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  • Voodoo Cooler – Your Weekend Tiki Bar Cocktail Recipe!

    Posted on March 9th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    tropical-cocktail-artAs most of you mix-o-matic kats and shaker shakin’ kittens know, there’s a biz-zillion ways to combo rums, fruit juices and ice to make a groovy Tropical Cocktail. Some take time, skill and a bankroll to create, some are easy and cheap, and if done right, all are really good.

    The Voodoo Cooler

    is a drink that you can probably whip together with stuff you usually have laying around the bar, so you can have a tropical cocktail without taking a trip to the liquor store.

    1 oz dark or spiced rum (your choice)
    1 oz Midori
    2 oz coconut rum
    1/2 oz orange juice
    1/2 oz pineapple juicetropical-cocktail-2

    Shake everything up in a shaker with ice, and pour into the coolest looking Tiki mug you can find. Garnish with fresh orange and pineapple, a cherry, and an umbrella. This drink is a little sweeter than most, but it’s refreshing and has a real “islandy” taste.

    If you wanna go nutz…

    Put this all in a blender with ice and do a frozen job, then top with a jigger of 151. Woo hoo! Key West style, baby!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the outdoor bar on the lanai, in sunny Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • It’s National Margarita Day! So, here are some Tiki-Rita Recipes for your party.

    Posted on February 22nd, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    sexy-pin-up-girl-margaritaTiki Margarita Recipes!

    I just found out this morning that today is National Margarita Day. Not sure who put this day on Ash Wednesday, the day after Fat Tuesday, which created all kinds of problems for some people (from religious to hangovers), but it is what it is, so here are some cool Margarita drink recipes taken from “100 Margaritas” by Johnny Tiki with John Taddeo, available as a free PDF download from Voodoo Tiki Tequila.

    By the way…Voodoo Tiki Tequila is some great stuff, and is perfect for your Tiki bar. The bottles feature a hand-blown glass Tiki inside, and look great on your top shelf. They have a variety of styles, with the REPOSADO being my favorite. Check em out: VoodooTiki.com.

    Coconut Margarita

    “Also known as a Chi Chi Margarita, it’s coco sweet and tasty.”
    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 oz Voodoo Tiki
    Platinum Tequila
    1/2 oz Coconut Rum
    2 1/2 oz Piña Colada Mix
    1 1/2 oz Sour Mix
    Directions:
    Up or on the rocks combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with
    ice. Shake vigorously and let sit 5 seconds. Strain into martini
    glass or into a freshly iced rocks glass. For frozen – recommended
    – combine all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend smooth.

    Tiki Torch Mar-Tiki

    “Flaming shots are for showoffs…like me! And nothing lights a bar on
    fire better than the Grain Alcohol! Grab a bottle at your local liquor
    store or from Uncle Jesse’s liquor cabinet and layer your drink pouring slowly onto the
    back of a bar spoon over your glass. Careful! Unless your into outdoor living, wipe up any spills before igniting.
    Ingredients:
    3 1/2 oz Voodoo Tiki
    Añejo Tequila
    1 oz Everclear or Grain
    Alcohol (float and ignite)
    1 1/2 oz Roses Lime Juice
    Directions:
    Layer tequila first, then lime juice, then the Grain. Light the torch and serve

    Coconut Almond Margaritapina-mellon-pear-margarita

    “Tropical coconut and mango collide. A unique slant on the traditional tropical treat.”
    Ingredients:
    1 oz Voodoo Tiki Platinum
    Tequila
    1 oz Amaretto
    1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
    2 oz Mango Juice or Puree
    1 oz White Cranberry Juice
    Directions:
    On the rocks, combine all ingredients and shake well. If serving up, shake well, then allow a few seconds to rest before pouring.
    Rim: Coconut Flakes

    Piña-melon Pear Margarita

    “Three sweet fruits – luscious prickly pear, juicy melon and
    sweet pineapple – make this mouth watering margarita a fruit filled favorite.”
    Ingredients:
    1 oz Voodoo Tiki Desert Rose
    Prickly Pear Infused Tequila
    1 oz Midori Melon Liqueur
    1/2 oz Triple Sec
    1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
    1 oz White Cranberry Juice
    1 oz Sour Mix
    Directions:
    Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and shake. Strain into martini glass or over fresh ice.
    Rim: Sugar

    NOTE! My old buddy Steve Sharpe suggests adding a dollop of honey to your margarita before you blend. Thanks for the tip, Steve. This will come in handy if we ever make it to Manilla.

