RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Celebrate Repeal Day! Have a drink!

    Posted on December 5th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    Al Capone

    On December 5, 1933, the United States came to its senses and ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing the most ridiculous laws ever enacted in America…Prohibition. Yes, in case you missed that little tidbit in History class, from 1919 to 1933, it was illegal to make, sell, import, export, drink, look at or dream about alcohol. These laws were pushed through by a small but loud group of extremists who kinda thought making liquor illegal would stop people from drinking it, thus ending all problems of crime, mental illness and poverty in the US.

    Boy, were they wrong.

    In walks Al Capone, and a whole lot of other smart guys like him. Up starts bootlegging. Crime shoots up, innocent people are killed (or jailed for having a slug), distilleries go out of business and moonshiners rake in the bucks. Yea, that worked really well, huh?

    So in 1933, in the height of the Great Depression, the government ratified the repeal of these silly laws. YAY! Depression lessened immediately, gangsters went legit, and even though the economy was still bad nobody cared because they could get tanked on Jack while digging the tunes of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway. If it weren’t for Hitler, the 30’s would have turned out all right.

    So celebrate today with a swig of your favorite booze, a shot of hooch, a teacup of gin, a pull of beer or a refined cocktail in a highball glass. Whatever your pleasure, imbibe…for today marks the milestone when the US Government decided they should stick to governing and leave individual freedoms alone:)

    Cheers, baby!

    Note: If Prohibition had actually worked, this would not be Tiki Lounge Conversations. It would be “Tiki Juice Stand Talk” and the conversations would be about playing Lawrence Welk tunes on my C-melody sax while drinking lemonade and driving my 1984 Chevy Citation. YUCK-OLA

    Learn a little more about Repeal Day at

  • Vintage CC & Ginger at the Tiki Bar

    Posted on December 4th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    tiki-time-coasterIt’s a December Friday night in the sub-tropics of South Florida. While most of the country is getting frosty with the start of winter, here it’s 72° with a light, cool breeze. The wife is out of town on biz, and I’ve got the Tiki Bar to myself.

    So I’m doing an old fashioned MAN’S Night. Yeah, swingers, just like in the ’50s…I’m grilling a giant ole T-bone on the grill, am working on some hobbies in the garage, and have just poured myself a cocktail at the Tiki Bar on the lanai. There’s Miles Davis roadmaster-badgeplaying in the background, and the party lights are on. It’s like I’m in the movie Picnic, except Kim Novack ain’t here.

    If you put your mind to it, you can live like it’s the atomic age. Here’s my kicks tonight:

    The Project:

    Like all collectors of vintage finery, I have a few things that need a little TLC. Case in point: My father’s 1953 Roadmaster Luxury Liner Bicycle. There’s a whole story that goes along with this bike, which I will roll out in a future post. The short version is he had it in the ’50s, gave it to a cousin in Philly in the early ’60s, managed to get it back in the ’70s and restored it. Then it got stolen around 1980…and by some krazy miracle we got it back two weeks later. In the mid-’80s to restored it

    My old man's ’53 Roadmaster Luxury Liner

    My old man's ’53 Roadmaster Luxury Liner

    myself, and have used it since. A few years ago one of the tires blew out, and it’s been sitting in the garage since. Well, it’s time for a new restoration, and yesterday I fixed the tires and took her for a spin. With that knee-action front suspension, she sure takes the bumps nice. Tonight I’m re-doing the seat with original-style leather. Sure is easier than working on the ’53 Chevy!

    The Dinner:

    1.3 lb T-Bone steak on the charcoal grill, with baked potatoes, chopped spinach and grilled buttered onions on the side. I’ll eat out on the lanai by the pool tonight, under the light of the Tiki Torches. I think I’ll put on some Martin Denny while I dine.

    cc-and-ginger-on-the-barThe Cocktail:

    I have a few bottles of liquor from the 1950’s and ’60s, given to me by some very generous kats. Tonight I’m imbibing a 1966 Canadian Club and Ginger Ale on the rocks. I first heard of a CC & Ginger in a Mike Hammer novel…he orders a few through the story, mostly at neighborhood watering holes in Manhattan. I haven’t seen a tap room that looks like it belongs in a Micky Spillane novel in about 20 years…I’m willing to bet dimes to donuts very few still exist, none in the Sunshine State…so I have to make due on my own. Just looking at the bottle makes me feel like I’ve gone back in time 50 years, so I’m in the groove.

    Night Cap:

    When the steak settles and I’m too beat to play with the bike anymore, I’ll settle in with some time with the groove tube, then when I get bored of that I’ll pick out a few tunes on the tenor sax, which I’ve been neglecting the last few nights. Time to crank up the A Train and take a ride into Bluesville.

    So that’s my plan for this fine dark. The conversations will be one-sided, or maybe with the parrot or the cat. But that’s oke, I can dig a little time away from the little lady…as long as she’s back tomorrow 😉

    -Tiki Chris Pinto, AKA Mack, AKA Zoot

    The Roadmaster and my ’53 Chevy, both up in the air and needing repair...kind of like me...

    The Roadmaster and my ’53 Chevy, both up in the air and needing repair...kind of like me...

  • Great Christmas Gift Idea for Tiki Lovers!

    Posted on December 2nd, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    The Parrot Talks in Chocolate

    The Life and Times of a Hawaiian Tiki Bar
    by Everette Peacock

    parrotcoverOnce in a while I come across a book that is well written, fun to read, and interesting enough to keep me turning the pages. The Parrot Talks In Chocolate is one of those gems, and if you like Tiki and Hawaiian culture, this book should go to the top of your list.

    What’s it about? From their site: “A mythical Hawaiian Tiki bar, and it’s eclectic patrons help tell the story of our young hero as he discovers love in the tropics. Tiwaka, the parrot, trades chocolate covered nuts for words of wisdom and watches the wild and often mystical adventures unfold. You’ll laugh, cry and insist on buying your plane tickets immediately, to Tiwaka’s Tiki Bar & Grill.”

    This story has the perfect balance of fact and fantasy, describing life in Hawaii in picturesque detail touched with a bit of magic. It’s light reading and fun, and really will make you wish you were there.

    Why am I hawking (or should I say, ‘parroting’) this book? Well, I’m not making any dough off of it. I just really dig it. It’s hard for a writer to break into the market, and when I find someone with this much talent I can’t help but try to give him a hand. There are so many mediocre writers out there (and some lousy ones) getting book deals that it’s only fair to help a real writer spread the word.

    You can order a signed copy of the book from the author, or you can get a discount through Amazon through the end of December (check out Tiwaka’s FaceBook Page here for the discount). Buy one for yourself, and a couple more as gifts. You won’t be disappointed, kids!

    Click here for The Parrot Talks in Chocolate home page.