The Hukilau: The Drink, and THE EVENT NEXT WEEK!

hukilau-2013Wow, seems like just yesterday we were at The Hukilau 2012, and here it is a few days before the kick-off of The Hukilau 2013! There are a TON of parties, events, entertainment and Tiki-tastic vendors this year, so much that I’m going to be lazy and pub the press release here for you to go through.

You can also visit The Hukilau website for additional info, photos and more. Tix are still available, but they won’t be for long! We’re going to The Hukilau…look for me, I’ll be the guy in the Hawaiian shirt.

For The Hukilau Drink Recipe, scroll to the end.

Official word from The Hukilau:

The Hukilau returns to classic Fort Lauderdale oceanfront hotel for 12th
annual Tiki event


WHAT: The Hukilau, a Tiki weekender celebrating the magic of mid-century
Polynesian Pop in America’s Vacationland. Featuring seven live bands and
other special guests, four educational and entertaining symposiums, plus
artists and vendors from across the globe.

WHEN: Thursday, June 6, through Sunday, June 9.

WHERE: The Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel (aka the Yankee Clipper),

My friends and me at The Hukilau 2011
My friends and me at The Hukilau 2011

1140 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; and The Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal
Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

HOW MUCH: Four-day “Aloha Pass” ($95), three-day pass ($75), Thursday
night Kickoff Party ($27), Friday night Main Event ($40). Place your order
at … Online sales end June 4.
Tickets will be available at The Hukilau registration desk in the Yankee
Clipper lobby on June 6 (noon to 10 p.m.) and June 7 (10 a.m. to 10 p.m.).



JUNE 6: Tiki Treasures Bazaar and art show at the Yankee Clipper, 5 p.m.-9
p.m. Kickoff Party featuring Gold Dust Lounge, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on the Yankee
Clipper’s Main Deck (poolside). Deadhead Rum’s Official After Pary at The
Mai-Kai featuring The Intoxicators, 9 p.m.-midnight. Marina the Fire
Eating Mermaid performs in the Yankee Clipper pool, 1 a.m.

JUNE 7: Tiki Treasures Bazaar and art show at the Yankee Clipper, 10
a.m.-7 p.m. Special guest mermaid Tiki Bree performs at noon. “The Urban
Primitive” tattoo symposium, 1 p.m. Cocktail Mix Up with Angostura Rum and
Bitters, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Tiki carving on Fort Lauderdale Beach, 3 p.m.
“Tales of the Yankee Clipper” symposium, 4 p.m. Main Event hosted by King
Kukulele and featuring Ìxtahuele, The Ding Dong Devils, The Hula Girls,
DJs and more, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. on the Yankee Clipper’s Main Deck (poolside).
Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid performs, 11:30 p.m.

Wahini Colleen at The Hukilau 2011
Wahini Colleen at The Hukilau 2011

JUNE 8: Tiki Treasures Bazaar and art show at the Yankee Clipper (free and
open to the public), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. “The Culture of Vintage Hawaiian
Shirts” symposium, 11:30 a.m. Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid performs,
12:30 p.m. “Beachbum Berry Presents the Wild West Indies” symposium, 2:30
p.m. at The Mai-Kai. Main Event at The Mai-Kai, 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Dinner
shows at 7:30, 10:30. Performances by Ìxtahuele, The Ding Dong Devils, The
Hula Girls, The Intoxicators, The NovaRays.

JUNE 9: Finale at The Mai-Kai featuring Skinny Jimmy & the Stingrays at
noon, documentary film “Plastic Paradise” at 1:30 p.m.

* Full schedule at


The Hukilau invites you to spend a weekend in Polynesian Pop paradise in
Fort Lauderdale on June 6-9, when the world’s most authentic Tiki event
sets sail on its 12th annual voyage.

This year’s destinations include two classic icons that opened in 1956,
The Mai-Kai restaurant and the Yankee Clipper, now known as the Sheraton
Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel.

The Hukilau [hoo-kee-lau] is a four-day Tiki festival held in America’s
vacationland that honors the remarkable Mai-Kai and celebrates both the
history and modern revival of mid-century Polynesian Pop culture. The
event draws up to 1,200 people each year from all over the globe, who
flock to the event for its eclectic line-up of bands, symposiums and
unique personal experiences.

Guests can expect an exotic voyage they’ll never forget: A fabulous
vintage weekend of South Florida sunshine, rum-soaked cocktails, exotica
and surf music, mermaid and Polynesian floor shows, retro culture and
artwork, plus much more.

Among the highlights:

See You At The Mai Kai!
See You At The Mai Kai!