    Happy Margarita Day! -Tiki Chris, reporting from the adobe bar next to Tiki Lounge Talk.

  • Tiki Bar’s Top 20 Christmas Movies & Shows, for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on December 13th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    Christmas Tiki Stocking stuffed with Tropical FruitMele Kalikimaka!

    With Christmas around the corner I thought it would be fun to post Colleen and my favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. I know many of you kats and kittens drop by to find new (old) flicks to favor, but I think today’s post will be more about remembering all of our favorites that we’ve loved for years. So pour yourself a bourbon egg nog, log on to Netflix and get ready for…


    Tiki Lounge Talk’s Top Twenty Christmas Shows!

    rudolph-new-year20. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, 1976: Not exactly a Christmas show, but close enough. Our old Friend Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer finds himself trying to save the Baby New Year. Long story short, it’s more of that great old stop-animation stuff that we loved as kids. Computer generated imagery just doesn’t have the same old-fashioned, homey Christmas feel that these shows did. And the toys were real!

    year-without-santa19. The Year Without A Santa Claus, 1974: Another stop-animation goody from the same guys who gave us Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Santa Claus it coming to town, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Santa (Mickey Rooney) catches a cold, and believes nobody cares if he comes to town anyway. This is the one with Heat Miser and Snow Miser. Classic, wonderful show, except for a whiny version of “Blue Christmas” from a little girl. Oh, and every time it dips below 40 here in South Florida, which isn’t often, we joke, “It’s gonna snow in South Town!” You’ll have to watch the show to get it.

    2003_elf_00318. Elf, 2003: Not an oldy but definitly a goody, this Christmas flick is about a man (Will Ferrel) who was orphaned and adopted by Santa’s elves and brought up at the North Pole. Sometime in his 30′s or 40′s he decides to find his real father, James Cann, in New York City. Hilarity ensues. Add in cute-as-a-button Zooey Deschanel and Bob Newhart, and this goofy comedy can’t miss. Plus it’s packed with the koolest Christmas music by Ella, Frank, Les Baxter, etc. etc.

    scrooge-mcduck17. Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1983: Scrooge McDuck. Need I say more?

    16. White Christmas, 1954: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney team up in this post-WWII musical. Bing & Danny play ex-GI’s who form a song & dance team (yeah, that happened a lot after WWII, right?) They go to play a B&B in Vermont, find it’s owned by their old commander who’s not doing so well financially, so they help him get the place hopping again while falling for a couple of dames in the outfit. Of course, Bing sings White Christmas.

    homealone15. Home Alone, 1990: It’s hard to call this one “new” as it is officially 20 years old now. Krazy, huh? The first really good Christmas movie to come along in years (1989′s Christmas Vacation gets an Honorable Mention), this movie re-defined what Christmas was all about, while sending us the same, time-honored message: There’s no place like home for the holidays, even if you bludgeon would-be burglars with gallons of paint and a clothes iron.

    silent_night_deadly_night14. Silent Night, Deadly Night, 1984: “You’ve made it through Halloween, now try to survive Christmas” was the tagline for this early 80′s-style slasher film. Forget the plot, it’s SANTA murdering half-naked women. Put this one on after the kiddie’s hit the hay.
    13. A Christmas Carol, 1951 with Alistair Sim: There are about 400 version of this movie, dating back to the 1890′s when Scrooge was drawn on a notepad and flipped through. This particular one is the one my family watched every year, and so it’s my favorite “live action” version. (Rich Little’s version was funny as hell, but is impossible to find.)

