavor and long aging process.

Dark Rums For Mai Tai’s

  • Smith & Cross: This Jamaican rum is known for its robust flavor and high proof, making it a popular choice for Mai Tais.
  • Hamilton 86 Demerara Rum: This rum from Guyana is rich and flavorful, with a high proof that stands up well in cocktails.
  • Appleton Estates VX: This Jamaican rum is often recommended for its balance of rich, deep flavors and smooth finish.
  • El Dorado 5 Year Cask Aged: This rum from Guyana is aged for five years, giving it a complex flavor profile that works well in Mai Tais.
  • Meyers Dark: Or you could just go with good old readily available Meyers Dark Rum

The Old Lahaina Light Rum adds a smooth, light flavor, while the Kula Organic Rums, made from organic sugarcane grown on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, bring depth and complexity to the cocktail.

Next comes the lime juice. Fresh lime juice is a key component of any Mai Tai, and the Monkeypod Mai Tai is no exception. The tartness of the lime juice balances the sweetness of the other ingredients and adds a refreshing zing to the cocktail. 

Orgeat syrup, a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose or orange flower water.

Orgeat syrup is an almond-based syrup that brings nutty richness to the drink and helps balance out those tart flavors from lime juice. Find the Recipe for the Macadamia Nut Orgeat Syrup in our recipe components post.

The cocktail is then sweetened with a touch of honey syrup and Lilikoi puree. Lilikoi, also known as passion fruit, is a staple in Hawaiian cuisine. Its sweet-tart flavor profile adds a tropical flair to the Monkeypod Mai Tai.

But what truly sets the Monkeypod Mai Tai apart is the Honey Lilikoi Foam. This light, airy foam is made by whipping honey, Lilikoi puree, and a few other ingredients until they form a soft, meringue-like foam.

The foam is then spooned on top of the cocktail, adding a layer of texture and a burst of flavor that makes every sip a delight.

All these create a harmonious blend that makes every sip deliciously memorable.

Now that we know what we need for our Monkeypod Mai Tai let’s move on to how we can combine them all perfectly! 

Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe: Preparation

Step-by-step instructions on how to make a Monkeypod Mai Tai

Making a Monkeypod Mai Tai is a simple process involving mixing various ingredients.


Step 1: Prepare the Cocktail Shaker Fill the cocktail shaker with ice to create a base for mixing the ingredients.

Step 2: Add the Rums Pour 1 oz of Old Lahaina Light Rum, 1 oz of Kula Organic Silver Rum, and 1 oz of Kula Organic Dark Rum into the cocktail shaker.

Step 3: Squeeze in Fresh Lime Juice Add 1 oz of fresh lime juice to the cocktail shaker. This will provide a tangy citrus flavor to the cocktail.

Step 4: Incorporate Orgeat syrup Pour 1/2 oz of Orgeat syrup into the cocktail shaker. This will add a creamy, nutty sweetness to the drink.

Step 5: Introduce Lilikoi Puree Include 1/2 oz of Lilikoi Puree into the cocktail shaker. This will bring a tropical, fruity essence to the cocktail.

Step 6: Sweeten with Honey Syrup Add 1/2 oz of Honey Syrup to provide a touch of sweetness and enhance the overall flavor profile.

Step 7: Shake Vigorously Securely close the cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously until the outside becomes frosty. This helps to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

Step 8: Strain into a Glass Strain the cocktail mixture from the shaker into a glass filled with fresh ice. This ensures a smooth, chilled drink.

Step 9: Add Honey Lilikoi Foam Using a spoon, delicately layer a generous amount of Honey Lilikoi Foam on top of the cocktail. This will create a frothy, luxurious texture.

Step 10: Garnish with Mint Place a sprig of mint on top of the foam for an aromatic and visually appealing garnish.

Step 11: Serve and Enjoy Your Monkeypod Mai Tai is now ready to be served. Sip and savor the delightful combination of flavors in this tropical cocktail. Cheers!

Enjoy your Monkeypod Mai Tai!

Tips on how to properly measure ingredients and mix them together for optimal taste

When making a Monkeypod Mai Tai, it’s essential to use high-quality ingredients and measure them carefully for optimal flavor.

Jiggers are great way to ensure proper measuring.

Use fresh-squeezed lime juice instead of bottled juice for better taste. 

Make sure to use proper measuring tools like jiggers or shot glasses when adding ingredients to get accurate measurements. 

Too much or too little of any ingredient can throw off the balance of flavors in your cocktail. Remember to shake your cocktail thoroughly! 

Shaking creates tiny air bubbles that help release essential oils from some ingredients like lime juice, enhancing your drink’s flavors.

Check out these trending shakers on amazon!

By following these tips and steps, you will be able to make a delicious Monkeypod Mai Tai at home that tastes just as good as one made by professionals in Hawaii! 


The classic Monkeypod Mai Tai recipe is already a fantastic drink, but sometimes mixing things up and trying something new is fun. Here are some variations on the traditional recipe that you can experiment with: 

Switch Up the Rum

One way to put a twist on the Monkeypod Mai Tai is to use different types of rum.

