Let´s get Tropical with Daniele Dalla Pola!


Champion of the 42 Below cocktail world cup and owner of the Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna, Italy – master of tiki drinks and tasty libations and undisputed lover of pineapples, meet Daniele Dalla Pola!

Hailing from Milan and now living in Bologna where he resides at the Nu Lounge Bar when he`s not travelling the world spreading tiki and tropical drinks and aloha.

I have been admiring the tiki drinks and vintage style photos of Daniele Dalla Pola for a long time, I hope to one day be able to have one in person! last time I met Daniele was in New Orleans at the  2014 TOTC event “Dynamic Duos” at the Cane and Table where Jeff Beachbum Berry did bartend together with Nick Detrich mixing up drinks with Plantation rum.

It was an evening of great friendship, fun and tasty cocktails as this picture by my friend Laura Godel can tell!

Daniele and Jeff Berry

Curious about how Daniele came into the world of tiki and what tiki means to him i asked him about his story:

pineapple small smallYou are one of the most prolific bartenders out there… tell us your story Daniele?

Thank you for a compliment! A long story short, to be a prolific bartender it`s essential to have passion for what you are doing, but passion without talent is nothing. My talent is all about hospitality. I learned how to improve my skills during my long time living in Miami, USA.

Everyday was a challenge, because I could loose my job in any moment. There was and there is still a lot of competitors-hardworkers so if you are not on focus you can lose your chance to success.

And it’s like this everywhere in the world. In last 10 years our world has been changing so much, a lot of “trains” (opportunities) pass by….you have to jump in.

pineapple small smallAnd tiki, how did you get into that?

I been a tropical oriented kind of person since I started this profession and I always dreamed about opening a bar in Hawaii. I just fell in love with this incredible world of cool fancy drinks many years a go. Then thanks to the new golden era of cocktails I even decided to make a radical change to my bar, like Trader Vic did in the past.

pineapple small smallI have seen tiki getting more popular in Europe, especially in the UK but it´s not near as big as in the US, naturally, and a lot of people seem to think tiki is just a style and just all about the drinks, when they are actually just a part of a whole culture and lifestyle, what`s your thoughts on that?

Tiki Culture is the coolest era ever, sometime I just wish that I can travel back in time and walk into one of the Don The Beachcomber or participate in one of the amazing Luaus at the Encino Plantation, maybe make a Missionary s Downfall to Clark Gable…

I agree that tiki is not just a type of cocktail, tiki can be a lifestyle, your home can be tiki style, you can buy outfit tiki style, you can have even a tattoo, but without Aloha Spirit all this won`t be possible.

pineapple small smallAnd as for the drinks, what´s your favorite tiki drinks?

I love to make the Pearl Diver and the Missionary s Downfall…. my favorite depends of the moment…. now it`s Don`s Special.

pineapple small smallI cannot do this interview without talking about pineapples, you really do promote the King of Fruits like no one else, why is it so special?

You just said it !!!! it`s the king of fruit and a symbol of friendship and of hospitality. It´s so good and i love the texture in cocktails and now it`s fashion too.

pineapple small smallObviously a silly question, but tell me why should I visit the Nu Lounge Bar?

Because of me !!!! is a joke !!!! 🙂 many reasons, one of them is for sure the location and all the good looking guys that work there…..

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pineapple small small I see you use a lot of coconut, pineapple and banana, are they your favorite flavor pairings?

That was an easy question – RUM and LIME…….. 🙂

pineapple small smallYour photos have a very nice vintage look, do you have any photography tips?

Just buy cool apps and practice, make sure that the background is nice and that there is nothing that can disturb, for example like a garbage bin, also I usually don t like pics with straws, try to have your style so the people can recognize your works easily. And change it when you dont like it anymore…..find a new style and start again.

pineapple small smallTell me something about Hawaii….what the Aloha shirt means to you!

Hawaii is magic, Hawaii is paradise….all the islands are incredibly beautiful, everything there is so special, all the breathtaking views, the beaches, the sound of ukulele, the kalua pig, and the beers are amazing,[ liquid Aloha ] the Kona coffee… and you can see some cute hula girls dancing.

But you can live with Aloha Spirit everywhere you want.

Talking about Aloha Shirts, I`ll say just one thing, now we cross the line a bit because fashion industry in the last couple of years is doing a lot *Hawaiian Style* and people will get tired of this.

But I`ll not! One day I hope to become a Kamaʻāina, so I`ll have a discount in the Aloha Shirt Shop….

pineapple small smallAnd finally, you recently had a gorgeous pineapple mug made, is that a new signature mug for your bar?

