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 January 4th, 2012 No comments
Tonight, Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 6pm-8pm
Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Fort Lauderdale, FL
If you’re in South Florida this Wednesday, be sure to stop by The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale and meet yours truly, Tiki Chris P. and Hawaii’s own Everett Peacock for our first book signing together!
It’s a rare treat to team up with Everett Peacock, author of the Parrot Talks series and other Hawaiian tales of fiction. I will be selling and signing paperback copies of the Tiki world’s official murder mystery, Murder on Tiki Island, along with my Wildwood Murder mystery Murder Behind the Closet Door, while Everett’s books will include The Parrot Talks in Chocolate, In the Middle of the World’s Most Wonderful of Oceans, Tiwaka Goes To Waikiki and Death by Facebook.
The Mai Kai is the world’s most famous, oldest-standing, unchanged and theerfore koolest original mid-century Tiki bar in the world. Built in 1956, it just celebrated its 55th anniversary as the Tiki world’s Mecca. Millions of people have made the pilgrimage to Fort Lauderdale, FL to pay tribute to this temple of Tiki, and have done so by imbibing strong, vintage-style tropical drinks, enjoying incredible exotic foods, watching the authentic hula dancers and ending the evening off with a trinket from the gift shop. Now, that gift shop includes works from today’s Tiki artists from all over the world. The newest addition is a collection of Tiki-related books, including those groovy tomes mentioned above.
Everett Peacock lives on the island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii, USA. His books have delighted thousands of people, telling tales of the Hawaiian Islands and their interesting inhabitants. His works range from the very lighthearted and uplifting The Parrot Talks in Chocolate, to the spooky paranormal mystery Death by Facebook. All of his works transcend our everyday existence, blending the metaphysical with human reality. His books consistently achieve five-star reviews on many book review sites…and I personally recommend them to anyone who digs Tiki, Hawaii, parrots or cocktails served in coconuts.
I, Tiki Chris Pinto, live down here in sunny South Florida with my wife Colleen, just a few miles west of the sparkling beaches of Fort Lauderdale and the rum-soaked delights of the Mai Kai. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and my successes included several murder mystery stage plays, the 5-star rated novels Murder Behind the Closet Door and Murder on Tiki Island, and a collection of flash fiction entitled A Flash of Noir. Murder Under The Boards: The Atlantic City Murder Mystery is the novel that’s currently in the works, and will feature my recurring paranormal mystery theme along with my recurring flawed protagonist, Detective Bill Riggins. (For those of you who dig books by Stephen King and Mickey Spillane, you’ll flip for these titles).
Both Everett and I will have several books on hand for sale, and will also sign copies of books you’ve already purchased. Hell, we’ll even sign books we didn’t write. Why not!
Hope to see some of you kool kats and kittens at the Mai Kai tonight!
All of our books can be found on Amazon.com, in print and for Kindle, and for Nook. For more info visit StarDustMysteries.com.
-Tiki Chris P., reporting from the Molokai bar.
Posted on December 28th, 2011 No comments
Wednesday, December 28: Swing on down to Fort Lauderdale’s historic Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Bar for their
CUSTOMER CELEBRATION PARTY IN RECOGNITION OF
MAI-KAI’S 55TH ANNIVERSARY, 5pm-9pm
With platters spun by Mr. Jet Setter himself, D.J. MIKE JONES this promises to be a really fun party. There will be an extended Happy Hour and Complimentary buffet in the Molokai Bar from 5 – 9 pm. And the Mai Kai will bring out old scrap books for those that are interested in old Mai-Kai memorabilia! (I’ve seen these books, they are a rare treasure from the past)
If all goes well yours truly will be there, probably around 7 or 8. I’ll tweet when I’m there so if you make it to the shindig we can get together for a cocktail!
Hmmm…at the Mai Kai I’ve had the Mai Tai, Jet Pilot, Zombie, Barrel ‘o Rum and Pina Passion. What should I try next…
-Tiki Chris, reporting from US 1 & Oakland Park Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Posted on June 22nd, 2011 No comments
The Hukilau 2011 was crazy, fun and swingin’, as you kats and kitties can imagine (or know for a fact if you were there). I promised a bunch of you that I’d post pix and stories…well, I had so much fun I didn’t take too many pix, but got a few. Plus a few good stories I remember, through the rum-induced haze.
