TOTC 2015 – Events, Competitions and Tastings!

It`s fun at the Tales! so many tastings, so much to try and so many events and parties…..well you can only do so much…..and you will STILL be uber busy…. 🙂 When I try to remember all the things that we did it all get`s a bit confusing, but here are as a sort of Tales wrap-up of a couple of the fun things we did:

angostura cocktail challenge finals

House of Angostura Brand Ambassador, the one and only, Daniyel Jones, picture Laura Godel.

House of Angostura Cocktail Challenge Finals at the House of Blues!

Angostura collage

This was a great event and with great food! The House of Angostura always takes well care of you….and this time we got to make our own roast-beef poboys…. 🙂 how cool is that!? then try and vote for the contestants drinks. My favorite drink was the Trinidad Cobbler made by Elizabeth Michiewicz and she also won! see her beautiful winning cocktail here and get the recipe to both the cobbler and her other drink, “The Lost Days”!

The House of Angostura also won the Spirited Awards cathegory for Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient!! with their latest product the Amaro di Angostura! a product I have tried and reviewed earlier and it`s such a nice product, congrats! well deserved!

Angostura Pool Party

Angostura also had a pool party -“Orange is the new Black” but we did not manage to get there early unfortunately…and that was a bummer because I really wanted to get me on of those gorgous bath towels….oh well… and the place was so packed you could barely walk…..

And then they also had a tasting which I sadly missed because I was at a seminar….that`s the problem, there`s many things that happens at the same time…and sometimes it´s damn near impossible to pick or make it in time…

Tiki Titans at the Cane and Table

cane and table jet pilot

Cane & Table Featuring Flor De Cana

The Dynamic Duo so powerful they sprouted a third head! Get ready for a night of rum-filled misadventures when three modern masters of the exotic cocktail pour their takes on three vintage drinks from the big three: Donn Beach, Trader Vic, and Steve Crane!

With a little help from our friends at Flor De Cana, you’ll find respite from the NOLA heat inside the historic confines of Decatur Street’s own Cane & Table.

Sip on refreshing rummy libations lovingly served by Nick Detrich (co-owner, Cane & Table, bartender, and affable ginger), Paul McGee (co-owner Lost Lake Chicago, bartender, and beard connoisseur), and Martin Cate (owner Smuggler’s Cove San Francisco, plays a bartender at Tales).

The seductive sounds of bongo drums and electric drink mixers will guide you to safe haven in our rum-filled port! Come thirsty!

The Dynamic Duo`s were back this year again!

Cane and table collage

It was hot and yes we were thirsty………

Cane and table collage 2

The Lost Lake and the Jet pilot!

cane and table collage 3

Brought to us by these hard working guys!

Bulleit Family Affair Presented by Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit fam affair

Every year the Bulleit family presents a lavish tasting or dinner at the Tales and this year was no exception, the Bulleit tastings are simply NOT to miss! not only is this a nice bourbon (and rye) but it`s also a very nice family; they are really nice people.

This year they caught me by surprise though…because they had King Cake!! I didn`t expect that at all….not in the middle of the summer! but when I think about it, I remeber last year, they had Crawfish Monica….so obviously they are trying to pamper us with some of the best of the out of season things you can get here! 🙂

And did I enjoy!

But it was not just the King Cake and the grits and the everything else you could eat, it was also great cocktails served and not the least, nice people and a good time to be had!

Bulleit King Cake

Bulleit King Cake…

Bulleit King Cake coll 2

….and more King Cake…where else can you get both king cake and cheese grits on the same freakin`plate?! only at the Tales! and it made a fab breakfast 🙂

Plantation Stiggin`s Fancy Pineapple rum!

More nice tastings….refreshing cocktails from Rhum Barbancourt and then of course, the famous Stiggin`s Fancy! all these tastings everywhere….it`s one of the best things I think! that and meeting all the people but of course also the seminars.

plantation stiggins tasting 2

And not only did I see a whole lotta pineapples at the Stiggin`s tasting but I also met a real pineapple man!! ;-D I don`t know how he does it…but Rocky is everywhere!

An interesting take on the Mai Tai was also presented –  the “Mai Oh Mai Stiggins Fancy” based on the Trader Vic`s recipe but with a twist, containing Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple rum, fresh lime, Ferrand Dry Curacao, salted macadamia nut syrup, and Fee`s barrel aged Whiskey bitters and then garnished with such a thing as a savory blue cheese stuffed olive!

Plantation Stiggins tasting

The elusive Stiggin`s Fancy, the Plantation Pineapple rum that tastes like a dream!

Rhum Barbancourt

Quickly we passed Rhum Barbancourt`s tasting on our way to a seminar…..but we tried a a cocktail with Rhum Barbancourt and the Pango. It was very nicely set up with beautiful tropical decor but too little time……

Barbancourt 12

Rhum Barbancourt and Pango.

Barbancourt

Puka Punch Challenge 2015

Puka Punch 4

This weekend it was all about the Puka Punch! and that`s a nice drink using many rums so you can play around a bit with it!

Puka Punch Challenge recipe logo collage

The Puka Punch was made by Ray Buhen of the Tiki Ti in the 1960s (in 1961 Ray opened the Tiki Ti, now owned by Ray`s son Mike and grandson Mike Jr)

For this Challenge, I made two Puka Punches, the first one (in the picture on top of this post) was made with the recipe above but using different rums, Old New Orleans white rum, Blackwell rum and floats of demerara and blackstrap.

