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  • Lake George Iced Tea: Your Weekend Tiki Bar Cocktail!

    Posted on June 25th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment
    Lake George Iced Tea Cocktail

    Lake George Iced Tea Cocktail

    In honor of Ohana: Luau at the Lake, currently swinging this weekend at the Tiki Resort on Lake George, NY, I thought it would be fun to feature something from the area. And bingo…maybe not so Tiki, but certainly welcome on any Tiki bar in upstate New Yawk,

    Lake George Iced Tea

    I couldn’t find any info on where this drink was first served or why it’s called the Lake George, so I’ll make something up.

    Let’s pretend it was first mixed at The Sagamore Hotel on a hot July afternoon, when the bartender was asked to make something regional for a group of tourists from Millville, NJ. The bartender, not too smart but very good with mixing things, had just made a Long Island Iced Tea and used the last of his sour mix. Thinking fast (and being lazy), he came up with the Lake George Iced Tea, and used pineapple juice in place of the sour mix. Bingo. Works for me.

    Here’s the recipe:

    1/2 oz tequila
    1/2 oz white rum
    1/2 oz vodka
    1/2 oz gin
    1/2 oz triple sec
    1 oz pineapple juice

    The Sagamore Hotel, Lake George

    The Sagamore Hotel, Lake George

    Throw everything (except the soda, of course) into a shaker with ice and shake until the outside of the shaker is nice and frosty. Strain into a highball glass filled with cubes, and add Coca-Cola until full. Give it a quick stir and garnish with a lemon wheel.

    Luau at the Lake

    As most of you know, the second giant Tiki Party of the year is taking place right now on the Lake. Lots of kool bands, vendors, and cocktails are flying around The Tiki Resort, a fab 50s Tiki motel right off the main drag in Lake George Village. In fact most of the town (last time I was there) is sort of stuck in the 50s with modernization in between the fun old stuff, including mini golf, ice cream parlors, a wax museum and lots of souvenir shops.

    Tiki Resort, Lake George

    Tiki Resort, Lake George

    To all you swingin’ kats and kittens who made it up there this year, I hope you have a really great time! I was hoping to get there myself but it got scheduled way to close to The Hukilau to be able to do both. Maybe for 2012 the kats that run Ohana can coordinate with The Hukilau and Tiki Oasis to make things a little easier for us Tiki kids to hit them all!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from behind the bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, the swingin’ blog for Tiki and Retro Culture Lovers

  • Memories of The Hukilau 2011, Ft. Lauderdale FL

    Posted on June 22nd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    mai-kai-signThe Hukilau 2011 was crazy, fun and swingin’, as you kats and kitties can imagine (or know for a fact if you were there). I promised a bunch of you that I’d post pix and stories…well, I had so much fun I didn’t take too many pix, but got a few. Plus a few good stories I remember, through the rum-induced haze.

    Here’s a slide show of my pix. I know they ain’t great, but some are fun. You’ll notice I didn’t take many photos of people. It’s because I’m a decent writer, but as a photographer I suck eggs!

    Some stories:

    I tried to see and do everything, but just couldn’t. One of my favorite parts was watching Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of lovely swimmers performing at the Wreck Bar at the Yankee Clipper. We got there early and for the first time got a front row seat at the bar. What a show! She was joined by a few surprise guests in the water, too…including the Creature from the Black Lagoon and an airline pilot (from the Tikiyaki Orchestra). Kookie stuff. The Wreck Bar served a special drinks called the Fire Eating Mermaid, a pretty blue concoction garnished with a gummy fish. Afterwards we saw the mermaids outside at the pool as they got their pix taken with the crowd. We didn’t get our photo taken then (there were a zillion people there) but I do have this photo of them with and my book, Murder on Tiki Island…Marina is on the cover 🙂

    Tiki Chris & Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid with her pod and my book, Murder on Tiki Island

    Tiki Chris & Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid with her pod and my book, Murder on Tiki Island

    Speaking of mermaids, there was a great presentation by my pals at Vintage Roadside. They traveled all the way from Portland, OR to bring us Aquarama: Girls Who Live Like Fish. They gave us the story of an aquatic show that flourished in the midwest through the 1960s, featuring vintage video, photos, recordings and even actual costumes worn by the performers. You could tell they put hours and hours of research and work into this project, bringing back a part of history that may otherwise have been forgotten. Marina was also there to help with the presentation, and dedicated one of her fish tails to the collection. Definitely a highlight of the event!

    Another symposium was “Hawaii – Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos” by Paul Roe, owner and head artist of Britishink Tattoos in Washington DC. This was an amazing look into the history of Tattoos in America, how the art evolved, and how the original styles influence the art today. I had the luck of sitting next to Paul at The Mai-Kai, and although the Jet Pilots and Mai Tais made the evening a little fuzzy, I remember him saying he’s done (I think) thousands of tattoos. Pretty sure that’s what he said. Anyway it was a fascinating presentation about a subject I know very little about, so it was very kool.