    the_santa_clause12. The Santa Clause, 1994: Another one that’s hard to call “new”, this very original movie was both funny and heartwarming. Tim Allen makes a great Santa, and the way he gets the job is a fantastic example of originality and creativity to make this flick lots of fun. The second one was pretty good too. Don’t really remember the third one. Might not have even seen it. Sequels, you know…FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

    11. Frosty The Snowman, 1969: One of the few cartoons that made it big in the era of stop-animation, Frosty lives on as one of the favorites among favorites. With Jimmy Durante narrating and Jackie Vernon as the voice of Frosty, no one will ever forget (or forgive) that bad magician, Professor Hinkle. (Bizzy, bizzy bizzy!!!) and what he did to Frosty. Whew! Santa comes by to save the day!

    scrooge-muppet-christmas-carol10. The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992: Coming years after the success of the Muppet Show, this welcomed Muppet movie starred Micheal Caine as Scrooge, in a damned good performance too, considering his co-stars were a frog, a pig, a bear, and a whatever. Puns galore. Muppets. Music. Rats. Who could ask for anything more?

    muppet-christmas-bob-fam


    astair-santa-claus-is-comin9. Santa Claus is Coming To Town, 1970: Hard to believe this Rankin/Bass stop-animation favorite came out 40 years ago. I mean, it was new the first time I saw it! (I was two). Fred Astair, Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn lead the starring voices for this story of Santa’s life, from when he was an orphan to when he started bringing toys to children. When I was a kid, I looked at it as a biography…which it is. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. santa-comin-youngListen for the voice of the Burgermeister – his name is Paul Frees, and he’s done voices on almost every cartoon and stop-ani show EVER made.

    rudolph-hermie8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1964: As far as original, old stop-animation goes, this one is the tops. I mean, come on, it’s Rudolph! The Island of Misfit Toys, great music, an elf who wants to be a dentist, 1940′s cars and a Bumble. If you’ve never seen it, well, you’re a dork.rudolph-santa

    nightmare-christmas-jack17. The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993: Everyone knows that Tim Burton is bat-ass crazy. His dark, twisted mind gave us a glimpse of his warped version of Christmas with Edward Scissorhands, and he took the money from that to make his real movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s just this: You take Halloween, and you take Christmas, and you collide them at 180 miles per hour with some LSD and a fog machine. Then you film it in the most expensive, most time-consuming and hardest to shoot stop animation ever, invented just for this movie.

    nightmare-christmas-jack2A giant, skinny skeleton, Jack Skellington, accidentally discovers Chrismastown after taking a long walk away from Halloweentown. He falls in love with the colors, the lights, the pies, the toys, so different from his gray and orange home. He decides to give Santa a night off, and take his place with some horrific toys and a sleigh built from a coffin (the skeleton reindeers are creepy). It’s an opera-style musical, but the music is boss. Especially The Boogieman’s Song, where he sings and dances á la Cab Calloway.

    christmas-story-leg-lamp6. A Christmas Story, 1983: If there’s still anyone out there who hasn’t seen this flick, as it’s been broadcast 24 hours on Christmas Day for around the last 15 years, I think I’d faint in my egg nog. “You’ll shoot your eye out” is probably one of the most quoted (and imitated) lines in pop culture. That, referring to the Red Ryder BB gun (I got one!) and that crazy leg lamp (I got one’a those, too) make this movie one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time. christmas-story-ralphie-bunny“Messy Marvin” did a great job as the clueless kid who didn’t care about anything in the world except getting that BB gun. We’ve all been there – with me, it was getting a slot car track when I was a kid (then later in life it was about getting this blonde stripper I knew and bottle of Johnny Blue, but that’s another story). And of course, this is where you learn what Chinese Turkey is.

