Mai Tais are a classic tiki cocktail, albeit “one of the least understood of the bunch,” writes rum expert Shannon Mustipher in her brilliant new book, “Tiki.”

Like Margaritas, Mai Tais fall victim to their own popularity. An endless parade of saccharine prepackaged mixes and weirdly fruited iterations outpace the original.

Properly made Mai Tais are beautifully balanced, though. Want to master this tiki drink at home? Here are six expert tips.

WHAT TO DO WHEN MAKING MAI TAIS

4. Garnish with restraint.

Mustipher’s Mai Tai recipe is garnished with half a juiced lime and fresh mint. Martin Cate, owner of San Francisco rum bar Smuggler’s Cove, uses the same in his recipe.

Kevin Beary, beverage director of Chicago tiki destination Three Dots and a Dash, is even more minimalist. “Use mint as a garnish, it’s all you need,” he writes VinePair in an email.