My Thai Cocktail Recipe

A spicy and Asian inspired version of the original Tiki favorite.

My Thai Cocktail

Look up any famous or popular cocktail and you’ll find a fair amount of conflicting stories associated with it. The Mai Tai is one of those drinks. Despite a few different people claiming ownership, historians and cocktail enthusiasts the world over all seem to agree on its creator: Victor Bergeron, more famously known as Trader Vic.

The story goes that in 1944, at the original Trader Vic’s bar in Oakland, California, Bergeron concocted a magical mixture of rum, curacao, orgeat and lime juice. This cocktail, the Mai Tai, was inspired by the Polynesian island of Tahiti, and soon became a staple of Tiki culture and exotic island getaways.

Back in 2010, legendary bartender Jim Meehan was inspired himself to take on and create an explosively delicious variation on Trader Vic’s classic. Adding Thai chili peppers for a spicy kick, along with soothing coconut milk in place of the orgeat, Meehan crafted a worthy and worldly companion to Bergeron’s invention. “This recipe”, said Meehan, “reimagined Trader Vic looking to Thailand instead of Tahiti as part of the inspiration behind his most famous cocktail.”

The more I read and discovered about the My Thai and how Jim Meehan came about it, the more excited I became to try one. Imagination is one of the best ingredients you can use in any invention.

What is the best rum to use in a My Thai Cocktail?

We’re going to get a little specific with this one. Usually I’ll try to steer you toward a type of spirit rather than a specific brand, as availability and price point may vary by region. When Jim Meehan created the My Thai cocktail, he had one brand of rum in mind, and with very good reason. Banks 5-Island is a mix of more than twenty different rums and was chosen for its blends from Indonesia and the West Indies. I assumed that a bottle of this would be ridiculously expensive or hard to find, but that wasn’t the case at all. I found a bottle at my local grocery store, and at a great price. Definitely seek it out! If you can’t find a any or want a simpler touch, a good white rum or even a gold one will fit the bill.

My Thai Cocktail
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 1 Thai chili pepper
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 2 oz. light rum
  • 3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. Thai coconut milk


  • Begin by lightly crushing the Thai chili pepper and Grand Marnier in a mixing glass.
  • Introduce the rum, lime juice, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ice, then shake until it is nice and cold.
  • Use a fine strainer to transfer the mixture into a Tiki mug filled with new ice.
  • Finish off with a pineapple leaf and a Thai chili pepper for garnish.
My Thai Cocktail

FAQs & Tips

My Thai Cocktail

My Thai Cocktail Variations

In the mood for more spicy drinks? Want a cocktail with a little extra kick? Twist and Toast has great selection of recipes to fit whatever mood you’re in. Here’s a few to get you started:

Spicy Margarita – One of your favorite drinks just got a little more intense.

Spicy Paloma – The popular Mexican cocktail gets a hot and fiery upgrade.

JalapeƱo Paloma Mocktail – None of the alcohol, all of the flavor. The jalapeƱos add that extra kick, too.

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