Tiki News, Tiki Culture & Retro Living - Tiki Chris Pinto's Tiki Lounge Talk Blog
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • The Hukilau: The Drink, and THE EVENT NEXT WEEK!

    Posted on May 31st, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/tickets … 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.).

    MORE INFORMATION: http://www.thehukilau.com and


    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 http://thehukilau.com/2013/schedule-of-events/


    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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/ixtahuele

    –> 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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/the-ding-dong-devils

    –> 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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/thehulagirls

    –> 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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/the-intoxicators

    –> 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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/gold-dust-lounge

    –> 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 http://www.thehukilau.com/2013/king-kukulele

    –> 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 http://thehukilau.com/2013/tiki-bree/

    –> 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 http://tikidiablo.com/hukilau/

    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

    Leave a reply