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  • Sci-Fi Movie Monday: It Came From Outer Space, 1953

    Posted on January 7th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    it_came_from_outer_space-poster

    We have Mod Movie Monday and Noir Movie Monday…it’s time to add in Sci-Fi Movie Monday at the Tiki Lounge!

    Some the best Sci-fi movies of the 1950s and ’60s were based on books or short stories by the masters: Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. This movie was based on Bradbury’s story “The Meteor”. To make it more commercially successful, the name was changed to much more sinister

    It Came from Outer Space

    from 1953, starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, and co-starring the soon-to-be Professor from Gilligan’s Island, Russell Johnson.

    (Note: no spoilers here!)it-came-from-outer-space-car

    The story is set in present day 1953, in the Arizona desert. Carlson, an “amateur stargazer” as he is called, spots a large meteor crashing into the desert floor. But when he goes to inspect it, he finds that it’s actually some kind of space ship.

    it-came-from-outer-space-bubbleHis colleagues of course don’t believe him, until the aliens make their presence known…

    This is science fiction literature adapted to screen in the true, mid-century vein, where humanity is examined under the stress of dealing with the unknown. This flick has some fantastic writing, and the special effects are well done for the era, or for any era. Black and white film only adds to the feel. There is mystery, emotion, even some gun-play to keep the kiddies interested, and a kick-ass Theramin score by a very young Henry Mancini.

    itcamefromouterspace-ship

    It Came from Outer Space was also Universal Studio’s first 3-D movie, and if you can find a copy of it in 3-D, it’s worth it. But it stands great as 2-D just as well.

    Food & Booze:alien-brain-hemerroage

    For the drinks, how about an Alien Brain Hemorrhage?
    Fill a shot glass half way with peach schnapps. Gently pour Bailey’s Irish Cream on top. After the shot is almost full, carefully add a small amount of blue curacao. After it settles, add a small splash (or a few drops) of grenadine syrup, and watch it turn into something pretty icky looking.

    As for dinner, how about a little Arizona Tex Mex Meatloaf, Betty Crocker style?

    1 1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef
    1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
    2 medium eggs
    1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
    1 teaspoon garlic-and-herb seasoning
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    Shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack or similar cheese (mixing is great too!)
    Salsa
    Tortilla Chips

    Kathleen Hughs got into the main credits, even though she only had like one line in the movie. Gee, I wonder why? I can think of two points that might have done it...

    Kathleen Hughs got into the main credits, even though she only had like one line in the movie. Gee, I wonder why? I can think of two points that might have done it...

    •    1 Heat oven to 375ºF. In large bowl, mix all ingredients except salsa. Spoon mixture into 11×7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish; pat into 9×5-inch loaf.
    •    2 Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until meat thermometer inserted in center reads just below 160ºF. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top (as much as you want) and continue backing until cheese is melted and internal temp is 160° Drain any liquid before slicing. Serve with ships and salsa. Olé!

    Below is the original trailer:

    Happy Watching, and don’t forget your tinfoil hat.

    - Tiki Chris, reporting from the screening room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge

  • Happy Repeal Day! Drink Up!

    Posted on December 5th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    Aged ScotchDecember 5th marks the 79th anniversary of overturning one of the dumbest amendments ever added to the American Constitution: The 18th Amendment, also know as PROHIBITION. This was a perfect example of how a small but vocal group of dingbats could manipulate the government into getting their way. Thank God we don’t have that today (yes, that is sarcasm). Anyway, the 18th Amendment made it a federal offense to make booze or even just take a drink. This was supposed to stop men from become alcoholics, beating up their wives, losing their jobs, etc. etc. and to keep women from losing their virtue, becoming prostitutes and having any kind of fun whatsoever. Instead, it created the bloodiest band of criminals in our history: Gangsters. Finally, on December 5th, 1933, the federal amendment was repealed, and eventually (though not fast enough for most people) the states all repealed their individual laws. Well, most of them. As far as I know you still can’t buy booze from a liquor store in Atlantic City on Sunday night, and Ocean City, NJ is still a dry town…meaning yeah, you can’t even get a glass of wine with dinner. Then again, it’s kept Ocean City kind of nice. And it’s a short drive to Somers Point to Circle Liquors.