The second one is Puka Punch double! a wicked combination of Smith and Cross, Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark, Rhum JM agricole blanc with big rich floats of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap! to round up the‪#‎PukaPunchChallenge2015‬

This rum combo turned out fantastic! and the recipe is a twist of the classic one:

PUKA PUNCH  3

Puka Punch Double

2 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz mango juice

0.75 oz passion fruit syrup

0.75 oz orange honey mix

0.25 oz falernum

1 oz Smith and Cross

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon Dark

2 oz Rhum JM agricole blanc

Floats of equal amounts of Lost Spirits Distillery 151 Cuban and Cruzan Blackstrap, to taste

2 dashes Angostura bitters

14 oz crushed ice

Blend in blender at high speed for no more than 5 seconds and pour unstrained into a 25 oz snifter and add more crushed ice if needed. Pour the floats and don`t be shy! Garnish with 2 speared pineapple chunks and 2 maraschino cherries, two orchids and two tropical leaves.

TIKI 2

The Floating Rumshack tiki is happy! belly full of Puka Punch…..

If you want to join the Challenges or just take a look at all the nice drinks, follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram for updates! and for the drinks, the hashtag #pukapunchchallenge2015

Lapu Lapu Challenge 2015!

Aku-Aku-Lapu-cocktail blog w

So we`re moving into the fifth Challenge which is Lapu Lapu drinks! I really like that…

Look for the hashtag #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram and make sure to follow @el_nova_1 for updates! make your own drink or order a Lapu Lapu in a tiki bar or bar and post up your picture to the #lapulapuchallenge2015 on Instagram! you might win a little something 🙂 and if you don`t you will have a lot of fun and good drinks, so it´s a win-win!

Lapu Lapus are some strong rum drinks and it is said that they bring magic and makes you “see things on the other side” – whatever that means…

Well I´m gonna find out! 🙂

The term Lapu Lapu drinks comes from a legend that for some obscure reason happened to be the name sake of the drink Chief Lapu Lapu. The name is after the Filipino chief Lapu Lapu – who defeated Magellan in 1521 (you can read about the legend in Remixed)

Lapu Lapu Collage

And how that name so many years later was used to name rum drinks served in the polynesian restaurants during the great tiki era is one more of those mysterious things that belongs to the rum soaked tiki drink world..

There´s also a Disney version of a Lapu Lapu served at the Polynesian resort in a hollowed out pineapple (like the Boo Loo) containing rums, orange juice and sour mix.

The Lapu Lapu drinks mentioned in Jeff Beachbum Berry`s Remixed are the Chief Lapu Lapu, Aku Aku Lapu and the lesser known Kikuya Lapu (all are on page 61-63 in Remixed)

These three are all different incarnations of the same drink and it´s a drink large enough to serve two people but of course they can be enjoyed by one, it´s just a lot of rum!

I can´t say which one of these i like the most, they are all tasty and the Aku AKu Lapu packs a serious punch. The one here is the one I made for the challenge:

Aku Aku Lapu

Aku-Aku-Lapu-cocktail-2 blog w

1 oz lemon juice
1 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
1 oz grapefruit juice
1 oz orange juice
1 oz Falernum
1 oz gold rum (I used Lost Spirits 151 Cuban)
1 oz dark Jamaican rum (I used Blackwell)
1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Demerara rum or Hamilton 151 – I`m out of Lemon Hart and have no Hamilton 151 so I used Our Rums and Spirits 24 Year Demerara which is very woody and strong
16 oz crushed ice

Blend at high speed for about 20 seconds. Pour into large snifter or bowl and add more ice to fill. Traditional garnish is a gardenia, but I also added a thick orange peel and some fresh mint.

This one is from the Aku Aku restaurant in Las Vegas cirka 1960. In Intoxica it says the Aku Aku once fronted the Stardust hotel along with two massive moais or Easter Island (Rapa Nui) statues. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island.

Aku Aku was the book title of Thor Heyedahl´s bestseller – an author i have enjoyed over the years. His theory on how those giant moais were moved gave name to the word aku aku:

Aku Aku – To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a “walking” fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.

Chief Lapu Lapu

Chief-Lapu-Lapu-2 blog w

3 oz orange juice
2 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 oz sugar syrup
1 oz passion fruit syrup
1 1/2 oz dark Jamaican rum
1 1/2 oz light Puerto Rican (or Virgin Islands) rum

Shake well with ice cubes in a large shaker and pour into a large snifter. Add more ice to fill.

Chief-Lapu-Lapu-6 blog w

A Pineapple Bowl is carried by two Tikis….

Chief-Lapu-Lapu-1 blog w

….guarding the….

Chief-Lapu-Lapu-4 blog w

CHIEF LAPU LAPU!!

(In a gorgeous pineapple tiki mug by Scott Taylor, @tikipop on Instagram)

I find this one to be as tasty as the Aku Aku Lapu even though it`s not as strong….but there´s always room for a float if you wish….

Here`s another one, the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu, the picture is from an old post. This recipe dates back to cirka the 40’s and 50’s from the former Royal Hawaiian and like many old tiki bars the Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu is a well guarded secret and this recipe I found on Tiki Central, not sure how authentic it is but it seems to be the closest you can possibly get unless it actually is the real original recipe.

Bonus recipe:

Royal Hawaiian Lapu Lapu

Royal-Hawaiian-LapuLapu-blog w

Half fill a brandy snifter of shaved ice, or if you can`t make that, use a crushed ice as finely crushed as possible but it won`t be the same.

A tsp each of simple syrup orgeat and passionfruit syrup

2 oz of light rum.

A mixture of 60% pineapple juice and 40% orange juice, which should fill up the glass almost all the way to the top. Leave just enough room for the floater, at least 2 oz.

A floater of really dark rum, like Whalers.

Not part of the recipe but I also added 0.5 oz of fresh lime juice to it because I like the freshness you get from freshly squeezed lime.

Enjoy the Lapu Lapus!

Don`t forget to follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram!

Jet Pilot Challenge 2015!

Jet Pilot Challenge

Last weekend was the Fogcutter Challenge…..and this weekend we continued the boozy activity with the Jet Pilot Challenge! you were supposed to make a Jet Pilot or a variation of it and post up the picture on Instagram with the hashtag #jetpilotchallenge2015 and best picture wins a prize! you don`t even must make a drink yourself you can take a picture of a Jet Pilot in a bar too.