Here’s a slide show of my pix. I know they ain’t great, but some are fun. You’ll notice I didn’t take many photos of people. It’s because I’m a decent writer, but as a photographer I suck eggs!
I tried to see and do everything, but just couldn’t. One of my favorite parts was watching Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of lovely swimmers performing at the Wreck Bar at the Yankee Clipper. We got there early and for the first time got a front row seat at the bar. What a show! She was joined by a few surprise guests in the water, too…including the Creature from the Black Lagoon and an airline pilot (from the Tikiyaki Orchestra). Kookie stuff. The Wreck Bar served a special drinks called the Fire Eating Mermaid, a pretty blue concoction garnished with a gummy fish. Afterwards we saw the mermaids outside at the pool as they got their pix taken with the crowd. We didn’t get our photo taken then (there were a zillion people there) but I do have this photo of them with and my book, Murder on Tiki Island…Marina is on the cover 🙂
Speaking of mermaids, there was a great presentation by my pals at Vintage Roadside. They traveled all the way from Portland, OR to bring us Aquarama: Girls Who Live Like Fish. They gave us the story of an aquatic show that flourished in the midwest through the 1960s, featuring vintage video, photos, recordings and even actual costumes worn by the performers. You could tell they put hours and hours of research and work into this project, bringing back a part of history that may otherwise have been forgotten. Marina was also there to help with the presentation, and dedicated one of her fish tails to the collection. Definitely a highlight of the event!
Another symposium was “Hawaii – Sailors, Sex and the Birth of Old School Tattoos” by Paul Roe, owner and head artist of Britishink Tattoos in Washington DC. This was an amazing look into the history of Tattoos in America, how the art evolved, and how the original styles influence the art today. I had the luck of sitting next to Paul at The Mai-Kai, and although the Jet Pilots and Mai Tais made the evening a little fuzzy, I remember him saying he’s done (I think) thousands of tattoos. Pretty sure that’s what he said. Anyway it was a fascinating presentation about a subject I know very little about, so it was very kool.
The Thursday night kick-off party was a blast. I don’t remember much of it, and we didn’t stay long because I had worked all day as Vendor Coordinator, but I remember fire, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Meyers and Coke, a really good hamburger, a rum challenge and a lot of people in Hawaiian shirts.
(I didn’t get any photos of these. I was having too much fun.)
Friday was a blur. Music, booze, helping Vendors with stuff, more booze, more music, The Tattoo symposium, The Wreck Bar, Grinder Nova, The Exotics, The Intoxicators, King Kukulele, more booze…you get the picture.
Saturday wasn’t as much of a blur but still blurry. I missed Beachbum Berry’s Rumposium, which was a letdown, due to a little bad planning on my part. But happy hour and the dinner show at the Mai Kai more than made up for it. I started out with a Jet Pilot (ker-razy strong drink, but I love it) and ended with a Mai Tai. The show was fantabulous as usual…they had a new announcer (Sonny retired after 400 years), a cute Aussie chick with a nice accent. The hula girls and the fire dancers were even better than I remember. King Kukulele started things off with his usual yucks and a few tunes, including The Hukilau Song…of which NOBODY knows all the words. Starts out ok, then kind of goes like…”We’re going to the Hukilau, where the mmmrrmmrm mrmrm mrm something Hukilau”…yeah.
Colleen and I both got steaks from the Chinese ovens. These are prime cuts roasted over applewood. The Mai Kai has some of the best steaks I’ve ever had…so good that Colleen, who is 90% vegetarian, ate a New York Strip. I had the filet. She also got the Lobster bisque which she says is the best she ever tasted. We of course got appetizers…and those glorious drinks. For desert I got the Bananas Bengali, basically Bananas Foster served flaming tableside. The production they make of this rivals the show. Thank Tiki for 151 rum, huh?
