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Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Steve’s Rum Barrel

I dare say, there’s more than touch of Don the Beachcomber’s influence in Steve’s Rum Barrel introduced onto the menu of Steve Crane’s Kon-Tiki restaurant chain in 1961. The signature blend of Angostura and Pernod is enough of a nod to recognize the original source material whoever concocted this libation was drawing from. Nevertheless, this …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Mr. Bali Hai

‘Mr. Bali Hai’ is the specialty cocktail of the San Diego Bali Hai restaurant which serves them in their signature Mr. Bali Hai glass, a kind of ‘sad-eyed cannibal’ as Jeff Berry describes it. I’m not normally a fan of coffee flavoured cocktails but this one nails the proportions just right. Plus the pineapple juice …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Yellow Boxer

The ‘Yellow Boxer,’ a tequila based Tiki cocktail from the Hemingway Tropical Cocktail Bar in Koln, Germany, circa 1981. Definitely situated within the margarita family, this cocktail stands out through its use of Galliano, an Italian herbal vanilla liqueur, which gives that indescribable quality I look for in a good Tiki drink. Another excellent tequila …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Zombie (Aku Aku Version)

The drink that started it all. Don the Beachcomber’s “Zombie.” Originally created in 1934, the “Zombie” features all of Donn’s characteristic alchemical convolution. So convoluted and occult, in fact that it spawned countless variations by bartenders attempting to re-create the magic of the original. I initially tried all six variants featured in Beachbum Berry’s Intoxica! …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Blue Hawaii

Created in 1957 by Harry Yee at Hilton’s Hawaiian Village, the ‘Blue Hawaii’ is the quintessential blue cocktail. Coincidentally, Harry Yee is also credited with creating the cocktail umbrella fad, thereby becoming the father of not one but two of the most maligned tropes of Tiki-dom. Hailing from the eponymous Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Lei Lani Volcano

Originating from Disney World’s ‘Polynesian Village Resort,’ circa 1970s. The Polynesian Village Resort still exists to this day, although I have never been there myself. I really enjoyed this cocktail. It combines two tropical ingredients that are surprisingly not incredibly common in the world of Tiki drinks: Guava and Coconut Rum. They make a beautiful …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Tradewinds

Beachbum Berry lists this recipe as a Caribbean cocktail from the 1970s. I would be curious to find out more about the origin of this wonderful concoction but regardless, this is one good drink. A rich coconut cream gives this cocktail a wonderful body and the apricot brandy provides that unique twist that every good …

Cocktails Intoxica! Tiki

Jungle Bird

The “Jungle Bird,” circa 1978 from the Kuala Lumpur Hilton’s Aviary Bar. Certainly one of the most idiosyncratic cocktails of the original Tiki generation–utilizing the potent Italian bitter aperitivo Campari–but, on reflection, a rather logical deduction. Campari being a kind of amalgamation of two popular Tiki ingredients: grapefruit and grenadine. Campari is a divisive flavour …