Follow @el_nova_1 on Instagram for updates and check the #jetpilotchallenge2015 for more boozylicious pics! there will most likely be more Jet Pilots posted there as I write and post this as well as the next challenge coming up being announced.

The Jet Pilot was one of the most copied drinks during the hey days of the tiki era, and the drink had many names – the drink was known as the Ace Pilot, Space Pilot and Astronaut…and at the Mai-Kai, it became the Jet Pilot created by Mai-Kai’s original mixologist, Mariano Licudine who before coming to Mai Kai to design their original tropical drink menu, worked for Donn Beach who btw was a decorated World War II veteran.

The Jet Pilot is a strong, spicy, rummy and intense drink which dates back to the Mai-Kai’s original 1956 menu and is based on Don the Beachcomber’s Test Pilot cirka 1941.

Jet Pilot Recipe

 

Jet Pilot Recipe SC

And Stephen Crane`s Jet Pilot from Jeff Berry`s “a must have…” – Total Tiki App!

And like I did in my last post about the Fogcutter Challenge, i`m posting up a few of the pics that were submitted, and let me tell you I had a lot of fun with this! not only do you get to imbibe some superlicious tiki drinks, you also learn something about each drink since you (hopefully) make a couple of different ones and so by doing that you try different rum combos and recipe tweaks and learn a lot about how flavors comes together.

It takes a lot of practise to get the tiki drinks right and things like this, different tiki drink challenges inspires you too experiment and learn….it`s fun and educational.

Also by looking at pictures and reading recipes of tiki drinks you learn something about what a tiki drink is and how it looks like, that for example, it´s not about adding as many ingredients as possible in a big mess where all the various flavors clash with each other or melt together into an undefined mess instead of being harmoniously layered…..

Tiki drinks are tropical and the roots of tiki drinks are in the Caribbean….that`s where most of the rums came from and some of the mixers, like the falernum and pimento dram, even though a lot of the tiki inspiration came from the South Seas.

So let`s get tropical….!

Jet Pilot El Nova coll

Jet Pilot coll 0

Jet Pilot coll 1

Jet Pilot coll 2

Jet Pilot coll 3

Jet Pilot coll 5

JETPILOT COLLAGE 1

JET PILOT COLLAGE 2

And the last one that came in…sent in from Mai Kai, what a beauty! I just love how drink pics coming in from all over the places….Tacoma Cabana, Lost Lake, Ventiki, Bootlegger LoungeLatitude 29, Tiki Ti, Frankie`s Tiki OasisMai Kai…and all private homes and home tiki bars!

Jet Pilot challenge Mai Kai

And here are my three versions, they are all made from the same recipe the Stephen Crane version but they just contain different rum combos starting out the Jet Pilot night with a double drink in a huge goblet because I was thirsty….

Lost-Pilot

Lost Pilot – made with Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired and Polynesian Rums and Rum Nation Jamaica 8 year plus Wood`s 100 for the demerara flavor. Both the Lost Spirits and Wood`s are strong rums while the Rum Nation Jamaica 8 mellows the strong flavors out and keep them balanced adding “sweetness” to the drink, but not sweetness as in sugar sweetness….more like making it nice.

The next up were two drinks, yes both for me… 🙂 and I called them the Co-Pilots…they had slightly different rum combos in them. I decided to make two drinks (and yeah…after imbibing a strong double, don`t judge…) because I have these two ubercool pair (called The Royal Pair) of tiki mugs made by Wayne Hoareau, owner of Wild Thing Creations in Australia, maker of awesome tiki mugs and I wanted to feature this sweet pair together.

One has Rum Nation 8 and Coruba overproof, touch of Wood`s 100 demerara and then Rhum Barbancourt and that rum combo was nice, kinda mellow and not as strong as the double and maybe that was a good thing? because….

– The next had a strong wicked rum combo full of flavors, mostly in the blackstrap route….yes I´m there again…It had Blackwell Jamaican Rum, Rougaroux Fullmoon dark, Wood`s 100 and Cruzan Blackstrap float – and a generous one, just poured….

CoPilots

The Co-Pilots!

The last drink I made was….the PINEAPPLE Pilot!! flying pineapples all around!! with the cooolest pineapple Tiki mug on the planet!! made by Scott Taylor!! the pineapple was brimming full with Blackwell Rum, Lost Spirits 151 Cuban rum and Gunroom Navy Rum!

Tasty rum combo as well, the Blackwell rum and the GunRoom navy rum paired well together and the strength and slight fruity pineapple notes came from the ever so smooth but oh so deadly Lost Spirits 151 Cuban….

Pineapple-Pilot

The Pineapple Pilot

So why not join in on the fun next weekend or whenever the next tiki drink challenge happens? head over to Instagram and follow @el_nova_1

The Fogcutter Challenge 2015!

FOGCUTTERCHALLENGE LOGO

This weekend there has been a Fogcutter challenge on Instagram where you could participate by making Fogcutters and variations of it and it was not a recipe contest even though the drinks should be based on the original recipes with great variations allowed…. but one didn´t even necessarily have to make a drink either, it could be a drink from a bar as well, but it was a picture contest! and there is a prize!

And just to have fun and get an excuse (if such thing is needed….?) to drink some rummy tiki drinks 🙂 106 posts were made.

The whole thing was invented by El Nova last weekend when it was the Navy Grog Challenge, it was created because Jason Alexander (Tacoma Cabana – they actually serve no less than 7 different Mai Tai variations!) had an awesome Navy Grog recipe and El Nova thought it would be fun to make a Navy Grog challenge and post it up on Instagram to see how people display their drinks.

Then he asked Jason and a few other people to help promote it on Instagram. And then I found out from seeing a blog post on the Navy Grog Challenge made by Oriol over at Three of Strong and decided to join in to the fun!

