Posted on December 31st, 2013 3 comments
As I raise my Tiki mug filled with a strong rum & juice concoction, I toast you all, and wish you a very happy and healthy 2014!
Wow, 2014…It seems like only yesterday “The 50s” were only 20 years ago, the stars from our favorite noir movies were all still alive and working, and big band leaders like Harry James, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington were still swingin’. I’m thinking back to 30 years ago, 1984 (WOW), or 40 years ago, 1974 (WOW-ER).
Kats and kittens drop into the Tiki Lounge to read and talk about our favorite era, now most commonly known as “mid century”, previously known as “the old days”. We dig things like Bogart movies, cool jazz, Spillane, aluminum Christmas trees, and of course Tiki bars. We’d prefer to roll in a 1957 Chevy or 1948 Buick than a 2013 Honda. We might like laptop computers, but many of us still have an old typewriter somewhere, and some of even use them.
With every year that passes by, we realize how far detached from our favorite ear we (as a society) are becoming. Ask any twenty year old if they know who Guy Lombardo is, and they’ll probably look at you like you have three heads. Ask a teen who Bobby Rydell is, or Jack Benny, or Gene Kelley, and you’ll get a similar look. At least they still play Lombardo and Sinatra after the ball drops in NYC.
Let’s look at a few things that makes 2014 special, in regards to our past.
70 years ago, 1944:
America is knee-deep in WWII, landing in France on June 6th (D-Day). It’s the beginning of the end for Hitler.
Sinatra was still a “skinny kid”.
Laura, Double Indemnity, and House of Frankenstein, The Three Cabelleros and Jane Eyre are some of the top movies.
Glenn Miller disappears over the English Channel.
Mills Bros’ “Paper Doll”, Harry James’ “I’ll Get By”, Bing Crosby’s “Swingin’ on a Star”, and Dinah Shore’s “I’ll Walk Alone” are some of the top hits of the year.
Korean War ended in ’53; America enjoys a few years of war-free prosperity.
Rear Window, On the Waterfront, The Barefoot Contessa, The Seven Samuri and Dial M for Murder are some of the top movies.
Tony Bennett’s “Rags to Riches”, The Crew Cuts’ “Shaboom Shaboom”, The Chordetts’ “Mr. Sandman” are the top singles; Bill Haley records “Rock Around the Clock” which wouldn’t take off until it’s used in the 1955 movie “Blackboard Jungle”.
Last year for Chevrolet’s “round” look – the ’55 Chevy is one of the newest, freshest and most newly admired styles since the 1930s.
50 years ago, 1964:
America is still reeling from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson will be the free-world leader for most of the decade.
“The Beatles” blow up the music industry with “I want to hold your hand”, and changes everything, forever.
In spite of the British Invasion, “Hello, Dolly” by Louis Armstrong, “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” by Dean Martin and “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz still make it to the top 100. Also that year The Trashmen release Surfin’ Bird.
Since the late 60′s pretty much ends the era we love, I’ll only point out that 1974 was 40 years ago; meaning “Happy Days”, which was about the “good old days” was taking place less than 20 years after the era it represented. Let that sink in a little. I’ll also point out that Disco “officially” started in 1974 – making Disco the “big band music” of today’s generation. Spooky.
Well, I hope you found this little trip through time interesting (and not depressing!) Let’s remember that as long as we have record players, aluminum Christmas trees and Tiki bars, we’ll always have a little of the past right here, right now.
Happy New Year kats & kittens!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the Tiki Bar on the Lanai, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Posted on December 25th, 2013 2 comments
It’s a beautiful, sunny day here in South Florida, warm with a nice breeze. Kids are riding their new motorized scooters and playing with remote control cars and helicopters in the street. Down at the Beach, thousands of locals and travelers are enjoying the 80° day!
It’s Christmas in the sub tropics, where we decorate palm trees and have BBQs, Picnics and beach parties to celebrate the day! Here you know your Christmas will be green and bright, just like Hawaii.
Your Tiki Lounge hosts, Tiki Chris & Wahini Colleen wish you and yours the Merriest of Merriest & the Happiest of Happiest! Have yourself a merry Tiki Christmas! Mele Kalikimaka!
-Tiki Chris reporting from Pirates’ Cove Tiki Bar, next to the pool at Tiki Island Resort, that magical little Tiki oasis we like to call home.
Posted on November 28th, 2013 2 comments
While most of America is looking at a weekend of freezing temperatures, snow storms and cloudy days, we here in South Florida are thankful for the one biggest thing that makes our area great: Tropical weather.
We’ll be basking in the warm sun on Thanksgiving Day, and although a “cold front” is moving across, temperatures on Thursday are expected to be in the 70s during the day, dipping into some unusually cool 60s at night, just to remind us of the weather up north.
A lot of people down here hold traditional Thanksgiving BBQs, or fry their turkey out on the lanai. The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale always has Thanksgiving Dinner along with their spectacular Hula show. And of course, many from the great white north come down and hang out on the beach!
We have smoked out turkey on the grill in past years, but usually, (as with this year) Wahini Colleen enjoys cooking the whole, traditional Thanksgiving feast (this is “her” holiday, like Halloween is “mine”). This year we’ll have the pleasure of some last-minute company to share all this food with, along with a few planned Exotic Cocktails (I’m thinking Banana Banshees and Zombies).
