tiki Feed

Hello again from Tales of the Cocktail live in the Intercontinental Hotel in Buenos Aires! I just attended Beachbum Berry's seminar: Tiki Drinks from A to Zombie, and below are my notes. Please forgive any spelling errors - I was typing live. The golden age of tiki was from the end of Prohibition to the beginning of Disco. The 40 year drink trend inspired cultural trends in clothing, design, architecture, and music, rather than those things inspiring cocktails. Tiki palaces were fine dining restaurants- the most expensive nights out. Big tiki restaurants were often designed by Hollywood art directors, had... Read more →

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I know a lot about Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber, but I didn't know about Harry Yee until this year. I learned a bit about him at a seminar called Modern Tiki: A Pirate's Life for Me, which took place during Hawaii Cocktail Week at the Moana Surfrider Hotel. The seminar was lead by Julie Reiner (owner of the Flatiron Lounge, formerly Lani Kai, and consultant on Hawaii's Tiki Iniki) and Brian Miller (bartender for hire). Harry Yee lived in Hawaii and was the inventor of the Blue Hawaii cocktail, shown above. He was also the first person to... Read more →

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Another two days in London meant another bunch of bars visited. Here's a brief summary. We stopped into the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel for a sampling of many of their classics. The drinks we tried were simple, elegant, and of course expertly crafted by Erik Lorincz and his team. The American Bar has an odd L shape, with the bar the small part of the L so only part of it is visible from the main seating area. From a bar as famous as this one, you'd think it would be all TA-DA front and center but I... Read more →

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In my latest post for FineCooking.com I talk a little bit about orgeat as a segue into posting the recipe for Dominic Venegas' Mi Ruca cocktail that helped him win the SF regional 42Below vodka cocktail world cup. (Photos courtesy of 42Below Vodka.) Most of what I know about orgeat comes from the research for a huge Mai Tai story I wrote for Mixology Magazine in Germany. And much of that information comes from Jennifer Colliau of Small Hand Foods, whose orgeat is so labor-intensive she only sells it to select clients, and Blair Reynolds, whose Trader Tiki orgeat now... Read more →

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Trader Vic's in Emeryville, the large water-adjacent spot in the East Bay of San Francisco with some of the artifacts of the original Trader Vic's Oakland location, is reopening September 28th after a remodel and menu update. Part of that update is of the drinks. A Trader Vic's representative told me that the new drinks on the menu are: 1944 Mai Tai (which is a Mai Tai from scratch) Maui Mai Tai Guava Mai Tai Mango Mai Tai The Wave (three of the flavored Mai Tais in one ride) E’ville Awa (E’ville – Emeryville and “Awa” means “port” in Hawaiian)... Read more →

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I have a great-looking four-page story in the August Eat + Drink issue of 7x7 Magazine. The story splits up old bars and new bars inspired by old bars into five types/eras: Barbary Coast, Speakeasy, Martini Bar, Tiki Bar, and Fern Bar. In each category I list some identifying factors and a few era-appropriate drinks. There are also tons of great pictures by photographer Erin Kunkel, including these yanked from the 7x7 website. Read the story online here or pick up the magazine on the newsstand for even more pictures than on the website. Read more →

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Oh hey, my latest story for Fine Cooking magazine is online already. Tiki Time Showstopping tiki drinks are back on the menu, and they’re causing quite a stir. Here’s how to create these tasty cocktails at home—don’t forget the swizzle sticks and umbrellas. by Camper English Sipping from opposite sides of a cocktail served in a hollowed-out pineapple, a young couple poses for a photo by a waterfall. This isn’t a scene from a Hawaiian vacation in the 1960s, but one I observed earlier this year at Smuggler’s Cove, a buzzing new San Francisco bar. This establishment, and the many... Read more →

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Hello from New York! Last night I went to the friends and family preview for Painkiller, the New York bar from some of the people behind Dutch Kills. It turns out that they have a lot of friends and a very big family, because the place was packed! I didn't even make it to the back of the room. They're going for an urban tiki thing, with graffiti art, brick walls, and bamboo accents. They have skull shot glasses that are pretty awesome. (Aisha Sharpe gives her kiss of approval.) And a few kinds of tiki mugs (and the mug... Read more →

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