Navy-Grog blog w

My Navy Grog made with Jeff Berry`s Navy Grog Cone Kit which can be purchased at Cocktail Kingdom!

Now I came in too late for the Navy Grog even though I even posted up a pic of one of my Navy Grogs, and so then I decided to jump into the Fogcutter Challenge.

There were a lot different takes on this classic tiki cocktail, with everything from an Oyster Cutter garnished with a real oyster (!) to Jason Alexander`s triple flaming Scullcutter to a fantastic looking Cobra cutter in a black tiki mug made by Rob Hawes (Maui Tiki Tours ) containing Lost Spirits Polynesian rum, Oriol`s (ThreeofStrong) awesome looking Fogrummer to a Frankencutter and the classic New Orleans Bali Hai Foggcutter.

There was no shortage of imagination!

Fogcutter recipe collage 3

Pics of recipes taken from Jeff Berry`s Total Tiki App, courtesy Jeff Berry! you can purchase the app (Iphone and Ipad) in the Appstore! to me, it´s a must-have, I use it all the time, so handy….. The Total Tiki is a unique recipe database of almost 250 great exotic drinks and Tiki cocktails. read more about it on Jeff`s own blog.

They really got me into a Fogcutter experimenting mode! I made four different varietes, all in a rummy style because I was in a rum-mood. Isn`t it fun how booze nerds can come together online and do something like this? it reminds me of the old Thursday Drink Nights, the so called TDNs which we did back in around 2008-09, the best drink and photo wins a good prize, and along the way we have a lot of fun!

I don´t know what the prize is or who will win it because that is not yet revealed but I know one thing, it`s fun! and along the way you get a lot of inspiration and you get to imbibe a couple of nice tiki drinks too, so what`s there not to love?

 

Foggcutter recipe Bali Hai and Viking collage

Here`s a picture parade of a few of my screen shots of some of the drinks and further down are my own versions with recipes. I also post up pictures of the recipes on which all these drinks in the Fogcutter Challenge were based so you can make your own variations, it´s a really tasty drink I think, just one thing, the Fogcutter is pretty tart so if you like it a bit less tart, (I do) use a bit less of lemon or lime and up the orgeat a bit.

Here is a feast for the eyes! but there were many more than these, and you can find them if you use hashtag #fogcutterchallenge2015 on Instagram! there you will also see which Fogcutter picture will be the winner!

Arent they just lovely? these are a fantastic collection of Fogcutter variations!

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 collage 1

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 collage 2

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 collage 4

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 collage 3

Fogcuttercollage 5

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 Cobracutter collage

Fogcutter Challenge 2015 Bloodcutter collage

Fogcutter challenge 2015 Oyster cutter collage

I sure get thirsty by looking at these pics of amazing drinks and then finally also here are the ones i made, they differ from the original recipes in that they all contain only rums  🙂 they are based on the 1940s Fogcutter but the ratios of citrus and orgeat are a bit different.

They are also quite similar both in taste and look, in that they are all variations on the same theme with hm…. very similar rum selections as well, yeah that´s how it turned out! I was in a blackstrap mode that night… this was a night of experimentation.

Jungle Cutter #1

Jungle-Cutter- blog w

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

0.75 oz orgeat

2-3 dashes Bitter Truth Havana Bitters (or Angostura)

2 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon dark Rum

Float of Cruzan Blackstrap rum

Garnish anything tropical and exotic!

Shake with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a glass (tall or fancy) or tikimug! filled with some more fresh ice cubes.

Jungle Cutter #2 (almost identical to #1, the biggest difference is that #2 has a very generous float of Cruzan Blackstrap, which I think turned out tastier)

Jungle-Cutter-2 blog w

1 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz fresh orange juice

0.5 oz orgeat

2 oz Rhum Barbancourt 8

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon dark Rum (unf only available in Louisiana, sub 50/50 Lemon Hart 151 and El Dorado 12)

0.5 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban

Generous decadent float of Cruzan Blackstrap rum

Garnish anything tropical and exotic!

Shake with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a glass (tall or fancy) or tikimug! filled with some more fresh ice cubes.

Yummy and rummy….

Rumcutter!

Rumcutter-blog w

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz fresh orange juice

0.5 oz orgeat

2 oz Doorly`s XO

1 oz old style smoky whisky

1 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon dark Rum

Float of Cruzan Blackstrap rum

Shake and pour into a tall tiki mug filled with fresh ice cubes, garnish mint and orchid. Tiki mug made by Rob Hawes (Maui Tiki Tours )

Blackstrap Cutter

Blackstrap-Cutter blog w

1 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz fresh orange juice

0.5 oz orgeat

1 oz Real McCoy 12 year old Rum

2 oz Rougaroux Fullmoon dark Rum

Generous float of Cruzan Blackstrap rum

Shake and pour into a tall tiki mug filled with fresh ice cubes, garnish with tropical leaf and orchids.

And that was it! the ones of the four I made which I liked the most are the Jungle Cutter #2 and the Blackstrap Cutter.

Finally big mahalo to El Nova and Jason Alexander and the others who made the 2015 Fogcutter Challenge! y`all should follow and keep an eye on @el_nova_1 on Instagram because as long as people do it there will be more challenges coming up in the future.

Tiki Drink Wizard and Fire Artist at Tacoma Cabana – Meet Jason Alexander!

Jason A

“It was me, Beachbum Remixed and the Beachcomber.

That’s how it started”

If you`re on Facebook in the Rum and Tiki crowd or if you are in Tacoma up in Seattle you might not been able to miss that there´s a real tiki drink, rum afficionado and fire wizard residing at the Tacoma Cabana inventing the most amazing flaming tiki drinks with a great rum selection on hand – his name is Jason Alexander.

I count myself lucky to be one of his friends because not only is he a great guy but the inspiration he throws around is affectuos and his drinks and especially the flaming ones are a feast for the eye and mouth (but i have yet to go all the way to Seattle and try them in person) we been talking drink recipes for quite a while and he really have developed a style of his own.