Tiki Kiliki, aka Christie White, the organizer of the event made a few very nice speeches and thank yous at the dinner, including giving gold-cast Hukilau mugs to some of the people who helped with the event, including yours truly. That was nice 🙂
We hung out for a while at the Molokai bar at the Mai Kai, rapping with some new friends, and some old friends. It was too packed to get a drink so we wound up back at our room by around midnight. We were down for the count…but most of the clan didn’t quit until the wee small hours.
Sunday was kool. Someone at The Mai Kai had been scrapbooking back in the late 60s all the way up until the mid 90s, and they opened up the archives for view…and I mean they let us open the scrap books and look through them. It was fantastic, photos and press clippings going way back. Someone even brought photos of the Mai Kai’s first celebrity bartender from the late 1950s. Amazing stuff.
One of the people I met during the event was Tricia who runs the gift shop at the Mai Kai. Three very kool things came out of this meeting…one, I got to meet a very groovy chick who was a lot of fun during the event, two she agreed to put my book in the Mai Kai’s gift shop (YEAH!!!!), and three I got a sneak peak at the separate building there which was damaged in Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and closed…they use it for storage now. In fact they have about 80 or so old chairs from the 1980s that they are selling to the public stored there. They don’t usually let people in the building…sadly, it’s been damaged pretty badly…so it was fun to see inside a part of this historic place that hadn’t been seen by many people in six years. Tricia has some excellent ideas on how to renovate the building that could certainly help the Mai Kai…hopefully they’ll be able to do something with it soon!
I missed the meet & greet with Dick Dale, unfortunately, because I had to fix Colleen’s Jeep (starter died). Hopefully he’ll be back next year.
I think that’s about it. Lemme tell ya, it went by way too fast. Next year I’m bringing a bunch of no-doze with me so I can do even more.
By the way…a note to all the vendors of this year’s event…this was my first time as Vendor Coordinator, and I’d just like to say thanks to everyone one of you who helped make this year’s event even more fun, especially my buddies Bob Ho (Tiki Hana), Robert Jimenez (Tiki Tower), Peter Janus (Tropiki), Tahiti Joe, Tiki Mon, Tiki Diablo, Tricia, Renee, Tom, John…oh hell, I can’t list everyone! You were all great…thanks again!
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from my lounge chair at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, home of Tiki Lounge Talk, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
PS – I hope I spelled everybody’s names right. This Sailor Jerry is not good to drink when typing!
Posted on June 17th, 2011 6 comments
It may be hard to believe, but I had my first Jet Pilot cocktail at the Mai Kai last week. Lemme tell ya, that is one strong drink. Even the Matre ‘d thought I was crazy. But it’s a good one, no doubt about it kids.
There are a lot of screwed-up versions of this original Tiki Bar drink out there, using odd stuff like Bacardi Limon (yeah, that’s real authentic), but I found Beach Bum Berry’s recipe which is probably as close to (or exactly like) the original drink concocted by Don Beach 60+ years ago, during the heyday of jets and Tiki bars…
• 1/2 oz lime juice
• 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
• 1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
• 1/2 oz falernum (make your own falernum)
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• 1 oz dark Jamaican rum
• 3/4 oz gold Puerto Rican rum
• 3/4 oz 151-Proof Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
• 6 drops Pernod
• 4 oz crushed ice
Throw everything into a blender, adding crushed ice last, and blend at high speed for five seconds. Pour into an old-fashioned glass. The Mai-Kai garnishes with a chunk of fresh pineapple speared on a sword. Works for me.
It’s stuff like”Pernod” and “Falernum” that makes a Tiki Lounge drink a Tiki Lounge drink. Most people don’t even know what that stuff is, and most bars won’t bother to carry it. But I guarantee you, making this drink yourself is well worth the effort. Mix it up, take a swing and TAKE OFF! (insert vintage jet-plane sound hear)
-Tiki Chris P. reporting from the garden terrace at The Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
One of my Twitter friends sent me this groovy recipe for Falernum. You can buy it, but it’s more fun and will taste a lot better if you make it yourself. Visit the Post Prohibition website for the recipe.