Tropical from Mr. Booze

Tropical Itch

Picked this one up from a book by Beach Bum Berry who learned the recipe from Hawaiian Bartender, Harry Yee. The drink dates to around 1957. I whipped up a batch for a backyard barbeque this past summer. Ended up burning the chicken, but thanks to this drink, my guests loved it. One of those drinks you really should be sitting down and buckled up to enjoy.

Here we go –

  • 8 oz passion fruit juice
  • 1 ½ Bacardi 151 Rum
  • ½ oz Orange Curacao
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 oz dark Rum
  • 1 oz Bourbon

Fill a large glass or Tiki Mug with crushed ice, add all the ingredients and stir well. Garnish with pineapple, mint (add an orchid and a wooden back-scratcher if handy).

Planter’s Punch, 1940’s Recipe

I found this recipe on the excellent Hawaiian Drinks blog, I like this version more than the one we have up on site (hopefully, this one will be joining the original). When you entertain or just go out to your driveway or balcony to have a cocktail, moonlight and madness have a way of finding you, and you’re soon and suddenly surrounded by people wanting to join you. This is just how it works. You can make a pitcher of Planters Punch and keep it in the fridge. I enjoy this drink over ice in a tiki mug or over ice in a tall, pretty glass. Delicious and deadly.

Here we go – (batch accordingly)

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz orange juice
  • 1/ oz Roses Grenadine juice
  • Club Soda to fill if desired and it does provide a nice effervescence.

Mix everything together and pour over ice in a tall glass, garnish with an orange slice & cherry picked together.


History of Tiki Cocktails

Tiki Drinks, Zombie Cocktail. Tiki Rum Punch & Mai Tais

The first Tiki bar appeared in 1934, Don Beach (a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber, born Earnest Raymond Beaumont Gantt) opened a Polynesian themed reastraunt in Hollywood California. Don The Beachcomber, is also credited as having created the tropical drink genre singlehandedly. Donn was the first restaurateur to mix flavored syrups and fresh fruit juices with rum. These drinks were called Rhum Rhapsodies and made Don the Beachcomber’s restaurant the hot spot for Hollywood elite and stars from the 1940s well into the 1960s. Donn Beach is credited for having created some of the most memorable exotic cocktails such as the Scorpion and the Zombie.

Most of these drinks are rum-based, simply because back when the tropical drink craze started after prohibition, rum was the cheapest liquor available. It also mixed well — a little lime, a dash of pineapple, and a pinch of sugar, in combination with a few or many more flavorings, and originators like Ray could invent a slew of new potions to rival the old-school cocktail favorites of the 1930s, which were made largely with whiskey and gin.

The mai tai is considered to be the quintessential tiki cocktail. A protracted feud between Donn Beach and Trader Vic erupted when both claimed to have invented the mai tai.

Most, if not all, tiki-themed establishments served at least some of their cocktails in ceramic mugs depicting tikis; also known as tiki mugs. The styles and sizes varied widely. Today, the tiki mug is a highly prized find and is considered to be as much a symbol of the Tiki culture as a tiki itself.

There are two Tiki bars that seem to be considered the best at the craft these days, those being Forbidden Island in Alameda, California and Tiki Ti, from Hollywood (founded in 1961 by one of Don the Beachcomber’s bartenders).

Done right, these drinks seem to make the summer last just a little bit longer, which is why our summer cocktail package this year doubles as an offering to the tiki gods. Here are some recipes to get you started mixing up these classics.


Mai Tai

More Exotic Drinks

Mahalo! (Hawaiian for thanks and gratitude and is a typical salutation in Tiki circles.)

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