At your next get-together, your non-drinking guests and designated drivers, as well as the younger set, will appreciate a virgin mai tai. It's non-alcoholic and a whole lot more fun than soda pop or fruit punch. Break out the tiki torches and get ready to party, because a virgin mai tai is fresh and fruity -- and takes only minutes to prepare.
Place orange juice, unsweetened pineapple juice and freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker. For one mai tai, use about 2 ounces of orange juice, 1 ounce of pineapple juice and the juice of half a lime.
Stir in equal parts -- about 1/4 ounce of each -- of simple syrup and orgeat syrup. Simple syrup is made of equal parts sugar and water. Orgeat, a syrup with a distinctive almond flavor, is usually available at liquor stores and wine shops.
Add crushed ice and shake the mixture, then pour it into a glass. Do not strain the mixture.
Garnish the mai tai before serving with a sprig of fresh mint and the squeezed lime half. Add a maraschino cherry or a piece of fresh fruit, such as an orange slice or pineapple chunk.
To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
Turn any mai tai recipe or drink mix into a non-alcoholic drink by substituting lemon-lime soda for the alcoholic ingredients.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.