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  • Happy Cinco de Mayo from the Tiki Bar!

    Posted on May 5th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    happy-cindo-de-mayoAh, Cinco de Mayo, the day when Mexicans celebrate the number 5 by drinking five shots of tequila with a 5-ounce margarita chaser.

    Did you know that Cinco de Mayo actually started in 1955 when five Mexican Nationals opened the first Taco Bell in Cancun?

    You may not know this either…the Margarita is actually the official drink of Saskatewan, not Mexico. A Mexican freighter sunk off the coast of Canada on its way to Alaska in 1857, and its cargo…400 cases of Don Pedro…washed up on the Canadian shore. The Eskimos liked the liquor so much they added crushed ice, native limes and homemade triple sec to it, and called it ‘Mah haga reeda”, Eskimo for “!#$%&^# That’s strong $(@&$^”.margarita

    Mexicans finally adopted the recipe around the turn of the century when a famous Mexican diplomat brought the drink back from Canada. At first many Mexicans didn’t know what do with the icy, creamy mixture, and dipped their tacos and taquitos in it. It wasn’t until the advent of radio that the Mexican government was able to get the world out that the margarita was for drinking, not dunking. (This also halted plans in 1921 for a string of cafes called Dunkin’ Tacos.)

    Today most people celebrate Cinco de Mayo without knowing (or caring about) the holiday’s roots, and use it as an excuse for excessive drinking and fun. Woo hoo! Viva Mexico!

    Easy Frozen Strawberry Margarita Recipe:


    • 6 oz tequila
    • 2 oz triple sec
    • 8 oz strawberries
    • 4 oz frozen limeade concentrate
    • ice
    • Take a swig of tequila. Crush ice in a blender for 15-20 seconds. Take another swig of tequila. Throw everything into the blender. Taste the tequila again, to make sure it’s still there. Put ther lidz on the blenner. Trun at sucker on an blenn until smooooth.Takka nozzer slugga tequila. Drink duh..duh..uh..what were we making?

    Just for some more fun, here’s last year’s post…

    Ah, Cinco de Mayo…another wonderful holiday whose traditions have been lost and reduced to an excuse to drink (My favorite kind of holiday).

    While most of the world will be celebrating with Tequila shots and tacos, here at the Tiki Bar we’ll put a little Polynesian spin on things.tiki-drink-and-margarita

    I mean, after all, who says Cinco de Mayo has to be Mexican? I’m pretty sure May 5th happens on places like Easter Island and Maui, too, right? So why can’t we celebrate this arbitrary Wednesday with Mai Tais and Chicken on a Stick?

    In true Tiki style, we can bend the rules for this fiesta and make it something our own. Now don’t worry – we can still have Tacos and Margaritas – but with a Pacific flair.

    Cinco de Mayo Luau!

    mmm, tacos and pineapple and chicken satay

    mmm, tacos and pineapple and chicken satay

    This should really confuse your friends, but will be a snap for you to throw together. Set up the Tiki Torches, make a mix CD of Martin Denny and some of that twangy Spanish polka music you hear at Mexican restaurants, and make your food a combination of Tacos, Taquitos, Chicken Satay and Shrimp Cocktail. Put cheese and coconut on everything. Wear a grass skirt and a Sombrero. Try making Zombies with Tequila, and Margaritas with rum. Do the Mexican hat dance around a Tiki Totem and….

    On second thought, maybe this isn’t such a good idea. Forget it, I’m going to Taco Bell.

    – Tiki Bandito Pinto, from the Tiki Bar in the Desert

  • Bamboozler: Your Weekend Tiki Bar Cocktail!

    Posted on April 15th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    shagWith Jazz Appreciation Month in full swing, I thought I’d feature a drink that sounded like it would be at home both in a dark mid-century Tiki Bar and a boppin’ basement Jazz club. Found this one in Shag’s Tiki Drinks Deck, a fun little pack of 52 drink cards with groovy Tiki art by Shag. With a name like


    …how could it miss?

    1 Shot Dark Rum
    1 Shot Light/Silver Rum
    1 Shot Vanilla Rum (Note: if you don’t have Vanilla Rum, try experimenting with Vanilla Vodka, Spiced Rum, or a few shots of pure vanilla extract at a time to get the desired taste. Desired taste is kind of vanilla-y.
    1 Tsp. Marashino Liqueur (or cherry juice, or Grenadine)
    3-4 Shots Mango Juice
    shage bamboozler card

    In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients and shake it up well. Pour into a chilled Collins glass and garnish with a marachino cherry. Niiiiice.


    Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Tiki Bar!
    Happy Weekend, Kids!

  • Orson Welles Directs The Stranger, 1946 for Noir Movie Monday

    Posted on March 14th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    the-stranger-posterEdward G. Robinson as a Federal Detective. Post-war Nazi plots. Deceit, murder, and clocks. Orson Welles directs this classic 1946 Noir thriller in a way other directors only dreamed of. Even the title takes on a new meaning as the story unfolds in

    The Stranger, 1946

    starring Edward G. Robinson, Orson Welles, and Loretta Young.the_stranger_young-welles

    The film opens darkly as authorities plan to find and capture Franz Kindler (played by Welles), the heartless mastermind of the Holocaust. Kindler managed to evade capture, erase his identity, leading him to take up life as a professor in a small town in Connecticut. (Remember, this is 1946, the time when Nazi atrocities were first coming to light and war criminals were being hunted around the globe). Robinson’s character eventually tracks Kindler down…I won’t tell you how here, as that would give away the whole story…welles-robinson-stranger

    As you’d expect from a classic, every scene is filmed artistically, bringing together perfect camera angles with deliberate-styled acting to achieve a final print that holds up 65 years later.

    It’s also a wonderful window into small-town life in pre-television days. People spend their time listening to the radio, or playing checkers with the local general store/diner owner. It might as well have been a million years ago, compared to today’s world.

    robinson-the-strangerExceptional performances by Robinson, Young and Welles combined with a fantastic story and true Noir filming make The Stranger a five-coconut winner at the Tiki Lounge.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the theater, down the avenue from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar.

  • Volunteer at The Hukilau 2011 for free tickets!

    Posted on March 10th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 5 comments

    hukilau2011logoThe wonderful kids running The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are looking for volunteers to help on-site during the event. A few hours of volunteer work will get you a special 3-Day pass to The Hukilau! This can save you a lot of lettuce, lettuce you can use for more Mai Tais and Crab Rangoon.

    The Hukilau 2011 is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, so the festivities promise to be swankier than ever. It will be held mainly at the Bahia Mar Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, with additional events at Bahia Cabana, The Yankee Clipper, The Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, The Mai Kai and more. Dates are June 9th through 12th.frozen-drinks

    Your truly, Tiki Chris will be there for the duration. I’ll be helping out this year as Vendor Coordinator, so if you’re planning on setting up a table at the event, we’ll become good friends in a short time!

    See you in June!

    (Note: Not all events are included in the special 3-day volunteer pass, but you get A LOT. For more information, visit the Hukilau website at

  • Unofficial Word on The Tonga Room, San Francisco: “I think we’ll be open for a long time to come.”

    Posted on March 1st, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    The Tonga Room

    The Tonga Room

    A quick call to the reservations line at The Fairmount Hotel’s historic Tonga Room gave some great news. They were ready to accept a reservation for the last weekend in June, and when I asked if the rumors that they were closing were true, the answer was “I think we’ll be open for a long time to come.” Great news. Not official, of course, but promising. After all, a town meeting this February was supposed to decide the fate of the famous Tonga Room, as the hotel’s owners have plans to dismantle the mid-century Tiki Bar to make way for the development of a new condo tower. But no news has come out of San Fran this February…at least nothing that made it to the net.

    We Tiki people really want to see the Tonga Room preserved. Of course, we want the owners of the Tiki bar and the hotel to make money, too. In a perfect world, the hotel owners would be able to have their condos and keep the Tonga Room intact. The money made on the condos could further enhance the hotel and promote the Tonga Room as a major tourist destination, much like the highly successful Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is.

    By the 1960s The Tonga Room was transformed into a full-fledge Tiki Bar complete with mid-pool bandstand, hurricane bar and a real tropical storm

    By the 1960s The Tonga Room was transformed into a full-fledge Tiki Bar complete with mid-pool bandstand, hurricane bar and a real tropical storm

    If anyone has any additional info on the Fairmount or the Tonga Room, please comment below. I’ve never been to the Tonga Room, and hope it will still be there when I swing out to the West Coast in the future.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the lanai, at Tiki Lounge Talk. Tiki news, Tiki Talk, all the Tiki Time.