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  • Painkiller Cocktail Recipe – Your Weekend Tiki Drink

    Posted on November 25th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment
    The Painkiller

    The Painkiller

    As far as exotic cocktails go, The Painkiller ranks as one of the most famous…and most ordered…at the Tiki Bar. Along with the Navy Grog, Zombie, and of course the Mai Tai, The Painkiller has become one of the drinks most closely associated with Tiki. Kind of funny, when you realize the drink wasn’t concocted until the early 1970s…a time when the Tiki Bar craze was already beginning to fade.

    Before the recipe I have to make a note that Pusser’s Rum, a brand that’s only been around for about 30 years, claimed and trademarked the cocktail “Painkiller”, claiming it was originally created using their rum. Uh…well, the Tiki community takes issue with that claim, but Pusser’s does own the trademark. Whatever…use any rum you want at home. I prefer Meyers for this blend.

    The Painkiller Cocktail Recipe

    2 oz dark rum
    1 oz cream of coconut
    4 oz pineapple juice
    1 oz orange juicepineapple-coco-lopez

    Shake all ingredients in a shaker until nice and frothy. Strain over crushed ice in a Tiki mug or Collins glass and garnish with a chunk of fresh pineapple…an orange wheel and cherry are nice with it, too.

    Painkiller Tiki Bar, NYC

    Many of have probably heard of this drink in the last year as it, and an NYC Tiki Bar that went by the same name, made minor headlines when Pusser’s sued the New York City Tiki bar “Painkiller” over rights to the name. It seems what Pusser’s was really pussed-off about was that they weren’t using their brand of rum…again, whatever. The bar had to comply with Pusser’s demands, and is now called PKNY. The REAL news to this story is that…hey! Another Tiki Bar opened in New York City! From what I’ve read it’s not a traditional Tiki Bar, but is still keeping the spirit alive.

  • Happy Thanksgiving from the Tiki Bar! Hess Trucks & Charlie Brown

    Posted on November 24th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    The first Hess truck, 1963

    The first Hess truck, 1963

    Thanksgiving in the subtropics is a little different than it is for most people. For instance, today I put the top down on the convertible and drove down to the Hess station to buy a toy Hess Truck.

    When I was a kid, we’d get up extra early on Thanksgiving, drive down to the Log Cabin Diner in West Atlantic City and have breakfast (they were one of the few places open). It was right next to the Hess Station…and we’d have breakfast there because the Hess Trucks came out on Thanksgiving Day. The Hess station opened at 8am, and there was always a line of about 50 people waiting in line to get a truck. We waited in this line for several years in a row, until we realized that line fizzled out around 9. So we’d go to the diner, have breakfast and wait for the line to slow down. Once it was down to about 5 people, one of us would go get in line, buy a truck, and return to breakfast.

    If you didn’t get a Hess Truck on opening day, chances are you wouldn’t get one at all that year.

    Things are a little different now…they trucks come out on November 11, and you can always get one online. Oh…and I remember when they were $4.95. Now they’re 28 clams.

    Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

    One thing that never changes is Charlie Brown…We’ve been watching the “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” since it came out in 1973. Of course back then you had to get the TV Guide and bookmark the page for the date and time. In the 80’s we video taped it, so we didn’t have to worry about missing it. In the 90s we bought the video tape, and that’s what we still watch every year.

    What a masterpiece of mangling holiday traditions! What kid wouldn’t want a dinner of popcorn, toast and jellybeans, prepared and served by his dog? I have to admit, at least twice over the years we’ve had a similar Thanksgiving dinner…once on purpose, for fun.

    If you haven’t seen CB’s Thanksgiving, you’re missing out on a real treat. You can catch the whole episode of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube.

    The house smells like turkey. We’ve got the air conditioning on because it’s 78° outside. We’ll have our traditional little turkey dinner in the dining room, then have drinks at the Tiki Bar on the lanai.

    From us here in the sunny land of South Florida, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto: Great Review on

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    The great reviews keep coming in for Murder on Tiki Island by yours truly, Tiki Chris!

    Recently Darrin Vindiola of Dads Dish wrote a spectacular review of the book, siting it’s great imagery, fun characters and original plot line.