* An all-new symposium by respected tropical cocktail historian and author
Jeff “Beachbum” Berry based on his upcoming book, “Potions of the
Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them,”
rescheduled for Saturday, June 8, at The Mai-Kai.

* “Tales of the Yankee Clipper,” a symposium that takes a journey through
the colorful stories of the golden age of the Fort Lauderdale hotel and
explores its place in Polynesian Pop history, rescheduled for Friday, June

* The first U.S. appearance by Ìxtahuele, a Swedish quintet that performs
traditional exotica in the authentic style of the genre’s mid-century
pioneers. The band will be performing at both the Yankee Clipper and The

* The full premiere of “Plastic Paradise,” a documentary filmed at The
Hukilau, The Mai-Kai and other locations by award-winning Miami filmmakers
Common Machine on Sunday, June 9.

* Three special performances by Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid in her
exotic home, the pool adjoining the famous Wreck Bar at the Yankee
Clipper. These include two late-night swims with her co-performers, aka
the “pod of aquaticats.”

* New sponsors – including Ron Diplomatico Rum, Angostura Rum and Bitters,
Deadhead Rum, and Barritt’s Ginger Beer – who will be providing product
samples, special tastings, and cocktails and all weekend.

* Famed pin-up photographer Bunny Yeager will make a rare appearance to
sign memorabilia in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar on Saturday, June 8.

* For the first time, the Tiki Treasures Bazaar will be free and open to
the general public on Saturday.

* An art show featuring more than 20 Tiki and retro-inspired fine artists
from across the country will benefit Abandoned Pet Rescue of Fort

As always, The Hukilau casts its net far and wide to bring talented
performers and fascinating speakers to its entertainment lineup. This
year’s journey will include a dazzling array of authentic musical
performances, symposiums, and special entertainers you’re unlikely to ever
find anywhere else on the same weekend.

>>>>> Musical acts

The Hukilau will feature an eclectic lineup of bands ranging from surf to
exotica to rockabilly.

–> Ìxtahuele, an exotica quintet from Sweden, will be making its first
U.S. appearance at The Hukilau. The group plays in the authentic style of
exotica pioneers Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman. It includes an eclectic
lineup of players with experience in jazz, pop, surf, classical, Latin and
world music. The band just released their debut album, “Pagan Rites.”
* Bio, photo and more at

–> The Ding Dong Devils perform original songs that celebrate Tiki
culture and draw from diverse musical influences that include exotica,
surf, rockabilly, hapa haole and old-time jazz. The five-piece band hails
from the fertile California Tiki scene and features ukulele, accordion and
mandolin in addition to the standard guitar, bass, drums and keyboards.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> The Hula Girls specialize in “hulabilly,” an up-tempo mix of hapa
haole, Tiki, and surf-themed music filtered through the rockabilly and
rock ‘n’ roll sounds of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Southern
California foursome has shared the stage with such legends as The
Ventures, Duane Eddie, X, The Blasters, Dick Dale, and Wayne Hancock.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> The Intoxicators, a fixture at The Hukilau since 2005, play a powerful
blend of classic surf, rockabilly, and instrumental guitar rock. The
Tallahassee quintet plays events and festivals throughout the Southeast
and has opened for such national acts as Los Straitjackets, Southern
Culture On The Skids, and Agent Orange.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> Gold Dust Lounge shakes up its surfy sound with jazz and spy/lounge
influences, yielding an eclectic and tasty musical cocktail. The Miami
ensemble is led by guitarist/songwriter Russell Mofsky, a veteran of the
South Florida music scene whose vast experience ranges from DIY punk to
studying jazz guitar at the New England Conservatory of Music.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> Skinny Jimmy & the Stingrays blend elements of the retro-inspired
sci-fi, secret agent, spaghetti western, exotica and rockabilly genres to
create an authentic vintage sound. The Deerfield Beach group has opened
for three of surf music pioneer Dick Dale’s South Florida dates (in 2012
and 2013) and will release a debut CD later this year.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> The NovaRays are an Orlando-based traditional surf band infused with
punk energy and powerful sound. Featuring veteran members of the surf and
garage rock scene, the band released “A Date With The Novarays” in 2006
and recently shared the stage with Dick Dale on his Central Florida date.

>>>>> Symposiums

The Hukilau 2009
The Hukilau 2009

UPDATES: Reserved seats for all symposiums are sold out. Jeff “Beachbum”
Berry’s symposium, previously scheduled for the Yankee Clipper, has been
moved to The Mai-Kai.

In 2006, The Hukilau was the first Tiki event to present seminars on
culture and history. The tradition continues with another lineup that will
both educate and entertain.