    wonderful-life-ending5. It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946: Jimmy Stewart almost didn’t make this movie. He had been overseas during the war, and thought it was too soon after he came back to make a movie. Lionel Barrymore talked him into it, and Stewart later said it was his favorite movie he ever made. Another “There’s no place like home for the holidays, no matter how screwed up things are” movie, it didn’t do so well at the box office first time around (even though it was nominated for five Oscars). It wasn’t until later TV and video releases that the film was realized as one of the top 100 films (American Film Institute) and given the honor of the #1 Inspirational Film of all time by the AFI. wonderful-life-potterThis was always one of my favorites from when I was a little kid. After all, don’t we all want to believe there’s an angle looking out for us? Or maybe an angel?

    grinch-smirk4. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon), 1966: The “new” Grinch live-action movie with Jim Carey was slick, over-the-top, extreme, and therefore dullsville compared to the understated excellence of the original cartoon. With Boris Karloff narrating, this made-for-TV special by master cartoonist Chuck Jones took the book to an incredible level while keeping the look and feel of Dr. Seuss intact. grinch-whosThe Grinch’s theme song is so absolutely perfect, the toys are so absolutely annoying, and Cindy-Loo Who is so absolutely cute that it all fits in perfectly with the absolutely abysmal Grinch. He even admits to being 53, which makes him a crotchety old man! He’s basically yelling at the Whos to get off his lawn. Perfection. (Note: Dr. House stole his look from the Grinch)

    mirical-34th-street-santa-n3. Miracle on 34th Street (Original Movie), 1947: Again, the “new” version of this movie is an over-the-top catastrophe. Stay far away from it lest your eyes melt in your head. But the original is pure magic. John Payne, Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn as Santa a little girl named Natalie Wood make this Christmas special a very special one indeed. An up-and-coming lawyer falls into a situation where he has to (wants to) prove in a court of law that not only does Santa Claus exist, but that he works at Macy’s. Natalie Wood is a little girl who’s taught not to believe in such silly things. Santa is determined to help everyone, even if it means he could be locked up for Christmas Eve. You’ll never guess how it ends! Well, ok, maybe you will. Still, it’s a fantastic movie.

    magoo-christmas-coins2. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, 1962: Credited as the FIRST Christmas Cartoon to start the trend of running cartoons on network TV every Christmas, Magoo’s Christmas Carol may not be as popular today as it was nearly 50 years ago, but it’s still considered one of the top by pretty much anyone who watches Christmas shows. Jim Backus of course voices Magoo as Scrooge, and the story is of course filled with Magoo-esque jokes like, (Ghost of Christmas Present) “Scrooge, have you ever seen the likes of me?” (Magoo) “I’m not sure I see you now!” magoo_christmas_futureThe Dickens’ tale is paraphrased down to about an hour (less commercial breaks) but keeps the original story mostly intact while giving it a sort of live-theater feel. The cartoon itself is pure early ’60s animation, kind of Bullwinkle-like in its art direction, and very clever. The music is great (ever had Razzleberry jelly?) and it’s loads of fun to watch. This is one my family and I would watch every year on TV, and on video tape (I still have the tape from 1980 when we taped it off HBO) later. It was my Mother’s favorite Christmas show ever, so it holds a special place in my heart.

    And of course, the number one Christmas show at the Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar and at homes around the world…

    charlie-brown-christmasA Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965: Seriously, nothing taught me more about the true meaning of Christmas than this show. When I was a kid, there were no DVDs, no video tapes, no computers. So you got the TV guide, found the date when CBS was showing it, and stayed home that night to make sure you caught it or you’d be out of luck until next year. And it was worth the wait. That incredible musical score by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, the homey, home-made feel of the art and the edits, and the acting by actual kids…it was like watching Peanuts Christmas cards unfolding on the screen. charlie-brown-tree“A great, big, shiny aluminum Christmas tree”. “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest”. Snoopy dancing to Schroeder’s jazz piano. Absolute perfection.

