Posted on October 4th, 2012 No comments
#IECD is a day for celebrating all that is great, swingin’, kool and magical about Tiki & Exotic Cocktails. Hey, there’s a day for everything now…why not have a day to celebrate something that really matters? BOOZE.
People all over the world will be celebrating this day by having an exotic cocktail (or two, or three…). Wherever, whenever, with whomever…as long as you have a Tiki drink in hand and a smile on your face.
I’ll be celebrating this day all day. After all, I invented it so I guess I should, right?
I’ll be making Zombies for my co-workers for at-work happy hour (I work at an ad agency, so liquor is ok here in moderation). With any luck and if traffic is on my side, I’ll be swinging by The Wreck Bar to see Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid’s underwater show, then will head over to the Mai Kai around 8 to drink Mai Tais and Jet Pilots, and listen to the Cutback Surf Band. Those cats can really rock old-school surf tunes.
Join the #IECD event on Facebook!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the liquor store on the corner of Tiki Island Road and Tropical Paradise Avenue, Florida
For a list of Exotic Cocktail recipes, visit Tiki Lounge Talk’s mixed-up drinks page!
Posted on June 10th, 2012 No comments
For the cocktail recipe only, skip to after the video.
It seems like just yesterday the 5th season opener of our favorite Noir drama “MAD MEN” finally opened, after going dark for (what seemed like) 10 years. Now just 13 weekends later, the final episode of the season hits the airwaves Sunday night.
It’s been a wicked season, kats & kittens. From Campbell pimping out Joan to Lane’s suicide, this season (set in 1967) has surely been the most violent. This is no coincidence; dig it:
Season one was set in 1959. By today’s standards, that was considered a more “innocent” time. The characters’ major source of drama was drinking, cheating on spouses and trying to get ahead in life. Accidents happened in the early seasons…Don’s car accident, Kinney running over another account man’s foot with the lawn tractor…and there was even Don’s brother’s suicide. But Don hardly got scratched in the accident, the AE from England was a minor footnote (pun intended) and Don’s brother, although unexpected, was not nearly as sad as the Lane Pryce story arc. I’ll go even further to say that the diminishing relationship between Don and Betty may have been messy, but never came to violence.
Fast forward to season five, and we have Pete Campbell getting his lights knocked out in a fist fight with Lane, Joan being manipulated into what was essentially a paid rape, Don and Meghan getting very physical (and mildly violent) during arguments that end with rough sex, and of course Lane’s self-destructive path of embezzlement leading to his (very unnecessary and very sad) hanging in the office.
I said this is no coincidence. Matthew Weiner and his group of writers know exactly what they’re doing…you all know that. Every line of this show is carefully crafted to set up the next action or chain of events. And there are many parallels in this show, one of which is how the lives of the characters parallel the times in which they exist. Where 1959-1963 may have been considered an “innocent” time for America, the assignation of President Kennedy was the turning point, the catalyst that set the country into the social downward (or upward, depending how you look at it) spiral of the mid to late 1960s. As the decade became more violent, so does the show; if next season begins in 1968 we’re sure to see even more violence and character selfishness as the events of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Bobby Kennedy’s murder, Kent State and the escalation of the Vietnam War come to pass. Hopefully, and probably, the writers will add in some of the era-specific spice that we love the show for. I can certainly see Meghan going full-out British Mod, and I don’t think Don will have a problem with her wearing white knee-high go-go boots.
You would think that a full partner in the firm would have less money problems. You would think that Pryce, being the money man, would have worked out a better deal for himself at the outset of the company. You would think that after operating at a loss for three years, Lane would have gone to the other partners and re-negotiated his terms before taking out a $50,000 loan for the company, then telling them they had a $50,000 surplus, then writing himself a check with Don’s signature. But, like many people do, he tried to find a way to get the money he needed without “the embarrassment” of actually asking what was rightfully his.