–> “Beachbum Berry Presents: The Wild West Indies” is an all-new seminar
that will feature material from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s upcoming book,
“Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People
Behind Them.” Berry will take participants on a booze cruise through time
to the rum-laden islands that inspired Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic
to create the tropical drinks that are still revered more than 75 years
* Bio, photo and more at

–> “Tom Duncan Presents: Tales of the Yankee Clipper” is a trip through
time that will explore the stories of the Yankee Clipper hotel and its
roots in Polynesian Pop. Tom Duncan is a child of the mid-20th century who
grew up with Florida’s vintage restaurants on the Space Coast and spent
more than 30 years working at the Kennedy Space Center. In his spare time,
he’s done extensive research on the history of the Yankee Clipper. He’ll
be joined by Nani Maka, a dancer who performed a half-century ago in the
Yankee Clipper’s Polynesian Room, plus other alumni. There will be a Q&A
session after the symposium.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> “Paul Roe Presents: Hunting the Urban Primitive” is a symposium that
features sordid tales of indigenous tattooing and how it has influenced
the freaks of the concrete jungles. Roe – a historian, artist and owner of
Britishink Tattoos in Washington, D.C. – will look at how ancient forms of
tattooing have evolved and how they’re used today.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> “Gary Moss Presents: The Culture of Vintage Hawaiian Shirts” will
feature insights from the proud owner of more than 300 vintage rayon
Hawaiian shirts from the ’30s and ’40s (as seen in the book “Hawaiian
Shirts: Dress Right for Paradise”). A former professor at the New England
College of Optometry, he now teaches part-time at Gainesville’s Santa Fe
College. He’s also an antiques and collectibles dealer/collector and
author of “Hippie Artifacts: Mind-blowing Stuff to Collect” (2003).
* Bio, photo and more at

>>>>> Special guests and activities

–> King Kukulele, master of ceremonies
The Hukilau’s frontman since the very beginning in 2002, the entertainer
also known as Denny Moynahan is a comedian, actor and ukuleleist with
inexorable energy always seen in his ubiquitous aloha shirt, straw hat,
grass skirt and lei. He’ll host many of on-stage performances, including
the Friday and Saturday night main events.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (Medusirena)
A fixture at Tiki events from coast to coast, retro-aquatic performer and
fire dancer Marina Duran-Anderson is best known in South Florida for her
weekly swim shows that can be viewed through the portholes in the Yankee
Clipper’s historic Wreck Bar. She and her team of mermaids will perform
three special shows during The Hukilau, marking Marina’s seventh
appearance at the event.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> Tiki Bree, special guest mermaid
Bre-elle Ishtar trained at Florida’s famous Weeki Wachee Springs, the
iconic tourist attraction that introduced the world to underwater mermaid
shows. The Hukilau marks her return to the Yankee Clipper pool for the
first time since 2006.
* Bio, photo and more at

–> The full premiere of “Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through
America’s Polynesian Obsession,” a documentary filmed at The Hukilau and
elsewhere and previewed at last year’s event. The indie film, which will
be shown on PBS later this year, tells the story of Tiki culture’s
original rise and fall in the mid-20th century and its recent rediscovery
by a new generation of Polynesian popsters. There will be an exclusive
showing for guests of The Hukilau on Sunday afternoon at The Mai-Kai.

* See a list of all the entertainment at

–> The Hukilau is dedicated to the life of Wayne Coombs (1949-2012), the
legendary Tiki carver from Cocoa Beach, Fla., who passed away in
September. For 45 years, Coombs and his Mai Tiki studio were known
worldwide for a unique approach to carving that came to be known as the
“Florida Tiki” style. His impact on today’s Tiki scene was as immense as
his larger-than-life presence.

–> As a tribute to Wayne, this year’s event will feature a carving demo
on Fort Lauderdale Beach featuring Tampa artist Jeff Chouinard and friends
on Friday at 3 p.m.


“Bon Voyage: Sailing the South Seas” is an art show curated by event
co-founder and organizer Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White that will benefit
Abandoned Pet Rescue in Fort Lauderdale. Participating artists include
Lisa Petrucci, Doug Horne, Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, Dawn Frasier, Eric
October, Thor, Junkhauler, Mookie Sato, Amore Hirosuke, Rod North, El Gato
Gomez, Mateo, Jeff Chouinard, Robert Jimenez, Chris Chapman, Brian Potash,
Nicholas Dewey, Dart Daugherty, Vikki Vaden, Vena, and more. In addition,
artist Erin Chainani will be painting live portraits. It will be located
in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar all weekend, with the opening reception held
Thursday, June 6, at 5 p.m. for Yankee Clipper guests and 6 p.m. for all
attendees. The art show will be free and open to the general public on
* More on the art show at