Also…now that Halloween season is over and (most of) the spooky decor is down and stowed, I’ll have time to concentrate on more Tiki posts here and on our Retro Tiki Lounge Facebook page!
Aloha and Happy Thanksgiving, you swingin’ kats and kittens! -Tiki Chris, reporting from the carving station at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar
Posted on August 15th, 2013 1 comment
Yes, there is a “day” for everything…but when there’s a day for something as important as RUM, you know damned well there will be a post about it at The Tiki Lounge! A quick search of teh interwebs doesn’t give us much info on the origin of this fantabulous day, but who cares!
Ok, first of all, a very nice person (Christine) representing Captain Morgan’s Rum sent me some very tasty-looking recipes. I haven’t tried them yet (saving them for Rum Day) but I dig Captain, and I’m pretty sure these are going to be winners. I’ll list them at the end of this post.
Second, I can’t help but bring back one of my favorite original recipes,
The Pirate’s Wench, Your Weekend Tiki Bar Cocktail
I came up with this a few years ago while experimenting at the Tiki Bar on the lanai. It’s a twist on a Cuba Libre, and it will knock your socks off!
1 oz strong spiced Rum (Captain Morgan Black, Sailor Jerry, Kracken work nicely)
1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz Dark Rum (I prefer Meyer’s)
3 drops bitters
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
sprinkle of nutmeg
Start with a shaker of ice, add the three rums, bitter, and vanilla. Shake it up, baby. Strain into a large Tiki mug filled with ice. Liquor should fill mug about half way. Fill with Coke, squeeze in juice of 1/4 lime, and two shakes of nutmeg, stir. Top with a little more nutmeg and lime wedge. Damned good grog! It you like it sweet, add a little pineapple juice to taste. If you like it super strong, add a 151 floater, if you dare, and call it the Drunken Wench. Avast! And May Ye Enjoy The Captain’s Original Concoction !
Now for MORE Cocktails…those cool drinks from Captain Morgan…
PORT ROYAL PUNCH (Serves 25)
2 46-oz. cans of pineapple juice
3 cups mango juice
1 750 mL bottle of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
4.5 oz. grenadine
3 oranges sliced thinly and quartered
3 cans of Sprite for fizz
In a punch bowl or large serving vessel, add the above ingredients and stir. Serve over ice in a punch glass – or glass of your choosing.
BLACK & GINGER TEA
· 3 oz. Ginger Tisane (tea base)
· 1 oz. Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum
· 1 Tablespoon agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
· 1/4 oz. lemon juice
Directions: Brew tea base or tea bag in 6-8 oz. of water. Brew hot for four minutes and flash-chill, or cold for one hour. Shake with Captain Morgan Black Spiced Rum, sweetener and lemon juice, and pour into rocks glass over ice. Created by Owl’s Brew <http://theowlsbrew.com/> .
· 1 oz. Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum
· 1 oz. Grand Marnier® Liqueur
· 1/2 oz. lime juice
· 2 dashes of bitters
Directions: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled rocks glass. Stir to blend and garnish with lime wedge. Created by Owl’s Brew <http://theowlsbrew.com/> .
Cheers, kids! -Tiki Chris, reporting from the Tiki Bar on the lanai
PS: Don’t forget, Friday, October 4th is International Exotic Cocktail Day! Watch for details…
Posted on May 27th, 2013 No comments
It’s Memorial Day, 2013. That means that in my lifetime, which started in 1968, Americans have fought in the Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War, along with hundreds of military operations around the world.
Before that, our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers sacrificed everything in Korea, WWII, WWI, Civil War…
These are the people who have offered their lives to make sure that people like you and me could enjoy everything America has to offer. Without them, there would be no internet for me to write this article on. There would be no laptop for me to type it on. There would be no cold Mai Tai sitting next to me on the tropical style end table, and I myself…and most of you…wouldn’t even exist.
Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines…the men and women of the U.S. Military have played just as major a role in the forming of our nation as the scientists, artists and politicians. Maybe a larger role. The point is, without them, we would be nothing.
Here’s a big salute to all those who have served, and a special thank you to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to stand for what they believed in.
Just wanted you to know, that you are appreciated.
The Other Meaning of Memorial Day
It’s a drag that many people don’t know or forget that Memorial Day is to commemorate our fallen heroes, but at the same time I personally think it’s great that our society has also turned this into a day of celebration…what better way to honor those who fought for our freedom and country than to spend a day enjoying it to the fullest?
I most parts of America Memorial Day means the official start of summer. The 3-day weekend is always mayhem in the shore towns of Jersey where I grew up (Wildwood, Ocean City, Atlantic City swell with tens of thousands of people heading to the beach and boards). Here in South Florida, since it’s always summer, it’s more of a weekend for relaxing, having a BBQ with friends, or going to the malls (and of course the beach).
Today we’ll be BBQ’ing some burgers and dogs, and I’ve made my mother’s infamous South Philly Macaroni Salad (recipe here). We’ll have our burgers on the lanai by the pool, with a tropical drink or two, and be thankful to those great people who fought and won to give us opportunity to have the things we enjoy today! Read the rest of this entry »