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  • Kalikimaka Cocktail, Christmas Punch & Pirate Eggnog: Your Tiki Bar Christmas Drink Recipes are here!

    Posted on December 23rd, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    kalikimaka cocktailEvery year I try to find some cool new drink recipe to feature for Christmas at the Tiki Bar. Last year I shared my own age-old Eggnog recipe, an easy concoction that starts with store-bought nog and goes crazy from there. I’m adding that in at the end of this post, but first here is this year’s featured cocktail,

    The Kalikimaka Cocktail

    1 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
    1/2 oz Kraken Dark Rum
    1 1/2 oz. mulled apple cider (Apple juice will do in a pinch)
    1/2 oz. cinnamon syrup (see below)
    1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
    1 dash bitters
    Cinnamon sticks

    Throw everything in a shaker with ice and shake it up good. Rim a martini glass lightly with cinnamon, and fill the glass with the chilled booze. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy the holidays!

    Cinnamon Syrup
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    4 cinnamon sticks, broken into large pieces
    Bring everything to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 8-10 minutes until sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Let cool. Ditch the cinnamon sticks, strain into a clean glass jar and cover. Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

    Chris’ Christmas Punch (Non-Alcoholic)

    There’s nothing worse for kids at Christmas than to watch the adults making special drinks that they aren’t allowed to have. So here’s something that both adults and kiddies will dig…

    1 liter Ginger Ale
    2 quarts Apple Cider or Juice
    1 cup orange juice
    cinnamon sticks

    In a punchbowl, combine the ginger ale, juices, and ice. Add about a teaspoon of cinnamon and a half teaspoon of nutmeg and stir well. Slice oranges into wheels and apples into small cubes and float; sprinkle the top with cinnamon. Serve ice cold with a cinnamon stick. Deee-lish.

    eggnog1And of course, the infamous Eggnog.

    Keep out of reach of children.
    1 quart good quality store-bought eggnog
    About 1 1/2 cups Captain Morgan’s or Sailor Jerry Rum
    2 oz Coconut Rum
    1 tablespoon Cinnamon
    1 teaspoon nutmeg
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Pour the nog into a large bottle and add all ingredients (start with ½ cup of rum and keep adding to taste). Shake vigorously and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

    Hope this helps with your holiday parties! Merry Christmas!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from under the Christmas Tree at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Cold & Rainy in Sunny South Florida

    Posted on December 9th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    christmas-palm-tree-tiki-loIt’s unseasonably cold here in the land of palm trees and coconuts. All that snow from up north is working like a giant air conditioner, blowing it’s icy winds our way. It’s 55° this morning! Ahhhh!

    The good part is these little cold spells don’t last here. It will be back in the 70s by the weekend, and sunny. Supposed to dip down again next week, but only for a couple of days.

    So if you’re planning a trip to South Florida to get away from the cold, now’s a bad time to do it. Although I guess temperatures in the 60s are still a lot better than Michigan, where it’s 12.

    I think I’ll find a nice HOT drink, maybe an exotic coffee concoction for tomorrow’s Weekend Tiki Cocktail!

    Oh, and to my Jewish friends, Happy Chanukah!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from under the covers in the bamboo bed at the Tiki Bar

  • Mele Kalikimaka from the Tiki Bar!

    Posted on December 24th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments


    Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright South Florida Christmas day 🙂 Here’s wishing you the merriest of merriest from the land where palm trees sway, and coconuts are perfectly acceptable Christmas Tree balls. Whether you celebrate the holiday religiously, or as a reminder of how lucky we really are, may you keep the spirit of Christmas and the Moai and all things retro in your heart year ’round, and you New Year be filled with happiness, prosperity, and rum!

    REALLY REALLY Last Minute Gift Ideas For People Who Love The Tiki & Retro

    LifeNote: I take no responsibility for typographical errors in this post, as I have already started on the Egg Nog

    I’m writing this post at 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve day. I’m doing it now because I know there are still some people who forgot tomorrow is Christmas, and they’re pulling their hair out wondering what to do. After all, the stores will be closed soon, and unless you get all your gifts at a Walgreen’s Pharmacy, you’re out of luck, duck.

    Basically, either you’re just reading this for a few laughs, or you’re reading this because you seriously screwed up and need some tips, fast. Weeeel, hopefully this little post will do a little of both. So here’s a few ideas that will get you through tomorrow without making you look like a complete jerk…

    1. Give the Gift of Music

    You can buy a flash drive pretty much anywhere now. Pick up 500MB or higher capacity drive and fill it with MP3’s you buy from iTunes or Amazon. (Yeah, I said buy, ok Sony?)  If it’s for a Tiki Lover, see the guide to Tiki Music here. If it’s for a Retro lover, and you’re no sure what kind of music they dig, get them the set list of jazz I’ve got listed here. If they dig this music, they’ll appreciate these cuts. If they don’t dig it, they damned well should and this is your chance to expose them to the riffs of the truly cool.

    temporarily-out-of-stock2. Anything At All Off The Web…with a disclaimer

    The four greatest words ever listed on a website store are “Temporarily Out Of Stock”. This is the perfect out for you if you forget to order gifts before the big day. Just download a picture of the gift you have in mind, and make a simple little card with the photo in it that says “This is the gift you’re getting this year. i ordered it early but it was Temporarily Out Of Stock. You should have it before next year!” Put a lot of clip are of holly and snowmen on the card so people know you are sincere. Or, you can look for stuff on Ebay or Etsy, buy what you like, and lie like hell that it got held up in shipping. People will believe that, right?