Vendors will come from around the world to The Hukilau to sell their
exotic artifacts, retro-themed merchandise, antiques and collectibles in
one of the Yankee Clipper’s ballrooms. The bazaar will be open to guests
of The Hukilau on Thursday and Friday, and to the general public on
Saturday. In addition to a cash bar, there will be be special cocktails by
guest mixologists and autograph signings by VIPs.
* See the latest list of vendors at


For the second year in a row, The Hukilau’s Official Mug was designed and
produced by Tiki Diablo, aka Danny Gallardo, a Los Angeles-based artist
and carver. This annual limited-edition keepsake has become a sought-after
collectible and has been featured in books dedicated to Tiki mug artistry
and collecting. The 2013 mug was an instant hit, nearly selling out in
days. For more info on availability, go to

The mug and Official Pendant are both inspired by a giant Tiki in The
Mai-Kai gardens created by legendary mid-century carver Barney West. Along
with the mug and pendant, other limited edition merchandise offered to
guests includes a Coconut Mug based on the popular Trader Vic design, and
the return of the 10th anniversary Snifter Glass, both featuring logos and
artwork by noted artist Kevin Kidney.

Other merchandise includes The Hukilau’s Official Glassware and Official
T-Shirt, designed by Japanese artist Mookie Sato and including tributes to
Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and the Yankee Clipper. Also new is the
Shag Toss Pillow Cover, featuring fabric designed for The Hukilau in 2010
by the acclaimed artist Josh Agle (aka Shag).


A “Hukilau” is a traditional Hawaiian festival at which villagers cast a
large net into the sea to bring a wide assortment of fish to shore. It’s
followed by a feast that celebrates the spirit of ‘ohana, or family and
community. The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale is designed as a modern
equivalent that attracts lovers of Tiki culture from all over the world
for a unique Polynesian Pop celebration.

Co-founded by Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White in 2002 in Atlanta, The Hukilau
moved to Fort Lauderdale to honor the legendary Mai-Kai in 2003 and has
remained an annual highlight on the expanding Tiki events calendar. It’s
now one of the two oldest and most prestigious festivals, counting nearly
every major figure in the modern Tiki revival among its guests and

Author/mixologist Jeff “Beachbum” Berry will be presenting his eighth
symposium this year. Author/photographer Sven Kirsten (“The Book of Tiki”)
has made multiple appearances, while the list of special guest artists,
speakers and musicians is long and impressive: Josh Agle (aka Shag), Kevin
Kidney and Jody Daily, Charles Phoenix, Billy Mure, Robert Drasnin, Yma
Sumac, Los Straitjackets, The Martini Kings, Tikiyaki Orchestra, The Sweet
Hollywaiians, The Neanderthals, The Woggles, and many more.

The Hukilau has braved hurricanes, hotel changes and economic upheaval to
leave a lasting impact on the modern Tiki scene. The Hukilau was
responsible for the permanent re-institution of the mermaid show at the
Yankee Clipper and has helped resurrect interest in the historic Mai-Kai.
The Hukilau proudly keeps Polynesian Pop’s past alive and well, while also
stirring interest among a new generation of talented artisans, performers,
mixologists, and enthusiasts from all walks of life.

See you at the party!

The Hukilau Cocktail – a Mai Kai Original

The Hukilau Cocktail (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)
The Hukilau Cocktail (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

Most of you know that The Mai Kai guards their drink recipes safer than Fort Knox. But some talented mixologists have gone through the trouble of dissecting the drinks, and coming up with recipes that hit the mark. One such person is Hurricane Hayward of The Atomic Grog, who has created tribute recipes to some of the Mai Kai’s most famous drinks. Here is his recipe from The Atomic Grog for The Hukilau:

Hukilau tribute by The Atomic Grog, April 2012.
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
* 3/4 ounce white grapefruit juice
* 3/4 ounce rich honey mix
   (2:1 honey to water, mixed and cooled)
* 1 ounce passion fruit syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon rich cinnamon syrup
* 1/4 ounce strong Kona coffee,
   freshly brewed, then chilled
* 1 1/2 ounces light Virgin Islands rum
* 1 1/2 ounces Appleton Special gold Jamaican rum
Blend with up to 1 1/2 cups of crushed ice in a top-down mixer for 3-5 seconds. Pour into a large snifter glass with more crushed ice to fill.

Check out The Atomic Grog blogsite for more great recipes, Tiki events and more!

-Tiki Chris, reporting from the deck of the Yankee Clipper, Fort Lauderdale, FL

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