    Here’s last year’s post, that I though was a lot of fun and worth reposting:

    On December 5, 1933, the United States came to its senses and ratified the 21st Amendment, repealing the most ridiculous laws ever enacted in America…Prohibition. Yes, in case you missed that little tidbit in History class, from 1919 to 1933, it was illegal to make, sell, import, export, drink, look at or dream about alcohol. These laws were pushed through by a small but loud group of extremists who kinda thought making liquor illegal would stop people from drinking it, thus ending all problems of crime, mental illness and poverty in the US.

    Boy, were they wrong.al_capone

    In walks Al Capone, and a whole lot of other smart guys like him. Up starts bootlegging. Crime shoots up, innocent people are killed (or jailed for having a slug), distilleries go out of business and moonshiners rake in the bucks. Yea, that worked really well, huh?

    So in 1933, in the height of the Great Depression, the government ratified the repeal of these silly laws. YAY! Depression lessened immediately, gangsters went legit, and even though the economy was still bad nobody cared because they could get tanked on Jack while digging the tunes of Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway. If it weren’t for Hitler, the 30’s would have turned out all right.

    So celebrate today with a swig of your favorite booze, a shot of hooch, a teacup of gin, a pull of beer or a refined cocktail in a highball glass. Whatever your pleasure, imbibe…for today marks the milestone when the US Government decided they should stick to governing and leave individual freedoms alone:)

    Cheers, baby!

    Note: If Prohibition had actually worked, this would not be Tiki Lounge Conversations. It would be “Tiki Juice Stand Talk” and the conversations would be about playing Lawrence Welk tunes on my C-melody sax while drinking lemonade and driving my 1984 Chevy Citation. YUCK-OLA

    Learn a little more about Repeal Day at http://www.repealday.org/

    -Tiki Chris P reporting from the party room at Tiki Lounge Talk, the alcohol-endorsing blounge for Tikiphiles and retro swingers.

  • The Tonga Room Chi Chi – Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail Recipe

    Posted on August 10th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    Chi Chi Vodka Drink

    Chi Chi Vodka Drink

    I’ve run across some (strange) people in my life who for some unknown reason, don’t dig Rum. I dunno, to each his own. Anyway I figured I’d drum up a recipe this week that has Vodka in place of rum, since Vodka seems to be today’s universally accepted booze. I only had to poke around for a minute when I found

    The Tonga Room Chi Chi

    A twist on the original Chi Chi, which is basically a Vodka Piña Colada, served at the historic Fairmont Hotel’s famed Tonga Room in San Fransisco.

    4 ounces pineapple juice
    2 teaspoons coconut snow
    1 1/4 ounces vodka
    1 ounce half and half
    about a cup of shaved ice
    Throw  everything into a blender and blend; Pour into a tall clear glass. Top with a fresh orchid. Serve with a straw.

    chi-chi-drink-2

    Regular Chi Chi:

    1 1/ 2oz vodka
    2 oz cream of coconut
    2 oz pineapple juice
    1 cup ice

    Blend all ingredients until smooth in blender. Pour into a tall Tiki mug and garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.

    Have a great weekend, kids!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from Poolside at the Lanai

  • Have a MAD MEN Premier Party, 1960s Style!

    Posted on March 23rd, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    These cats know how to have a party.

    These cats know how to have a party.

    I know that everyone who reads this Blounge is excited about the new season of MAD MEN finally starting. Sunday, March 25th, 2012 marks the beginning of the 5th season of AMC’s hit show – and what better way to jump into the swing of things than with a retro-style cocktail party?

    There are fun, quick, easy tricks to throwing together a last minute party. As long as you have friends that can make it, planning a Premier Party is a snap.

    Invitations: This is an informal get-together, so a phone call (or that new-fangled email) is all you need. The show starts at 9pm, so start the party earlier. I’m starting mine at 7:30, so people will be able to have a light dinner before coming over, since I’ll only be serving hors d’oeuvres.

    The Theme: Make sure everyone knows this is a MAD MEN theme party. They must dress to impress, as close to 50s-60s as possible. Even if you don’t have actual retro or vintage clothing, this is easy to pull off…men wear a jacket and (thin) tie, pocket square, fedora if you have one. The women wear cocktail dresses, heels, hair up; the fun is in trying to mimic the look. Some of your friends will have era-appropriate garb, and that’s even better. Just remember – no jeans, no sweats, no t-shirts, and hell-no clothes with designers’ names on them. How gauche. Anyone shows up like that, throw them the hell out.