    This week, Damon of Let’s Tiki wrote (and put on video) his great review of this Tiki-lover’s tome:

    I want to tell you about a great book I recently read, Murder on Tiki Island.  I really enjoyed the book. It made me feel like I was on a tropical vacation when, in reality, I never left Wisconsin.  Murder on Tiki Island was written by Tiki Chris Pinto.  The book takes place in October, 1956, and follows the story of New York City detective Bill Riggins…” You can read the rest of the review here at

    Damon is a long-time connoisseur of Tiki cocktails, culture and decor. His Let’s Tiki website has a ton of great info, exotic cocktail recipes and much more for the Tiki lover.

    Mahalos for that glowing review, Damon! It’s kats like you that the book is written for!

    -Tiki Chris P., author of Murder on Tiki Island.

  • Madigan, 1968 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on November 15th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    Madigan, 1968

    Madigan, 1968

    This is one of those 1960s cop movies that kind of faded away over the years, but holds up nice as a very kool slice of life from the time. With plenty of shots of NYC in the late 60s, cars, slums, fancy hotels, police precincts inside and out, this film is an hour and forty-one minute time capsule.

    Madigan, 1968

    Starring Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Harry Guardino, James Whitmore and Inger Stevens.


    These are the short-brimmed hats that have made a comeback today.

    Set in the present of 1968, this movie is an old-fashioned crime drama with a gritty edge. The detectives are all tough guys with short-brimmed fedoras, the cops look like they could have stepped out of a 1930’s flick, the cars are all big American sedans and there’s litter everywhere. The director managed to help capture the era for all posterity by grabbing plenty of shots of food joints, bars, commercial signage, and even a nice shot of the Coney Island boardwalk. Hard-swingin’ crime drama music by Don Costa and a lines like “he needs a hair cut” and “aw, the hell with these (bullet proof) vests, let’s go” juice this goody up but good.

    Richard Widmark as Madigan, a real tough cop

    Richard Widmark as Madigan, a real tough cop

    The story: Madigan and his partner get suckered into losing up their rods to a hood during a routine check. They spend the next couple of days tracking the guy down, while he uses the heisted rods to kill cops. Meanwhile the commish is dealing with police corruption that goes all the way up to the top. Bad news all around.

    I’m sure audiences in 1968 who were expecting an old-fashioned crime drama were surprised (maybe appalled) by the split-second female nudity, the few curse words peppered around and the mean-street violence, even by the cops themselves. By today’s standards it’s practically a Disney flick. But still fun to watch, especially for the images of 43 years ago.

    Lots of cool cars in Madigan, like this Lincoln Continental

    Lots of cool cars in Madigan, like this Lincoln Continental

    Food & Booze: These are hard-drinking tough-guy cops. Drinking anything less than 100 proof rye whiskey would be crime. Wash down a dirty-water dog or a Rubin on rye with a pickle and you’re all set.

    My take: The thing I found really interesting about this flick was the offices inside the police station. Dull green walls, wooden desks, steel grating over dirty windows and everything covered in a film of nicotine is exactly what you see, and exactly what I envisioned when I wrote my murder mystery book Murder on Tiki Island, where Detective Bill Riggins has a desk, a phone and a chair to conduct his investigating. Now, I may have seen this movie when I was a kid, say, 35 years ago on TV. Don’t remember it. But it seems my imagination has a pretty good handle on what police stations looked like in the middle of the last century. Kookie, huh?

    McGinty's Bar, Madigan 1968. Lots of great imagery in this flick.

    McGinty's Bar, Madigan 1968. Lots of great imagery in this flick.

    Here are the opening titles, with lots of cool 1968 shots of New York and some swingin’ crime drama riffs by Don Costa…

    Man, they just don’t write movie music like that anymore, huh? Swingin’, rockin’, crazy stuff.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the screening room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Happy Veterans Day, Yankee Fighter Cocktail Recipe

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    a-thank-you-to-our-veteransOn this Veterans Day, 11/11/11, I thought it would be kool to thank all the men and women who served with a kool new cocktail.

    The Yankee Fighter Highball

    This is a simple one but is tough as nails and tastes good too.

    1 1/2 oz Wild Turkey

    1/2 oz Southern Comfort

    Club soda (not seals)

    Beef Jerky (yes, you read right)

    Fill a highball glass with ice, add the Turkey and the SoCo and stir. Top with club soda, give a quick stir, garnish with a piece of beef jerky. Don’t get much tougher than that!

    Happy Veterans Day! Thank you Veterans!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the mess tent at Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Culture Blog for swingin’ kittens and hep kats.