    The Thursday night kick-off party was a blast. I don’t remember much of it, and we didn’t stay long because I had worked all day as Vendor Coordinator, but I remember fire, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Meyers and Coke, a really good hamburger, a rum challenge and a lot of people in Hawaiian shirts.

    Me, Tiki Chris, showing off a vintage tux

    Me, Tiki Chris, showing off a vintage tux

    (I didn’t get any photos of these. I was having too much fun.)

    Friday was a blur. Music, booze, helping Vendors with stuff, more booze, more music, The Tattoo symposium, The Wreck Bar, Grinder Nova, The Exotics, The Intoxicators, King Kukulele, more booze…you get the picture.

    Saturday wasn’t as much of a blur but still blurry. I missed Beachbum Berry’s Rumposium, which was a letdown, due to a little bad planning on my part. But happy hour and the dinner show at the Mai Kai more than made up for it. I started out with a Jet Pilot (ker-razy strong drink, but I love it) and ended with a Mai Tai. The show was fantabulous as usual…they had a new announcer (Sonny retired after 400 years), a cute Aussie chick with a nice accent. The hula girls and the fire dancers were even better than I remember. King Kukulele started things off with his usual yucks and a few tunes, including The Hukilau Song…of which NOBODY knows all the words. Starts out ok, then kind of goes like…”We’re going to the Hukilau, where the mmmrrmmrm mrmrm mrm something Hukilau”…yeah.

    Hukilau 2011 Mug cast in gold as a thanks for helping out

    Hukilau 2011 Mug cast in gold as a thanks for helping out

    Colleen and I both got steaks from the Chinese ovens. These are prime cuts roasted over applewood. The Mai Kai has some of the best steaks I’ve ever had…so good that Colleen, who is 90% vegetarian, ate a New York Strip. I had the filet. She also got the Lobster bisque which she says is the best she ever tasted. We of course got appetizers…and those glorious drinks. For desert I got the Bananas Bengali, basically Bananas Foster served flaming tableside. The production they make of this rivals the show. Thank Tiki for 151 rum, huh?

    Tiki Kiliki, aka Christie White, the organizer of the event made a few very nice speeches and thank yous at the dinner, including giving gold-cast Hukilau mugs to some of the people who helped with the event, including yours truly. That was nice 🙂

    We hung out for a while at the Molokai bar at the Mai Kai, rapping with some new friends, and some old friends. It was too packed to get a drink so we wound up back at our room by around midnight. We were down for the count…but most of the clan didn’t quit until the wee small hours.

    Colleen at The Mai Kai

    Colleen at The Mai Kai

    Sunday was kool. Someone at The Mai Kai had been scrapbooking back in the late 60s all the way up until the mid 90s, and they opened up the archives for view…and I mean they let us open the scrap books and look through them. It was fantastic, photos and press clippings going way back. Someone even brought photos of the Mai Kai’s first celebrity bartender from the late 1950s. Amazing stuff.

    One of the people I met during the event was Tricia who runs the gift shop at the Mai Kai. Three very kool things came out of this meeting…one, I got to meet a very groovy chick who was a lot of fun during the event, two she agreed to put my book in the Mai Kai’s gift shop (YEAH!!!!), and three I got a sneak peak at the separate building there which was damaged in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and closed…they use it for storage now. In fact they have about 80 or so old chairs from the 1980s that they are selling to the public stored there. They don’t usually let people in the building…sadly, it’s been damaged pretty badly…so it was fun to see inside a part of this historic place that hadn’t been seen by many people in six years. Tricia has some excellent ideas on how to renovate the building that could certainly help the Mai Kai…hopefully they’ll be able to do something with it soon!

    I missed the meet & greet with Dick Dale, unfortunately, because I had to fix Colleen’s Jeep (starter died). Hopefully he’ll be back next year.

    I think that’s about it. Lemme tell ya, it went by way too fast. Next year I’m bringing a bunch of no-doze with me so I can do even more.

    We decorated our room and had a bar set up

    We decorated our room and had a bar set up

    By the way…a note to all the vendors of this year’s event…this was my first time as Vendor Coordinator, and I’d just like to say thanks to everyone one of you who helped make this year’s event even more fun, especially my buddies Bob Ho (Tiki Hana), Robert Jimenez (Tiki Tower), Peter Janus (Tropiki), Tahiti Joe, Tiki Mon, Tiki Diablo, Tricia, Renee, Tom, John…oh hell, I can’t list everyone! You were all great…thanks again!