    Coconut Monkey Fez by Fez-o-rama

    Coconut Monkey Fez by Fez-o-rama

    3. Buy a Fez

    Tiki people (aka, Tikiphiles) LOVE Fezzes. It’s a Tiki thing, you wouldn’t understand…unless of course you’re into Tiki things. You may not understand it, but they will. The Fezmonger at Fez-o-rama makes Fezzes by hand, and makes them out of velvet, not cheap felt. And he makes custom ones, that can take weeks to create. So there you go…”I wanted to get you a Fez, but A) I didn’t know your fat head size, and B) I thought you might want a custom one”. So direct your Tikiphile friend to, let him pick one out, and foot the bill.

    4. Buy 12 2-hour video tapes, and tape the TBS 24 Hours of A Christmas Story. Give out as gifts to people without cable.

    gas-card5. Go to a gas station and buy gift certificates for gas. Everyone loves gas. Draw a palm tree on it to make “Tiki”.

    6. Fast Food

    Who can resist a bag of hamburgers? There’s bound to be at least a Wendy’s or something open, at least on Christmas eve day. Pick up $40 worth of Taco Bell for your friends and show them you care enough to send the very best.

    7. Anything from the Tiki Farm.

    Mugs from Tiki Farm

    Mugs from Tiki Farm

    Tiki Farm is the place to get all those kookie kool Tiki mugs, bowls, decanters etc. It’s all collectible, so even if your Tiki friends have the monkey mug, they’ll be thrilled to get another. Again, the magic words Temporarily Out Of Stock can go a long way on Christmas Day.

    8. Vintage-style Candy

    If you have the pleasure of living near a Cracker Barrel, or some other fun joint that dishes vintage-style candy, you’re in. They’ll probably be open regular house on Christmas Eve, and since they’re touristy, they might even be open on Christmas. Fill up a sack with Bit-O-Honeys, BB Bats, Old-style wrapped Hershey Bars, ribbon candy and salt water taffy and you’ll be the hit of the Christmas Party.

    9. If there’s still time…

    Believe it or not, Target stores have an unusual amount of retro-styled stuff. The one in Hollywood, Florida has a whole section of 50’s style Christmas bar and kitchenware, including red and green Lucite cocktail shakers for $2.95. They have vintage-style Christmas ornaments too, and even some old-fashioned candy. If you make it there before they close, you might also check out the DVD section for old movies. Don’t worry if your buddies have the movie or not…they can always exchange it if they don’t crack the seal.

    10, Here’s the Daddy of them all, reserved for that very special someone that you completely forgot about. This is above and beyond kids, and should only be reserved for the special-est of special friends:A TRIP TO THE ANTIQUE MALL. day-of-fun…or store, or strip, or whatever is in your neck of the woods. Make a big deal about it, because it’s going to cost you an arm, a leg, and a day. Again, download some photos from the mall/store/street website and throw together a little card that announces the big gift. Set a date and stick to it. If you don’t really want to do it, set a date (like a workday) that you know the recipient can’t do, then when they say the day is no good, tell them you’ll get together in the new year on a day that’s good for both of you. Weasel out of it accordingly.

    Well, I hope this helps with the last minute gift ideas. If none of this works for you, find a supermarket that’s open and buy $30 worth  of coconuts, pineapples and bananas. Put them in a big Santa sack and give them to your friends. If they don’t appreciate it, you can always clobber them with it.

    Merry Christmas Eve from the Tiki Bar!

    Here’s what we’re doing this fine Christmas Eve…


    Our Shiny Aluminum 1950's Christmas Tree

    Here in the land of Palm Trees and Sunshine, it’s about 72° today with a nice breeze. We’ve got all the sliding glass doors open, and I’m typing this post on the lanai, next to the Tiki Bar. We’ve got the 1950’s Aluminum Christmas Tree up, the 1930’s train set is circling the track, and Welsh Rarebit is on the menu for tonight, whipped up in our vintage Turkish fondue pot.

