Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

Mezcal and Jamaican rum come together in this Mai Tai variation to create a modern day classic.

Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

While I was in Hawaii a few years back, I practically lived on Mai Tai’s. Everywhere I went, the first thing I’d do was order one and walk around with it. That drink was my guide, showing me the sights of many a luau. One morning at a beachside cafe, I saw their menu had a Breakfast Mai Tai on it. It was vacation, so I had one and spent the rest of the day thinking I had broadened my cocktail horizons, even if was just the once. Turns out it was a regular Mai Tai with the word “breakfast” in front of it.

Doing a little online digging, I soon discovered that the Mai Tai is apparently one of the more “riffed” drinks in the cocktail world, with every tiki bar having their take on it. It’s also a drink that seems to fall prey to really, really bad recipes. In fact, sharing or looking for the worst Mai Tais in the world is a popular trend on social media.

One of the best, and most popular versions of the drink, is called a Tia Mia… a clever anagram of Mai Tai. Created in 2010 by New York City bartender Ivy Mix, this version of the drink keeps the curacao and lime juice from the original, but uses a hearty and smoky mezcal, along with a Jamaican Rum, for a crisp and drier affair. A more Caribbean and Mexican influenced version of the Tiki classic, the Tia Mia is still a favorite at Mix’s Brooklyn destination, Leyenda, to this very day.

Are the Tia Mia and Tia Maria the same drink?

The Tia Maria is a liqueur made with rum, coffee and vanilla, and is used in drinks like a White Russian and Espresso Martini. Some folks even pour it over ice cream. Sounds delicious and suddenly I want some, but this particular concoction was, according to legend, discovered in an ancient manuscript from the 17th century, and is pretty far from the drink we’re looking at today. It’s a great story, though, and I can’t wait to tell it to you…

What is the best alcohol to use in a Tia Mia Cocktail?

A lot of the drinks we’ve looked at in the past have been pretty simple, usually only using between three and four ingredients. This cocktail is a little more involved. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean it’s harder to craft; you just have a few more flavors to work with. That’s why I’d suggest going for a reliable mid-to-top shelf mezcal, something that you know is good, which will ensure that your cocktail’s flavors play together nicely. I’d also go for a either an aged honey-colored Jamaican rum, like Appleton, or a white one, like Wray & Nephew. If you choose your base alcohols wisely, you’ll get a delicious blend of smoky and tropical flavors.

Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe
Servings 1
5 minutes


  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz Jamaican Rum
  • 0.5 oz lime juice
  • 0.5 oz orgeat almond syrup
  • 0.5 oz dry curaçao
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 lime wheel and 1 mint sprig for garnish


  • Add the Mezcal, Jamaican Rum, lime juice, orgeat, dry curaçao, and Angostura bitters to a shaker.
    Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe
  • Fill the shaker with ice and shake well until it’s well chilled.
  • Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Add the lime wheel and mint sprig for garnish and enjoy!
    Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe
Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

FAQs & Tips

Tia Mia Cocktail Recipe

Tia Mia Cocktail Variations

You won’t have to worry about having the worst version of any drink here at Twist and Toast. We have a growing roster of delicious and easy to make recipes you can try out home, especially drinks that’ll keep your beach vibes going all year long.

Mai Tai – The original Tiki cocktail that launched a thousand drinks! Learn how to make the perfect one here.

Jalapeño Paloma Mocktail – Taking a break from booze but still want to enjoy a nice, relaxing drink? This alcohol-free recipe is perfect for poolside sipping.

Vodka Mojito – I write about this tasty take on the Caribbean classic. Have a few this weekend!

Mexican Firing Squad – Here’s a piece I did on this refreshing and powerful drink. You’ll never forget its name or taste.

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