When i saw all his amazing concoctions with mouth watering descriptions and fantastic photographs both on instagram and facebook i got curious, what is his story? how did he start with all of this ending up owning his own tiki bar? How about this obsession with strong rums and fire?

So i went and asked him a couple questions:

Orchid small  Tell me, how did you get into tiki and tiki drinks, how did it all start?

I got into tiki and the drinks when I first went to the Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge in Kona, Hawaii. After having artificially flavored sugar sludge Mai Tai’s and not knowing the history of the drink, my life was transformed that day that I stepped inside that little tiki heaven. I’ll never forget that first Mai Tai and Zombie. These were legit drinks and I had to know the story.

Orchid small  What are the greatest influences in tiki that have affected you the most?

My influences for tiki is pretty dynamic. I can find inspiration almost anywhere. That being said, I enjoy Donn the Beachcombers drinks the best. I like his style and the way he went about creating a drink. He always tinkered with his recipes and I’ve developed that habit too.

I’m almost always never satisfied with some of my recipes.They can always be better or built in a different manner. I admire the way Donn blended various styles of rum together to create a unique drink. I honestly never knew about these other guys doing tiki bars. I had never heard of any of them before this. It was me, Beachbum Remixed and the Beachcomber. That’s how it started.

Orchid small  You are obviously obsessed with fire….and are quite the fire artist with flaming tiki drinks, how did that happen?

A IMMOLATION!!!! — at Tacoma Cabana.

I’ve always been a little bit of a pyromaniac my whole life. I can sit and watch and play with a proper fire for hours. My obsession with lighting drinks on fire started shortly after the cabana opened. I could make a decent drink, but my garnishes left something to be desired.

I thought what could I do that nobody else that I knew of was doing as far as garnishes went. Fire was the immediate answer. So I set out on a mission. Did a little research and some trial and error until you see what you have now.

I wanted big flames and sparks. I wanted guests to feel slightly afraid for a moment until they had a sip of their drink and it immediately took them back to paradise. Most of the ridiculous fire rigs just come to me. I don’t know how or why, but they just do.

A - Three dots and a dash - Jason edition

Three dots and a dash….

I try and match them to a drink or a drink to the garnish. Just depends. I also won’t garnish a drink until the drink is solid or I won’t make the drink until the garnish is ready. You get it all or nothing. I’m only going to give you my best. Always. I think everybody on Instagram helped push me to develop bigger fire rigs too.

I got a lot of great response from it and I wanted to see how much I could push the envelope. I make the rigs for my guests too. Most of the drinks you see on my feed or not regular menu items.

So you never know what you’re gonna get when you walk in the door. Some stuff is super labor intensive to make so, depending how much extra prep time I have will dictate what I can make that day.

Orchid small  Where is most of your drink inspiration coming from and what is your mission?

Most of my drink inspiration comes from the life I’ve lived and the non tiki things around me. HP Lovecraft has been a huge motivator for me. I like to think that tiki could have a dark side. Music has been a factor in what I create too. Bands like Nile and Devildriver have had a hand in helping theme out drink for me. For example my Necromancer of Fiji was inspired by the Nile song The Essential Salts.

There was an old thrash band in the 90’s that I used to listen to called Sacred Reich. Their song Surf Nicaragua came on the radio as I was driving to work and I wondered to myself what it might be like to Surf Nicaragua and what that drink would taste like. So I made one.

My time as a US Marine as influenced some drinks as well like my Golden Shellback, Drunken Helmsman and Sea Grave. A Golden Shellback is a person who has crossed the international dateline and there equator at their point of intersection. I happen to be a golden shellback and always wanted to make a drink that tasted like that.

My mission is to make and remake tiki drinks. Some of the old ones needed a breath of fresh air. Some are way too sweet, way too tart or just very one dimensional.

I like to take an old recipe and rework it a little bit while still staying true to the drink. From that comes my original creations which I would like to take to the darker more sinister side of tiki that doesn’t quite exist yet. We’ll see how that goes.

Orchid small  You use almost only rum at your bar, why? and which rums do you prefer the most?

A - Tacoma rums

When I opened the cabana I knew that I wanted to put a wall of rum up because most people who go to Hawaii expect rum over there and there is very little. At least on the Big Island which was 99.9% of my exposure. Keep in mind that this was before I had any idea of tiki bar history. I wanted my place to be very rum centric while trying to give rum and tiki drinks a good name again.

I feel like you can go to any bar and see a good, diverse selection of liquors except rum. There is always the usual suspects of Captain Morgan, Bacardi and Malibu, but there never was anything beyond that at most places here. I wanted to overcompensate for that by carry a vast array of rum while only carrying two of everything else. I do have a decent liqueur collection because that goes without saying.

Basically in use the rums that are gonna make my drinks taste the way I want them to and make them taste the best. Currently in my well and what In use to make the majority of the drinks on the menu is: Plantation Overproof, Original Dark, 5 year and 3 Star rounded out with Coruba Dark, Bacardi 8 and El Dorado 5 year.

I probably over use the Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana combination as well as Guyana and Trinidad pairing, but they all work so well together. I also use and abuse any rum that speaks to me like Lost Spirits and anything over proof. I should probably use more agricole. I hardly use any of it for some reason.

Orchid small  Tiki can be a lot of things to different people, what does it mean for you?

Tiki means to me…to have fun. Not take things so seriously. Let loose. Live in the moment. For me tiki is play time. I get to help fulfill peoples fantasies of escapism for awhile. I get to facilitate all these drinks for tiki people that they always hear about, but are not able to always make at home or have the ability to. I get to be that guy for the tiki crowd and it is a tremendous honor.

Orchid small  The best tiki bars you have been to are?

The best tiki bars I’ve been to….every tiki bar I’ve been to and will go to is the best. I can always find something I like about a place. It’s not always about how cool and inventive the drinks are or how legitimate the decorations are and how much money you dumped into the place to make it hip and trendy.