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from my lounge chair at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, home of Tiki Lounge Talk, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    PS – I hope I spelled everybody’s names right. This Sailor Jerry is not good to drink when typing!

  • The Jet Pilot – Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail!

    Posted on June 17th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 6 comments
    Jet Pilot at The Mai-Kai

    Jet Pilot at The Mai-Kai

    It may be hard to believe, but I had my first Jet Pilot cocktail at the Mai Kai last week. Lemme tell ya, that is one strong drink. Even the Matre ‘d thought I was crazy. But it’s a good one, no doubt about it kids.

    There are a lot of screwed-up versions of this original Tiki Bar drink out there, using odd stuff like Bacardi Limon (yeah, that’s real authentic), but I found Beach Bum Berry’s recipe which is probably as close to (or exactly like) the original drink concocted by Don Beach 60+ years ago, during the heyday of jets and Tiki bars…

    •    1/2 oz lime juice
    •    1/2 oz grapefruit juice
    •    1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
    •    1/2 oz falernum (make your own falernum)
    •    1 dash Angostura bitters
    •    1 oz dark Jamaican rum
    •    3/4 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
    •    3/4 oz 151-Proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
    •    6 drops Pernod
    •    4 oz crushed ice
    Throw everything into a blender, adding crushed ice last, and blend at high speed for five seconds. Pour into an old-fashioned glass. The Mai-Kai garnishes with a chunk of fresh pineapple speared on a sword. Works for me.

    It’s stuff like”Pernod” and “Falernum” that makes a Tiki Lounge drink a Tiki Lounge drink. Most people don’t even know what that stuff is, and most bars won’t bother to carry it. But I guarantee you, making this drink yourself is well worth the effort. Mix it up, take a swing and TAKE OFF! (insert vintage jet-plane sound hear)

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the garden terrace at The Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


    One of my Twitter friends sent me this groovy recipe for Falernum. You can buy it, but it’s more fun and will taste a lot better if you make it yourself. Visit the Post Prohibition website for the recipe.

  • I know I’m MIA, fun new posts coming soon…

    Posted on June 15th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    Yep, The Hukilau wiped me out! 4 days of drinking rum, zipping from room to room watching bands and symposiums, and coordinating the vendors at the same time did a job on me…so yeah, I know, I missed this week’s Mod Movie Monday and last week’s weekend cocktail and all…but I’ve got some very kool photos from the event that I’ll be posting soon, plus some other kool stuff to make up for the lapse!

    Check back in a day or two…

    -Tiki Chris

  • It’s time for The Hukilau 2011!

    Posted on June 8th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments
    Me, our friend Molly and my wife Colleen at the Mai Kai Saturday Night.

    Me, our friend Molly and my wife Colleen at the Mai Kai during The Hukilau 2010. I think that was Mai Tai number six.

    That’s right kids, the big event is happening THIS WEEK…and it’s the 10th anniversary of The Hukilau, too!

    PROOF that SoCal doesn’t have the monopoly on the koolest of koolness. The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is the east coast answer to the Tiki revival!

    This year promises to be a truly swingin’ event, with more music, art, drinks and fun than ever. Wahini Colleeni and I have booked a room at the Bahia Mar, where much of the action is taking place, so we can have ALL the fun! So if any of you reading this are making it down to Fort Lauderdale this weekend, look for us!

    Some of the highlights of this year’s Hukilau include:

    • A “Rumposium” by cocktail-slinger extraordinaire Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, held at the world famous Mai-Kai
    • The Tiki Treasure Bazaar featuring 40 of the koolest Tiki and Vintage sellers around
    • TONS of entertainment including performances by The Intoxicators!, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Grinder Nova, The Exotics, The Fishermen, DJ’s Lounge Laura Taylor & Drew Farmer, DJ’s Jack Fetterman and Gina of the Jungle and more all emceed by our old pal King Kukulele.
    • Appearances/symposiums by Ian Burrell, Martin Cate, Wayne Curtis, Stephen Remsberg, Kevin Kidney & Jody Daily, Dick Dale, Vintage Roadside’s “Beautiful Girls That Live Like Fish!”, Paul Roe’s “Hawaii – Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos”, Harold Golen Gallery of Miami and more
    • The Hukilau Master Mixologist Challenge
    • And maybe a few surprises…

    Stolen Idols at The Hukilau 2010

    Stolen Idols at The Hukilau 2010

    The Mai-Kai dinner show and some of the symposiums are already sold out, but there’s still plenty of elbow room at the parties. For a complete line up of entertainment and the schedule, visit The Hukilau website.

    Aloha kids, see you in Fort Lauderdale!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the beach in front of the Yankee Clipper, Fort Lauderdale