Of course ….the Sexy Colada! and here`s the MANOA:


45 ml Bacardi Carta oro rum

30 ml Arcane cane crush rum

10 ml Pimento dram liqueur

15 ml Passion fruit syrup

15 ml Homemade falernum syrup

20 ml grapefruit juice

20 ml lime juice

For the garnish:

1/2  lime

1 sprig of mint

1 sugar cube

3 ml Absinthe

A sprinkle of ground cinnamon

1 cup/250g crushed ice

Pour lime juice, grapefruit juice, falernum syrup, passion fruit syrup, pimento dram liqueur, white rum and overproof rum into a shaker and fill the shaker with crushed ice and shake.

Pour together with ice into a tiki mug and garnish with a mint sprig and a half lime with a sugar cube soaked in absinthe. Set the sugar on fire and sprinkle it with ground cinnamon.

Mahalo Daniele!

After writing this post I know one thing for sure, someday I need to get myself over to Nu Lounge Bar….and now they also have these super cool pineapple mugs, a part of the Marama Project for Nu Lounge Bar. I made a “Aku Lapu Lapu” in it and the mug is just the right size for a good tiki drink and the top has a hole in it for the straw.

I think the mug is so cool………

Pineapple 3

And now let´s take a look at Daniele`s drinks! they are photographed in a lovely vintage tiki style and the garnishes and glassware and everything around are all creative and elaborate and the king is of course – the pineapple!

Here`s eye candy for tiki drink and tropical drink lovers! all are Daniele´s drinks and many of these are what you get if you head over to Nu Lounge Bar! I just love the vintage tiki style in these photos! and there´s such great attention to detail….but beware – it´s  a VERY LOOOONG picture parade…..


With a hint of coconut, pineapple and banana…..spices, smoke and fire…….

Aloha is the greeting…..let´s get tropical!


Nu Lounge Bar Mai Tai

Start with a Mai Tai……

Nu Lounge Bar 58 Spiced Martinique Swizzle

Then get something spicy with a vibrant lively rhum agricole….the Spiced Martinique Swizzle!


And then….here it is! – Daniele´s fresh yummy drooly Sexy Colada!

Nu Lounge Bar 54 pina

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Fragrant….cinnamon dusting on top…..


More pineapple! from Pina to Painkiller!

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Nu Lounge Bar 50 pAINKILLER

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palm tree parasol let`s get tropical

Sail away to the tropics….get tropical! and STAY tropical!!!



Maori Sour

The Maori Sour ( Nu Lounge Bar )

20 ml. passion fruit puree
2 barspoon Guadeloupe sugar mixed with green tea ( powder )
20 ml. lime juice
1/2 passion fruit
60 ml. 42 below vodka
20 ml. manuka honey mix
Shake and pour unstrained in a cool glass
Add more ice ( crushed )
Garnish with the empty passion fruit filled with green tea , berrys, sugar


Ready for some heat? the Nu Volcano is erupting!

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Followed by smoke…..

Nu smoke and clam

And lots of it….oozing it´s way around the table…


Nu Lounge Big Bamboo




Nu Lounge Bar 49 shaved ice Volcano

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Pineapple and coconut again!!! let`s kill some more pain….

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Yeah…we sure are in pineapple paradise….


And we´re on island time aren`t we…..?

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Dreaming of Blue Hawaii….can you hear the waves crashing?

Nu Lounge Bar 42 Nu Blue Hawaiian


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And the sweet island tones of the ukulele….

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Missionary`s Downfall

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I spy a Scott Taylor mug….

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We know what DTO is….and now it´s even BDT – Banana daquiri time!

Nu Lounge Bar 34 banana daiquiri

Nu Lounge Bar 60 Banana Beach Daiquiri

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Rum julep…..


Uhaa Punch…..



Aqua de Mai Tai….very innovative and stunning presentation!

Nu Lounge Bar 52 Missionary's Flip Flop

Missionary’s Flip Flop!

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Nu Lounge Bar 56 Navy Grog

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Nu Lounge Bar 35 Painkiller, Spice Colada and Boo Loo

Painkiller, Spice Colada and Boo Loo


Nu Lounge Bar 43 The Key West


Pineapple love  🙂


As you can see, there´s a lot of attention to detail here…I mean down to the last tiny details….a sign of a true master! and a lot of Aloha spirit in his works! Beautiful pictures aren`t they? all pics in the picture parade are courtesy and credited to Daniele Dalla Pola, the pics of the smoke are courtesy Ariel from www.ascocktailproducts.eu Mahalo for giving me permission to use them  here!

Nu Lounge Bar text

Address: Via Dè Musei, 6, 40124 Bologna, Italy
Phone:+39 051 222532
Hours:5:00 pm – 3:00 am

3 Replies to “Let´s get Tropical with Daniele Dalla Pola!”

  1. Thanks for your comment Jack, and thirsty, so am I 🙂

    Oriol, I know! I need to go! can`t wait to see what you gonna write….

  2. Amazing tiki bar, amazing drinks and amazing bartenders!!!
    Daniele receives us with all his Aloha…I’ll write soon a post about my visit to Nu Lounge Bar!!!
    Helena, you need to visit it!!!

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