It’s how you’re treated when you walk through the door. The best tiki bar could be the one that can only serve me a rum and coke while having the only thing tiki about the place being the bartender wearing an aloha shirt, but they made me feel like I was in the right place and that is what makes a bar the best.

Feeling welcome.

Orchid small  How do you see the future for tiki culture and tiki drinks?

I see the future of tiki expanding rapidly. Most bars nowadays have a tiki night. I think tiki drinks are the perfect drink to bridge the gap between your sports bar/chain restaurant bar and the hardcore cocktail bars. I think tiki drinks, if done right, can appeal to a lot of different people.

Orchid small  If you can pick one drink to try to convert somebody into tiki drinks, which one would it be?

If had to pick one drink to convert people over to tiki drinks, which one would that be? I don’t think I could pick just one. If I had to, I’d pick the Zombie without a doubt. To me that is everything that tiki is. Strong, flavorful, complex, not one flavor dominates but some how they all come together has one harmonious intoxicating note. But not everybody likes a Zombie and it can quickly turn people off from the whole experience.

You have to quickly read an inexperienced quest and get them into a tiki drink that suited to them so that they won’t think that all tiki drinks are too strong or too sour or too sweet or just too odd. There is a perfect tiki drink for most people. You just have to take a second and try and make that match. Luckily, most people will give you a second chance.

Orchid small  And what would you serve somebody who has had them all and is looking for something new and different?

If I had to serve a tiki professional something new that they’ve never had before, I think I’d serve them one of my originals like the Golden Shellback or the Drunken Helmsman. Or maybe one of the classics that I’ve tweaked a little bit. You may have had a shrunken skull before, but you haven’t had my shrunken skull yet. Seriously, you need to try my shrunken skull.

Orchid small

Thank you Jason!

And to show off a few of his amazing drinks –  here are some pictures and recipes by Jason to stir your appetite and if you can, head over to Tacoma Cabana and have one or a few of these incredible drinks!

A warning though…if you keep scrolling there´s a chance you gonna get VERY VERY thirsty! the rest of this post is nothing but a BIG dose of tiki drink p*rn!

Orchid small

There is a perfect tiki drink for most people!

A Jasons Spiritcutter 2

The Tiki drinks are calling….

A Aerial Tiki Fire!

Luau Scorpion Bowl…one that stings!

A - Golden Shellback

Golden Shellback

1 1/2oz pineapple
3/4oz lemon
1/2oz orgeat
1/2oz Swedish Punsch
1/2oz Benedictine
1 1/2oz Lost Spirits Polynesian Style Rum

Looks so tasty! i`m sure sure the moai in the aquarium agree 🙂 and the awesome tiki mug is created by Rob Hawes aka “Tiki Rob” who owns Maui Tiki Tours and makes awesome tiki mugs on Maui!

Krakatoa

Krakatoa

Jason`s take on the Krakatoa drink from Remixed page 58. So,” We’ll depart Sumatra on board PanCannibal Airways and take a trip to KILAUEA!!!

Bitters, Dons mix, passion fruit juice, lemon juice with coffee liqueur, amaro, falernum, apricot liqueur and then further fortified with Jamaica, demerara and overproof rums. Don’t forget the float of cold Kona coffee. See you on top of the volcano!!!!

A - Shrunken Skull 2         

“You may have had a shrunken skull before, but you haven’t had my shrunken skull yet. Seriously, you need to try my shrunken skull”     

Shrunken Skull

2 dashes Horror In Clay Die Fiendishly Tropical Bitters
1/4oz Allspice Dram
1/4oz Falernum
3/4oz lime
3/4oz grenadine
1oz Plantation Original Dark
1oz El Dorado 5yr

A - Braddah Kimo's Big Island Pahoehoe for 2

Braddah Kimo’s Big Island Pahoehoe for 2!

A Fogcutter variation by Jason

A Cabana Fogcutter…with Lost Spirits Polynesian Inspired Rum.

A - Rum Barrels

Here´s a whole load of Cabana Rum Barrels! aren`t they pretty?

A - Rum Barrel Tacoma Cabana

Cabana Rum Barrel! Four juices including lilikoi, special blend of barrel spices and a meticulous blend of Jamaica, demerara, Barbados and Trinidad rums.

It’s the perfect combination of ingredients that isn’t too sweet, not too sour with just enough spices for added depth and the right amount of rum to kick you in the ass!

A - Rum Bowl for Two

And a Flaming Rum Bowl for two…

“If it’s not on fire and Overproof, then why are you drinking it?” 🙂

A - Necromancer of Fiji

The Necromancer of Fiji….

Black salt, black strap bitters, Donns Mix, lime, lemon, lilikioi, falernum, orgeat, Swedish Punsch, Campari, grenadine and a blasphemous blend of rum sure to make a Zombie crawl back into its grave!

(serves 2)

Pinch of black lava salt
4 dashes black strap bitters
12 drops absinthe
1oz Donns mix
1oz lime
1oz lemon
1oz passion fruit juice
1/4oz orgeat
1/4oz falernum
1/2oz grenadine
1/2oz campari
1/2oz Swedish Punsch
1 1/2oz Lemon Hart 151
1 1/2oz Plantation Overproof
1oz Plantation 3 Star

Flash blend for 5 seconds with two cups ice

A - Tacoma cabana 6

Pearl Diver`s Punch Bowl for Two…

A - Pearl Diver`s punch

Pearl Divers Punch Bowl! Lime, orange, pearl mix, falernum and rums.

A - Stiggins Jungle Fancy!

Stiggin’s Jungle Fancy with lime, lilikoi, Campari, falernum bitters and Plantation rums Stiggin’s Fancy Pineapple Rum. “You can take the bird out of the jungle…”

A - WAR BIRD!!!!

“War Bird” – Just look at that garnish….