    I have a little tradition I do every Christmas eve. In 1980, I got a Yorx stereo Record Player/AM/FM/Tape Deck for Christmas. My parents gave it to me on Christmas Eve, and just in time for me to record several hours of vintage radio broadcasts of Christmas shows from the ’30s. ’40s and ’50s. (They were broadcast on WRDR, FM 105 out of Egg Harbor City, NJ, back when they were an oldies station…back when oldies meant pre-1960 non-rock) I recorded Amos and Andy, Jack Benny, Uncle Milty, George & Gracie, Fibber McGee & Molly and more (Funny, never noticed before how all those peoples’ names end in ‘y’). Anyway, I still have the tapes, and have listened to them every year on Christmas eve since 1980. This will be the 29th year. 29th year! We’ll listen to them starting around five, and give up around 8 or so. Then we’ll open a few gifts (leaving some for tomorrow), probably watch some Christmas movies, and eat fondue until we can’t move. We may even drive down to the beach for a little walk.

    xmas-dog-ornamentTruly, It’s a Wonderful Life 🙂

  • Mod Movie Mondays: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, 1964 (with commentary by MST3K)

    Posted on December 21st, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    mod-movie-mondaysHold on to your wool caps kiddies, Santa Claus is here to save us from the evil Martians!

    Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, 1964

    Ah, the Atomic Age, when spaceships were pie plates and anything with the word “Martian” in it would sell tickets.

    I won’t even try to summarize any kind of plot with this flick. It’s something about Martians don’t have Christmas, but Martian kids can watch Earth Christmas shows on the tube, so they want a Santa, or a family with John Payne, or Zuzu’s petals, or a Red Ryder BB Gun or some jazz like that. I don’t know, I was on my third highball 15 minutes into this goop. BUT! There is an amazing version of this sci-fry reel…brought to you by those lovable robots at Mystery Science Theater 3000.santa-martians

    Yes, once again the gang at MST3K has turned a nonsense bunch of images into something very groovy. And of course, there are the cheap, early ’60s sci-fi sets, Martians with things on their heads, stock footage of rockets, and…uh…Santas. Plural.

    mst3kAnd you can watch it all right now by clicking here, for free.

    You’re going to want to pair this fine movie with an equally fine beverage. I think Maddog 20-20 will do. With great writing like, “One false move and your little ho-ho-ho man will be destroyed,” you can’t go wrong.


    Thank you to my friend Cat for turning me on to this krazy flick!

  • Mod Movie Mondays! A Charlie Brown Christmas Special

    Posted on December 13th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    charlie-brown-christmasOk, I know…this ain’t mod, and it ain’t even a movie. But it is Monday, and it’s my site so just roll with it kids!

    It has come to my attention that there are still segments of the general population who are not hip to the most famous Cartoon Christmas special ever laid down with ink, A Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Well, if you’ve seen it, it’s now your responsibility to spread the good word. If you haven’t seen it, then read on children and I’ll give you the why’s of why you should, and soon.

    On October 2, 1950, a young cartoonist named Charles Schultz hit the world with what would become one of the most famous cartoon strips of all time, Peanuts. It became so popular that in 1965 CBS broadcast the first of a long series of Peanuts specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas. The basic idea was to take Schultz’s panels and turn them into animation. Easier said than done. They did it on a shoestring budget. They used real children (some who couldn’t read) for the voice-overs. They used cool jazz for the soundtrack at a time when kids were listening to rock. They didn’t have enough dough to finish editing the project correctly, which gives the whole thing a kind of choppy, home-movies feel. And it’s fantastic.charlie-brown-christmas-alb

    I first remember seeing this toon when I was just a little kid, around the age of Charlie and his gang. I kind of remember feeling I was a lot like him. Turns out most kids felt that way at some point or another, which is probably what makes it so successful. Every year we’d wait for shows like this to come on, because if you missed it, that was it. There were no video tapes, no DVDs, no TiVo, and no streaming video. You stayed home that night and watched the show.

    (No spoilers, don’t worry) The story is about poor ole Charlie Brown, a kid that nothing good ever happens to, and his dog Snoopy, the coolest kid in town. Charlie is depressed about Christmas, because it’s always such a disappointment to him, and because it’s so commercialized. He enlists the help of his ‘friend’ Lucy, who convinces him to direct the school Christmas play. Of course nothing goes the way he wants it to. You’ll just have to watch it to find out what happens.

    The network execs fully expected it to be a flop. Instead, it became one of the most beloved Christmas stories ever aired, winning an Emmy and Peabody award in the process. The incredible soundtrack my jazz virtuoso Vince Guaraldi includes the infamous “Linus and Lucy” (aka the Peanuts theme, you know it, you’ve tried to play it every time you were near a piano) plus the most jazziest of versions of “Oh Christmas Tree” ever to come off the keys. The jokes are great, the story is great, and the way it’s drawn, acted and edited makes it feel like you’re in another place, another time watching this classic.

    Airing Tuesday, December 15th, 8/7C on ABC

    By the way…my dog’s name is Snoopy.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto (AKA Mack, AKA Zoot, Awe forget it!)