I watched the episode several times, as I usually do. On the second time around I caught something small, but what I believe was the straw that broke Lane’s camel’s back: When he asked his wife where she got the money to buy the Jaguar, she said she wrote a check. Remember, it took several days for checks to clear back then…so, I thinking, the money she spent on the Jaguar was the money Lane “borrowed” from the company. She spent it before he could pay off his taxes, meaning he embezzled the money, lost his job and his self respect for nothing.
And those Jaguars…as beautiful as they were, they truly were known to spend more time in the shop than on the road. I knew a few people in my life who dropped 350 Chevy engines into those old Jags and never had another problem.
Oh, one more thing: In the episode where Don and Joan go to the Jaguar dealership, I wonder how many of you noticed that the burgundy XKE, the flesh-tone sedan and the light beige Salon were all 1960’s Matchbox toy car colors? I did
Here’s the finale trailer, “The Phantom”…not the Mad Men trailers give anything away, but here it is anyway…
And Now, Your Weekend Vintage-Tiki Cocktails
Since many of you will have friends over for the Season Finale, I’m giving you three easy, original vintage recipes that you can concoct in a hurry!
The Barbary Coast Cocktail
• 1/2 ounce gin
• 1/2 ounce light rum
• 1/2 ounce light creme de cacao
• 1/2 ounce Scotch whisky
• 1/2 ounce cream
• 2 oz gin
• 1/2 oz triple sec
• 1 tbsp pineapple juice
For each of these, throw everything together in a shaker with ice and shake it up until the outside of the shaker is nice and frosty. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with cherry (and a fresh pineapple slice for the Hawaiian Cocktail).
Royal Gin Fizz
• 2 oz gin
• juice of 1/2 lime
• 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
• 1 whole egg
Shake ingredients together in a shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass with two ice cubes, then fill with club soda or seltzer, or better yet if you have it with carbonated water from a vintage seltzer bottle. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Have fun with MAD MEN tonight!
-Tiki Chris, reporting from the bar at Tiki Lounge Talk
PS: Last week I got to watch MAD MEN along side Will Viharo, Neo-Noir author and vintage connoisseur. Will was in town working on turning one of his novels, “Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me” into a movie with none other than Christian Slater. Just wanted to say “Gook Luck Will!”
Posted on March 23rd, 2012 2 comments
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:
Johnny Walker Black Label
Appleton Estate Rum
Jose Cuervo Gold
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:
(A LITTLE MORE INVOLVED, and a lot more Tiki)
Dark n Stormy
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.
Music: 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.
Posted on December 31st, 2011 No comments
It seems like just yesterday I was writing a Happy New Year post here under the swaying palms. 2011 went by pretty fast…maybe not fast enough for some of us kats! But it’s over now, just a few hours left as I write this post. This is definitely one of those years that needs to end with a big BANG and you can bet your bottom buck we’ll be doing just that.
Swingin’ in the New Year should be fun and full of music, dancing and booze. Just remember to play it safe, kids. You know I’m always hawking drinks on this page, as cocktails are part of what make living the Tiki good life so good. Drink up, enjoy ‘em all ’til you’re as happy as a clam…just remember to do it right, and don’t do anything stupid like trying to drive, or ask your boss for a raise, or operate a steam-shovel while loaded!
Here’s a couple of my favorite New Year’s cocktails. One is full of wonderful booze, the other is the world’s greatest non-alcoholic cocktail for any aged partyer.
The Frozen Banana Banshee
I’ve featured this krazy cocktail a few times already here at Tiki Lounge Talk, but I can’t get enough of it. I had my first Banana Banshee at a New Year’s Eve Party in 1977. It was all the rage in the mid 70s in Philly, and it just seemed to fit perfectly with the disco music and white polyester suits. Later I found out it was a much older recipe, having a good run in the 1940s and 50s but without the ice cream. Either way, anything with bananas in it is OK with me for the TIKI BAR!