    Food: We’re going to keep it vintage style: Chips and dips, cheese cubes (I got Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar and Port Wine), crackers, Jello, pepperoni slices, some vegetables, black olives and mixed nuts. That’s plenty for a cocktail party like this, and it’s all easy to put together.

    Booze: Spend a few bucks and buy a couple of bottles of booze that still have the same labels they did 50+ years ago. Here are some suggestions:

    Displaying liquor that hasn't changed their labels in 50 years can really help set the mood, and show your friends how hip to the MCM vibe you really are.

    Displaying liquor that hasn't changed their labels in 50 years can really help set the mood, and show your friends how hip to the MCM vibe you really are.

    Stoli Vodka
    Johnny Walker Black Label

    J&B Scotch
    Seagram’s VO
    Seagram’s Seven
    Seagram’s Gin
    Bacardi Rum
    Appleton Estate Rum
    Meyers Rum
    Canadian Club
    Crown Royal
    Jose Cuervo Gold
    Cinzano Vermouth
    Jack Daniels (Green or Black Label)
    The Glenlivet Scotch

    All of these bottles look authentically mid-century, and will look great on the bar.

    Actual Cocktails: Sure, you can make any of the old-school recipes that were famous at the time. But if you want to keep your party simple, choose from this list of era-appropriate cocktails and offer them to your guests:

    (EASY)
    Martini
    Manhattan
    Old Fashioned
    Grasshopper
    The Manhattan Cocktail. Old-style is served in a rocks glass.

    Bacardi Cocktail
    Cuba Libre
    Daiquari
    Cosmopolitan
    Whiskey Sour
    Amaretto Sour
    Bloody Mary
    Gibson
    Rob Roy

    (A LITTLE MORE INVOLVED, and a lot more Tiki)
    Singapore Sling
    Mai Tai
    Zombie
    Mojito
    Navy Grog
    Dark n Stormy
    Jet Pilot

    Having vintage/retro glasses & decor can really add to the ambiance.

    Having vintage/retro glasses & decor can really add to the ambiance.

    Drink Recipes for all of these cocktails can be found on the Tiki Lounge Drinks Page, or at the AMC MAD MEN Cocktail Guide. Make sure you have lots of olives, cocktail onions, lemons, limes and other garnishes on hand.

    Decor: If your home is furnished in mid-century modern decor, you won’t have to do a thing. If not, thing subterfuge. If you can keep your party to one or two main rooms, try to remove or hide any modern electronics, digital clocks, photos, paintings, etc. Spend a few clams and buy some 50s-era style lamps, clocks, album covers, anything to set the mood (You’d be surprised how many inexpensive, MCM style things you can get at places like Target and Ikea, in a pinch). Or go to the local party store and get some streamers, cut-outs and balloons to transform your party space. Colored bulbs – red, green, blue – can do wonders to make a space feel partyish in a 50s way. Print-outs of old ads, and of pix of the MAD MEN show can also spice things up. Serve your food in vintage (if you have it) or retro-style dishes, use umbrellas and swords in your drinks, stick frilly toothpicks in your cheeses and you’re on your way.

    j-b-scotch-adMusic: Before the show starts, you’re going to want some era-correct music playing in the background. I would suggest the albums Getz/Gilberto, Music from Peter Gunn, Birth of The Cool, and anything from The Ultra Lounge series. There’s also a new collection of cool vintage tunes called “This is Vintage Now”, available for download.

    Games: A good drinking game is to take a drink every time someone on the show takes a drink. Or every time Draper makes a face. Or both. Either way you’ll be plastered by the fourth commercial. Another game is to do a sort of MAD MEN themed Charades. Each person picks a character out of a hat, then mimics that character – but without speaking. First person to guess right gets to take the hot secretary into the other room for five minutes…

    The Show: Don’t forget, the point of the party is to watch the show. Make sure everyone’s drinks are filled and the hors d’oeuvres are finished being served before 9pm, and also make sure there are enough seats for all your guests. Finally, dim the lights before starting the program. From what I hear, people always used to dim the lights before watching TV in the old days.

    Have fun, party people!

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Party Room at Tiki Lounge Talk

    For more tips, see my post on having an Atomic Cocktail Party.

  • 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.