Inspired by Cocktailwonk ‘s post “The Jungle Bird Goes to War” (where you can see the the original recipe)  Jason made this take on the Jungle Bird that Cocktailwonk had dubbed WAR BIRD!!!! – lime, lilikoi, campari, pineapple and Lost Spirits Distillery Polynesian Inspired Rum.

I`m thirsty….and if you are not thirsty by now you might just stop reading my blog…. 🙂

A - pieces of eight

Pieces of Eight…with eight pieces of pineapple hearts…brilliant!

A - Grass Skirt Daiquiri

Jason`s interpretation of Moderntiki ‘s Grass Skirt Daiquiri complete with Hula Girl!

Dash of angostura
Dash Luxardo
1/4oz Spices No. 2
1/4oz cinnamon syrup
1/2oz falernum
1/2oz lime

A - Drunken Missionary

He even made his take on my “Drunken Missionary” which was in my review of the Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum and his looks soooo much nicer! that purple orchid with that deep sea green….wooow!

Drunken Missionary

0.5 oz fresh lime
0.5 oz honey syrup ( add liquid honey to simple syrup, warm it up a bit, stir and set aside to cool)
0.5 peach liqueur
1 oz Lost Spirits 151 Cuban Inspired Rum
1.5 oz pineapple-coconut juice
Crushed ice
Nutmeg
Fresh mint

Muddle mint with lime juice and honey syrup, add the rest of ingredients and shake it ice cubes until the shaker frosts on the outside, then strain into a tiki mug filled with crushed ice.

Garnish with a fresh and spanked mint sprig or two, a couple speared maraschino cherries and lime triangles and grate some nutmeg on top and enjoy!

A - Drunken Helmsman

Drunken Helmsman

– 1 oz lime, 1/2 oz maple, 1/2 oz falernum, 1/2 oz Amaro Meletti, 1 1/2 oz Plantation Overproof….

A Arkham Aku Lapu

The Arkham Lapu Lapu…looks mystic….like it has some superpowers…or maybe it is YOU that will get some mystic superpowers when you drink this?

A - Ed Hamilton Ministry of Rum ZOMBIE PREACHER

Ed Hamilton Ministry of Rum ZOMBIE PREACHER! can i have one of these please?

A - The Blackest Black Times Infinity Daiquiri.

The Blackest Black Times Infinity Daiquiri…Lemon Hart 151, Mauby Liqueur and just a small squeeze of lime. A drink that was made on Black Friday.

A - Coconaut Re-Entry2

Coconaut Re-Entry, looks delish doesn`t it?

A - Demerara Dry Float

Demerara Dry Float, served up.

A - Shrunken Zombie Fugu

A Shrunken Zobie Fugu, served on a plate like a dish…

 A - Tacoma Rum Barrels

Lovely Tacoma Rum Barrels! i think i could have them all!

A - Mug by Scott Taylor

Da’ Beachcomber tiki mug created by Scott Taylor aka on Instagram as Tikipop! he lives on Maui and makes outerwordly tiki mugs, well worth checking out! such attention to detail and craftmanship….

Da’ Beachcomber looks happy 🙂

A - Guyana Zombie jasons version of my drink

Jason`s beautiful version of my Guyana Zombie!

A -  Mr Bali Hai

Mr Bali Hai….as cool as ever, comes loaded with fire and goodness!

A - Scott Taylor shot glass

Moai flask by Van Tiki and tiki shot glass by Scott Taylor.

A - Zombie Old Fashioned

A Zombie Old Fashioned…with Horror Infused Fiendishly Tropical Bitters!

A - Pahoehoe bowl with extra fire!

Pahoehoe Bowl with Extra Fire!

A - The Hawaiian 504 from L29

“A hint of danger always pushes a beverage from great to excellent” – VanTiki

(check out Van Tiki`s website and Facebook page)

“Yes, I really do serve the drinks I post to my guests. All you have to do is ask or maybe you just might get surprised”

“I love Zombies!!!! Woooooooooo!!!!

“It doesn’t matter how much fire is on top of the drink if it doesn’t taste good”

“Mostly, I’m thankful for the support from the tiki community, whether it be people drinking the drinks or making the drinks. It’s a pretty amazing crowd to be in”

Jason Alexander

 Orchid small

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Jason aka tikicommando on Instagram.

All pictures on this post courtesy of Jason Alexander.

February is Tiki Month! An interview with Doug Winship!

 

FI mug

Tiki Month is here! AGAIN! we`re actually right in the middle of it….

On Doug`s blog the Pegu blog that is, because every year for the past six (!!) years Doug have transformed his Pegu blog into a Tiki blog for one month where he have dived deep into all things tiki – the history, decor, garments, torches, drinks, music etc and sometimes been posting with such a frenzy that i`ve had a hard time catching up…

You see, Doug wasn`t a tiki guy at all when he started and it takes some guts to get something like this rolling for the entire world to see with no knowledge whatsoever about tiki culture or tiki drinks and it´s been a joy to see how he have dug deeper and deeper into the pit of tiki over these years until one day he had his own home tikibar in the basement with a friggin`volcano!

This started in 2009 during the “golden booze blog era” when we had the CSOWG (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) with bloggers such as Rick “Kaiserpenguin” on board….oh those were the days!

It`s been a pleasure to follow his Tiki months year after year and see how for example the drinks have been transformed from quite the new beginners tiki drinks (especially when it comes to the style with garnish etc) to full fetched tiki libations worthy of any tiki afficionado`s approval.

In his basement Doug has a tiki bar but it`s not just a tiki bar…it has it´s own man-sized erupting volcano! complete with a light and smoke effects-enabled volcano – and he built it all by himself – how cool is that?

Watch it erupt here in this video:

He also describes how to make it in this post.

Damn….i wouldn`t mind having one like that myself…i`m deeply impressed!