Ok, I wasn’t old enough to drink in 1977, but it was my Uncle’s house, at his swingin’ basement bar, and he made one with less alcohol in it just for me. I’m old enough to enjoy the full hit of booze now, so here it is:
2 oz Creme de Banana
2 oz Dark Creme de Cacao
4 oz Meyers Dark Rum
2 oz Coconut Milk
1 Large Banana
5 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Cup Ice
Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend on high, in 5 second bursts, until the ice is crushed and the drink is thick and drinkable (don’t liquefy it trying to make it smooth). Garnish with a pineapple wedge, a cherry and if available, chopped fresh coconut. Don’t forget the umbrella. Makes about two tall servings.
The Original Shirley Temple Cocktial
Like everything else in the world, good old fashioned drink recipes get changed and updated until they are unrecognizable. I’ve seen some kookie variations on this non-booze drink, but the original is still the best…for any age.
Fill a highball glass half-way with ice cubes, and add the ginger ale until almost full. Add about two tablespoons of grenadine, drop in a couple of cherries and stir. If you don’t have grenadine the cherry juice is just as good, maybe better. Everyone has their own taste when it comes to how much cherry flavor to add, so start with the two tablespoons and add a teaspoon at a time until you dig it. That’s it!
New Year’s in South Florida
While the rest of the country is enjoying the freezing cold, bundled up in heavy coats and scarfs as they swing down to their NYE party, we in SoFla will probably be wearing Aloha shirts and short skirts as the temperature today is already in the high 70s. This means there will be a lot of outdoor fun, including fireworks, concerts on the beach, booze cruises, and lots of bar hopping in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. There’s nothing quite like toasting the new year in 70° weather, on the beach, under a palm tree.
This year the little lady and I will be celebrating with some friends at a good old fashioned house party, one of our favorite ways of swingin’ in the New Year. One thing we haven’t done, which is on the list, is celebrating New Year’s Eve in Key West. I have a feeling that Duval Street would be more fun than barrel of monkeys at the turn of the year!
Happy New Year from Tiki Chris, and the whole Tiki Lounge bunch - Colleen, our pooch Cookie, the cats, the birds, the ‘53 Chevy and lizards that live on the lanai.
Here are some last minute ideas for an Atomic New Year’s Eve Party!
Posted on June 4th, 2011 No comments
Kelly Camille Patterson and Paul Spencer whip up some old fashioned fun with a retro ’50s feel
If you’re into retro and Tiki fun stuff, (what am I saying, of course you are, you’re reading this) then you’re probably the kind of kat or kitten who will dig The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en. Their Blounge (web-lounge) consists of vintage recipes, original exotic drink recipes, fun pix, and their main vein…The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en pod casts.
The pod casts (it’s hard to call these little snippets of ’50s style TV shows something so modern) are funny as heck. They sort of mock the “humorless lifestyle experts who suck the fun out of entertaining, cooking and decorating with their obsessive perfectionism.” They’re fun and kookie and silly, with Patterson perfectly portraying the typical 1950s housewife with a borderline creepiness that accelerates what might be just another “old fashioned cooking show” into something much more entertaining and fun to watch. This seasoned actress seems to know just how to maintain the balance between kitschy and “oh my god, she’s going to kill everyone with a butcher knife”. It’s her eyes. She almost never blinks. I love it.
The shows are silly but the drink & chow recipes are real, and look good. They are knockin’ on the door of 20 episodes of this little TV flick, with topics ranging from Jello molds to tips on organizing your next protest march with cocktails. The episodes are nice and short, and always show off their very impressive collection of mid-century albums, art, housewares, books and Tiki stuff. Very kool.
The site has a nice section of exotic cocktails, the recipes of which they have concocted themselves. I haven’t tried them yet, but looking at the recipes I can tell you they look interesting and tasty. They also have a section of actual vintage party food recipes…things like “broiler tuna burgers”…again, you don’t know if this is good or just creepy, but it sure is authentic.
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from the TV room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar. Aloha, kids!