    Well kids, that’s our Christmas show wrap-up for 2010. Sure, there are dozens more, from Bob Hope Christmas specials to Saturday Night Live skits, but I had to limit it to the top 20. Hell, I started with 10! If you haven’t seen any of these flicks, I’m pretty sure they’re all available on DVD or for rental, and some may actually be on TV soon. So keep a lookout, have plenty of nog on tap, and Merry Christmas!
    Here’s some video clips, on the house…


    -Tiki Chris reporting from under the great, big shiny aluminum Christmas Tree at Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki & retro lovers blog for vintage-style fun.

  • Count Basie, Corner Pocket

    Posted on September 21st, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tv-retro-photo A while ago I came across this video of the Count Basie Orchestra playing Corner Pocket back in 1962. If there is such thing as big band jazz perfection, this is it. Basie’s band was known for it’s exceptional combination of virtuosity and soul. This version of Corner Pocket illuminates both.

    I had the pleasure of playing lead tenor sax + solo on this arrangement in my college big band. Although nowhere near as swingin’ as Basie’s band, I’ll always be happy and proud to have swung this number in that college band.

    Sit back, pour a Manhattan, and take five to enjoy this: The Count Basie Orchestra swinging Corner Pocket (Until I Met You)

  • This Week’s Top Songs In 1956: #1 Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis, #2 Moonglow/The Theme from Picnic by Morris Stolloff

    Posted on July 1st, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 9 comments

    The King - Click to Play Heartbreak Hotel

    The King - Click to Play Heartbreak Hotel

    Flip your ears to the hi-fi kats and kittens and listen to what I’m laying on ya, two big hits from ’56 in the mix and there ain’t no tricks, it’s the King, The Man with the Swingin’ Pelvis, Elvis Presley in the Number One slot this week in 1956, and right in view at Number Two is…Morris Stoloff?

    Yeah, that’s how it was back in the 50′s. Back then there was ONE chart, one list of hits, and you could have Rock ’n’ Roll and a Jazz standard together with a Western tune and standards vocalists like Frank Sinatra on the top five at the same time. Today you have a couple of dozen charts, so you’ll (probably) never see Winton Marsalis on the same hit list as Beyonce. but back in the day that would have been common.

    Now don’t get me wrong, most kats that were digging Elvis wouldn’t listen to Jazz if their lives depended on it. And vice versa…A lot of kats in the Jazz scene were too busy groovin’ to sophisticated bop to catch the Rhythm & Blues bug. And neither click would turn their ears to say, Patsy Cline, who also topped the charts plenty in the 50′s. But there were some mavericks who could riff along with all of them…From Frank and Dean to Les Brown and Dorris Day to Miles Davis and Stan Getz to Elvis and Buddy Holly.

    My old man was just such a kat. “Picnic” happened to be one of his favorite movies, and according to him the scene where William

    Picnic - Click Here to Play "Moonglow/The Theme From Picnic"

    Picnic - Click Here to Play "Moonglow/The Theme From Picnic"

    Holden and Kim Novak danced to “Moonglow” had everybody going crazy (Kim Novak burns through the scene with one of the most understated and sexiest ‘innocent’ dances  of all time, believe me). It’s a krazy scene musically because up to that point there is sort of corny dixie-type music playing for the picnic. Then this piano, guitar, bass and brushes comes in swinging with Moonglow, and these two characters finally get together (and just dance) after an hour of repressed 50′s sexual tension. It’s like, hypnotic, lulling you into this dream-like paradise for two…then all hell breaks loose. If you want to know more, rent the movie, I won’t spoil it for you here.

    So back to the tunes.

    #1 This week, July 1, 2009 is Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. Imagine if a Diana Krall tune was #2. That’s how it used to be. Granted, you’ll get a few Jazz or other tunes reaching into the Top 20 now and then, if they’re from a movie usually. But gone the days when diverse talent like Fran Sinatra and Bill Haley shared the top positions on the charts.

    Other #1 songs of 1956 included:

    Dean Martin – Memories Are Made Of This
    Gogi Grant – The Wayward Wind
    Platters – My Prayer
    Les Baxter – The Poor People Of Paris
    Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons

    All on the same chart. Krazy, ain’t it?