So i went and asked Doug a few questions about tiki and his tiki month:

pineapple small small 2 It´s been six? years that you`ve been doing your tiki month every year in februari, what made you get into the idea?

Yep, about six years. About that time I was starting to feel like I had my feet under me with classic cocktails. Several of the blogs by my fellow early cocktail bloggers that I found I liked the most were the Tiki-centric ones like yours. The drinks were always visually stunning and sounded delicious. It was clear to me that there were some unique avenues with creativity in the Tiki neighborhood of cocktails.

What was also clear, whenever I tried out some of your recipes, was that doing Tiki right in a home environment was a serious commitment. The produce and syrup inventory issues made it so that any time I saw a drink I wanted to make, I never could.

So I decided to devote a whole month to tiki drinks, where that would be all I’d make, and see what all the fuss was about. It was fun and I decided to do it annually.

pineapple small small 2 Which are your three most favored tiki drinks and why?

Number one with a bullet is the Mai Tai. Trader Vic’s version is one of the true super weapons of the cocktail world, regardless of whether or not you are talking tiki.

Number Two is an oddball. It is called the Coconaut Grove. It is what I think of when someone drifts perilously close to asking for a Piña Colada. It has all the good parts of a PC, and none of the goopy syrupiness.

Number Three, off the top of my head is the Missionary’s Downfall. It stands out among a drink genre that celebrates ludicrously boozy drinks as one that is just this side of non-alcoholic. But it is marvelously delicious and totally Tiki.

pineapple small small 2 It`s clear that a lot us booze and tiki bloggers have been of great influence especeially during your first years of tiki month, but what other influenses have really affected you?

Beachbum Berry is number one, of course. The fact that when I first met him, he knew who I was was one of the biggest fanboy moments in my life. At 45 years old, I was squeeing like a teenage girl. Tiki or not, The Bum is what booze writing is all about. My wife is actually another big influence. She is a cook, not a mixer, but no one has taught me more about how to analyze a recipe and modify it, nor how important precision is.

And precision is the soul of Tiki mixology.

pineapple small small 2 Today, six years after you first started with tiki, what would you say to a tiki newbie wanting to explore tiki?

If you are doing it yourself, take it in bites, but big bites. When you are still learning, dive deep, then get out of the pool for a bit. Repeat.

If you are trying out tiki bars as an intro, pay attention to everything. The chemistry of Tiki is totally different from that of Brown, Bitter, and Stirred.

pineapple small small 2 Which tiki bars do you recommend?

Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco stands out above all others I’ve visited. Martin Cate has made a bar where every damn element was better than I’d previously imagined. Go in a slow night, when you can absorb all the spectacular detail.

pineapple small small 2 You WILL continue with the yearly tiki months for yet a couple years  won`t you? i mean there gotta be more areas you haven`t been exploring? (hint “flaming drinks”, “tiki food”………)

I love Tiki Month. And my local friends who drink with me would hardly let me stop!

As for places to go, I love the fact that a new area of concentration presents itself each year, without much effort on my part. I just put up the decor, make some syrups, and something new demands my attention.

pineapple small small 2 What`s your most memorable tiki experience?

That first visit to Smuggler’s Cove. And my first real, honest to God Mai Tai. Transformative experiences.

pineapple small small 2 What do see in the future for tiki in terms of the survival of the culture and standard of tiki bars and drinks?

This goes to what I’m focusing on as this year’s Tiki Month theme. I think that Tiki bars are awesome, and may well be in that sweet spot of coolness but not hotness, in the US, where they can become a sustainable thing.

What is more interesting is that the modern Craft cocktail movement has resulted in hordes of non-Tiki bars that have the skill and infrastructure to deliver complex recipe drinks with oddball syrups and multifarious fresh juices. The result is a lot of Tiki drinks showing up AMONG other styles on “regular” Craft menus.

There is some great stuff being done in expanding the true Tiki portfolio buy guys and gals who are not Tiki specialists. If Tiki can burrow into the high-end drink mainstream, I think it will avoid the boom and bust that accompanied its first appearance.

T Tikiroom Tiki4

Mahalo Doug! now y`all go and check out his tiki month, it´s still february! and when the month is gone the Pegu blog will still be there…

And finally i`d like to re-post a few of his drinks that has been on his blog during the tiki months, each using a different spirit – enjoy! (picture courtesy Doug)

Three Dots and a Dash

Pegu blog - Three-Dots-and-a-Dash

1 part fresh lime juice
1 part orange juice
1 part honey mix
3 parts amber rum
1 part Demerara rum
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1/2 part falernum
1/2 part pimento dram (allspice liqueur)
12 parts small ice

Flash blend all ingredients for about five seconds. Serve in a fun vessel, and garnish as below. Classic serving is 1/2 ounce per part per person. The classic garnish is a long skewer with three cherries and a pineapple spear; three dots, and a dash, see? In this version is the cherries nestled in a pod of a pineapple leaf. It is still three short things, and one long.

Three dots and a dash stand for the Morse Code letter ‘V’. The drink was invented during World War Two, and V for Victory was an important part of the mindset of most involved in the war effort on the Allied side.

Regal Daiquiri (Doug`s version of Don Beach`s Royal Daiquiri)

Regal-Daiquiri-sq-450x450

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. Creme Yvette
1/2 oz. OYO Honey Vanilla Vodka
1 1/2 oz. silver rum
4 oz. small ice

Combine in a blender and flash blend for 5-7 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime and perhaps a preserved hibiscus flower.

Margarita Atoll (made for the National Margarita Day in 2014)

Pegu blog - Margarita-Atoll-

1 1/4 oz. good silver tequila
strong 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. Bols Blue Curaçao
1/4 oz honey mix

Combine in shaker with ice and agitate until frigid. Strain into a cocktail coupe rimmed with crushed Hawaiian salt.

Happy Tiki Month!

 

pineapple small small 2       pineapple small small        pineapple small small 2       pineapple small small      pineapple small small 2      pineapple small small