The traditional recipe calls for two different types of rum: dark Jamaican rum and amber Martinique rum. 

However, you can also try using other rums, such as spiced rum or coconut rum. These will give your drink a different flavor profile and add a unique twist. 

If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could also try substituting one of the rums with another type of spirit altogether, like tequila or mezcal. This will create an entirely new cocktail that still has some of the classic Mai Tai flavors

Add Some Spice

If you’re looking for something with a little bit more heat and spice, consider adding some jalapeño or habanero peppers to your Monkeypod Mai Tai recipe.

Muddle slices of peppers in with your other ingredients before adding ice and shaking. 

This will give your drink a nice kick that pairs well with the other flavors in the cocktail. Just be sure to taste your drink as you go to make sure it’s not too spicy for your liking. 

Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe: Serving

One of the best parts of making your own Monkeypod Mai Tai is adding personal touches to the drink. One easy way to elevate your presentation is by adding a garnish. 

A classic garnish for this drink is a mint sprig, which adds freshness and aroma. Simply take a small sprig of mint and place it on top of the drink before serving. 

Making Monkeypod Mai Tai

Another fun option for garnishing is using a pineapple wedge as a tropical nod to the origins of this cocktail. The pineapple’s sweetness complements the lime’s tartness and enhances the flavor profile. 

Suggestions for Pairing

When it comes to pairing food with cocktails, you want to choose dishes that complement but don’t overpower the flavors in your drink. The savory-sweet balance in Monkeypod Mai Tai makes it versatile enough to pair with a variety of different foods.

A classic pairing that works well is seafood, particularly fish or shrimp dishes with tropical flavors like coconut or mango salsa. 

Grilled chicken or pork with tangy BBQ sauce also pairs well with this cocktail. If you’re looking for something lighter, try pairing your Monkeypod Mai Tai with a salad featuring fresh fruits like mango, papaya or grapefruit and dressed lightly in citrus vinaigrette. 

Check out These Recipes Inspired by Hawaii!

Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe: Conclusion

The Monkeypod Mai Tai: More Than Just a Cocktail

The Monkeypod Mai Tai is more than just a cocktail. It’s a celebration of Hawaii’s rich culinary heritage, a testament to Peter Merriman’s vision, and a tribute to the Monkey Pod organization’s commitment to quality and sustainability.

Every sip transports you to the tropical shores of Hawaii, making the Monkeypod Mai Tai not just a cocktail, but an experience.

So, the next time you’re in the mood for a cocktail, why not try the Monkeypod Mai Tai? Whether you’re in the Monkeypod Kitchen or making it at home, one thing is for sure: the Monkeypod Mai Tai is a taste of Hawaii in a glass.

Why You Should Try Making Your Own Monkeypod Mai Tai at Home

If you’re looking for a fun and easy cocktail recipe to try at home, the Monkeypod Mai Tai is an excellent choice. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also relatively simple to make with just a few basic ingredients. 

By making your own Monkeypod Mai Tai at home, you can experiment with different variations and customize the recipe to your liking. Consider using dark rum instead of light rum or adding extra lime juice for more tartness. 

Monkeypod Mai Tai

There are endless possibilities when creating your own unique twist on this classic cocktail. So why not give it a try? 

Whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or just want to unwind after a long day at work, the Monkeypod Mai Tai is sure to please. Cheers! 

FAQ’s Monkeypod Mai Tai Recipe

Who created the Monkeypod Mai Tai?

The Monkeypod Mai Tai was first created by Matt Resich, the beverage director for Merriman’s Maui restaurant.

What is the significance of the name “Monkeypod” in the Monkeypod Mai Tai?

The name “Monkeypod” comes from the tree where the restaurant is located. It has now become synonymous with one of Hawaii’s most iconic cocktails.

What are some variations of the Monkeypod Mai Tai recipe?

Some variations of the Monkeypod Mai Tai recipe include using different types of rum, such as spiced rum or coconut rum, and using fresh fruit juice instead of canned juice. Adding jalapeño or habanero peppers for a spicy kick is another variation you can try.

How should the Monkeypod Mai Tai be served?

The Monkeypod Mai Tai can be served in a glass filled with ice. It can be garnished with a mint sprig or a pineapple wedge for added freshness and tropical flair.

What are some suggested food pairings with the Monkeypod Mai Tai?

The Monkeypod Mai Tai pairs well with seafood dishes like fish or shrimp with tropical flavors, grilled chicken or pork with tangy BBQ sauce, and salads featuring fresh fruits like mango, papaya, or grapefruit.

Why is the Monkeypod Mai Tai a beloved cocktail?

The Monkeypod Mai Tai is beloved for its delicious taste, complex flavor profile, and cultural significance. It represents the laid-back and joyful lifestyle of Hawaii and is considered one of the signature drinks of the islands.

Why should someone try making their own Monkeypod Mai Tai at home?

Making your own Monkeypod Mai Tai at home allows you to customize the recipe to your liking and experiment with different variations. It’s a fun and relatively simple cocktail to make, perfect for entertaining or enjoying a refreshing drink at home.

The article was reviewed By Rebekah Plec, Hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

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Rebekah Plec

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