Mai Tai Spritz

Martin Cate, Smuggler's Cove | San Francisco

Like the many maligned Mai Tai recipes floating about in the cocktail ether, the originator of this tiki classic has been muddied, with accounts naming Don the Beachcomber and others fingering his rival, Victor “Trader Vic” Bergeron. Either way, Vic’s version is the one that lingers as the canonical formula. Austere compared to many kitchen sink–style tiki drinks, the Mai Tai pairs lime, almond syrup (orgeat), dry curacao, and, often, two styles of rum—Jamaican and Martinican. Martin Cate’s spritz-ified version pares down the rum content in lieu of a Champagne topper in a nod to Trader Vic’s French heritage.

Reprinted with permission from Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, copyright © 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: Dylan + Jeni © 2016


Serving: 1

  • 1 ounce Denizen Merchant's Reserve Rum (or Appleton Estate Reserve Rum)
  • 1/2 ounce Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 4 ounces Brut Champagne

Garnish: mint sprig and lime wheel

  1. Combine the lime juice, orgeat, curaçao, and rum in a small container and refrigerate for an hour or two.
  2. Pour the chilled mixture into a Collins glass, fill to the rim with ice, top with Champagne, and add the garnish.