tiki Feed

Smuggler's Cove, the San Francisco tiki bar by "Shoeless" Martin Cate, opens in San Francisco on Tuesday, December 8th. I got a sneak preview along with other members of the press on Thursday night. To give you an idea about the level of excitement around this bar opening, some cocktail nerds drove up from Los Angeles or flew down from Portland to witness it in person, assuming they'd see it now before it is packed for the next few months as the very enthusiastic tiki crowd swarms in. Smuggler's Cove has a gorgeous menu featuring 80 mostly rum cocktails and... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

The Great Tiki War of San Francisco

This week is Tiki Week at Heaven's Dog in San Francisco. Naturally you'll assume that with the opening of tiki bar Smuggler's Cove next week that their evil plan is to run the bar out of business before they even open. It's true! Okay, that's totally not true. In San Francisco everybody is so darn nice to each other that this week's tiki celebration at Heaven's Dog is actually being held in honor of Smuggler's Cove. Hugs! The secondary reason for Heaven's Dog's tiki celebration is a pre-release of two new Small Hand Foods products- the cream of coconut and... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Smuggler's Cove, the new San Francisco tiki bar in the former Jade bar space, run by "Shoeless" Martin Cate formerly of Forbidden Island, will open December 8th to much fanfare. The word on the scene is that the rum selection is going to be ridiculously large. The staff are in training now to make the probably very long menu of undoubtedly complicated and delicious tiki drinks. They've already announced they have a rum, and wine, and a beer made exclusively for the bar. And it keeps getting better- I just got word on the staff. The Smuggler's Cove rumshakers will... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

History of the El Diablo Cocktail in Trader Vic's Books

I was trying to find the first reference to the El Diablo cocktail recently. Mexican El Diablo 1/2 lime 1 ounce tequila 1/2 crème de cassis Ginger Ale Squeeze lime juice into a 10-ounce glass; drop in spent shell. Add ice cubes, tequila, and crème de cassis. Fill glass with ginger ale. Searching the web, the earliest reference I read to it was from Trader Vic's books of 1946 and 1947. I asked tiki expert Martin Cate, who has these books, if he knew if the drink was a Trader Vic original. After his research it's still not entirely clear,... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Where's Martin?

As many of you now know, Martin Cate of the fabulous famous tiki bar in Alameda, Forbidden Island, is no longer of Forbidden Island. He parted ways with his business partners recently and will no longer be working/managing there. Martin says he's at work on another venture but won't tell me anything about it. Is it a new bar? A book? Gender reassignment surgery? I don't know because he won't say. Feel free to add your theories in the comments. This secrecy is cruel and unusual treatment, since I knew about his departure from FI before I was permitted to... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Last week, the day after WhiskyFest when I didn't really need to be drinking any more, I boarded a bus for an 11-hour tiki tour as part of Tiki Crawl 8. Actually, it was only one of the four days of Tiki Crawl- the East Bay day. There was also a South Bay, San Francisco, and a cool-down potluck. Believe you me, one day was enough. We started our journey at the Phoenix Hotel, the sponsor hotel for the crawl, at 3PM. We loaded up the bus and first headed to Forbidden Island in Alameda. The bus was loaded with... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.

Eric Felten wrote a huge feature on tiki bars in this weekend's Wall Street Journal in advance of next weekend's Tiki Crawl. He visited a bunch of Bay Area bars and found Forbidden Island to be the magic that it is and bemoans the tiki bars that serve bad drinks. (His diss Trad'r Sam's is wonderful.) Beyond that, he spent a lot of words ruminating about the escapism these bars provided after the last depression, and how in a world with cell phones and casual Fridays we don't take long enough to detach from work to escape at all. That's... Read more →

Camper's Book: Tonic Water AKA G&T WTF is now available for sale.