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  • Tiki Cocktails & Kool Ideas for Labor Day Weekend!

    Posted on September 3rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    How about this cheesey, '80s-retro-style diner sign I made? As if it were in a diner in the 1980s that was trying to look like it was from the 1950s. All it needs is Cheap Trick playing Don't Be Cruel.

    How about this cheesey, '80s-retro-style diner sign I made? As if it were in a diner in the 1980s that was trying to look like it was from the 1950s. All it needs is Cheap Trick playing Don't Be Cruel.

    Happy Labor Day, Swingers!

    With the three-day weekend ahead I thought I’d throw in a few good old drink recipes and party ideas to make things a little more fun. Sure, Labor Day is all about Barbecues and beer for most people, but for us swingin’ Kats & Kitties, we need something a little hipper. So here goes…

    Tropical Mellon Ball Cocktails

    2 oz. Coconut Rum
    2 oz. Midori Liquor
    1/2 oz. Sour Mix

    Throw it all in a shaker with rocks and shake it up good. Strain over cracked ice in a hurricane glass or Tiki mug, and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry on one of those little plastic swords. Add an umbrella and a flamingo swizzle stick and viola!

    watermelon-martini Watermelon Martini

    8 oz watermelon juice (press watermelon through a sieve or cheesecloth)
    4 oz Vodka
    2 ozsimple syrup
    juice of 1 lime
    3 tablespoons salt
    3 tablespoons sugar
    Watermelon slices

    Rim: Mix together the sugar and salt, then wet the rim of a chilled martini glass with a piece of watermelon. Dip the rim into the mix.

    Throw the watermelon juice, vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and give it a good rattle. Strain it into  the martini glasses and garnish with a hunk of watermelon. Oh, yeah!

    Perfectly Grilled Hound Dogs

    To do this right you’re going to have to find a butcher or a deli that sells Quarter Pound Hounds…jumbo all-beef hot dogs that blow away anything you’ll find in a plastic package. If you can’t, next best thing is Ball Park all-beef (or Angus), or Sabrett’s.hotdogparty

    Prep: Boil the dogs for about five to eight minutes in beer – Miller High Life or Pabst Blue Ribbon, to stick to tradition. This cooks them all the way through and infuses a nice lazy hazy crazy days of summer beer taste.

    Grill: First of all, you can’t BBQ retro with a gas grill. No Patio Daddy-O is going allow propane in his back yard, so get charcoal and hickory wood chips like a real man. Soak the chips in water for at least an hour. Get the coals burning and when they ash over, place some wood chips on top and watch them start smoking. Put the hounds on the grill and let them smoke for a few minutes, turning so they don’t burn. Take ’em off when they start to turn dark brown (if you like them blackened like my lovely wife does, leave them on a little longer. They’ll char up nice).

    Serve: Don’t skimp on buns. Get good quality dog buns, fresh if possible. Potato rolls are great too. Add your choice of condiments (but not ketchup, dammit) and enjoy yourself. Personally I like spicy mustard, sweet relish, a little onion and occasionally kraut on my dogs.

    Mix it up: A variation on this is to add a little hickory BBQ sauce to the dogs, if you dig it. Also you can add some chili to make the most incredible chili dogs you’ve ever tasted.

    Sabina's South Philly Macaroni Salad

    Sabina's South Philly Macaroni Salad

    Old Fashioned South Philly Style Macaroni Salad

    You don’t have to be a whiz in the kitch to pull off this recipe. Click here for the post.

    Sweet Tropical Fruit Dessert

    I got this recipe from a kid’s cookbook when I was about eight. It’s easy to make and fun to eat, and goes perfectly with a Tiki-style party of any kind. Just layer these ingredients (in this order) in a rectangular pan or tupperware:

    Sweetened Shredded Coconut
    Orange Slices
    Apple Slices
    Dark Chocolate Chips
    Sweetened Shredded Coconut
    Banana Slices
    Dark Chocolate Chips

    Top off with Pineapple chunks and decorate with little Tiki toothpick flags, or whatever you have. Serve it chilled. It’s sweet, but sooooo good. If you want to kick it up a little, drizzle some Kaluha over each serving. Uhhh-huh.

    labor-day-luauAnd Of Course…

    Have A Labor Day Luau!

    Click Here for my post on having a groovy tropical Labor Day Luau the easy way. Great for you kids that dig Tiki but don’t have your home devoted to it.

    Well kids, I hope some of you get a kick out of the stuff I’ve posted here. It will probably be raining here all weekend (Hurricane Earl’s kickback) so we’ll probably hit Machete at the movies and stay inside…or at the Tiki Bar under the lanai, at least.

    -Happy Labor Day Weekend from Tiki Chris and the staff at Tiki Lounge Talk: Colleen, Tiki the Cat, Cat the Cat, Rio & Zack (the Parrots), Simon & Sidney (the Cockatiels), and our temps Lucy, Faith, Betsey, Merry, Lila, Fry & Amy.

  • Go West for Mod Movie Monday – Rio Bravo, 1959

    Posted on August 23rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    riobravoposterAsk anyone who digs old movies and old westerns about this flick, and the response will be something around the same as if you ask them if they are hip to Miles or Bird…oh, yeahhhhh!

    Rio Bravo, 1959

    Dean Martin

    Dean Martin

    is a good old-fashioned cowboy movie with a little twist: The cast. Here you have John Wayne leading Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson,Ward Bond and Walter Brennan (plus Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez for comic relief). Wow. Add to that some really good writing, some intense scenes where predicting the outcome is almost impossible, and plenty of evil bad guys and you’ve got the makings of a classic flick. Even the side romance between the 51-year-old Wayne and 26-year-old Dickinson are believable and fun.

    1892 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine
    1892 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine

    The story is a somewhat typical cowboy job: Wayne, the Sheriff, is trying to keep his dusty frontier town together while fighting against a cattle baron who, as all cattle barons in old westerns tend to be, is an evil, murdering SOB. His brother murders a cowpoke in a saloon in cold blood and is locked up by the Sheriff. Cattle baron brother sends bad guys to get him out. Wayne is helped only by the recovering drunk Dude (Martin), an aging deputy with a bad leg (Brennan), a very young gunslinger (Nelson), a somewhat crazy chick (Dickinson) and a Mexican hotel owner with a funny way of talking. Oh, and Wayne totes a Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine everywhere he goes. Kookie.

    By the way, you get a free song too, a duet with Dino and Ricky Nelson. Whoever thought they’d sing together?

    2alarmchiliFood & Booze: Whisky. Just Whisky. Or Beer. This is what cowboys drink in the movies. No one really eats anything so why not try an easy chili recipe. There’s this thing out there called Wick Fowler’s “2-Alarm Chili Kit”. It won the 1967 Texas Chili Cook-off and has everything in it you need to make a really good chili except beef, beans and stewed tomatoes. Just follow the directions and you can’t miss. I first used this stuff back in 1987 to make Chili for a Halloween party while watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, a really bad movie that had the cannibalistic characters making – you guessed it – chili, with human meat. Funny, huh? Here’s the trailer for Rio Bravo…

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the Last Chance Saloon, in an oasis somewhere in the middle of cowboy-days Florida

  • Tiki Drink for the Weekend: The Sweet Caroline

    Posted on August 14th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-drinksOk, I know I’m a little slow on the draw this week for your Tiki Drink Recipe. Sometimes part of living the Tiki Lifestyle means sleeping until 2pm for no reason.

    I made this one up, but I’m sure I’m not the first to mix these ingredients together. I call it a Sweet Caroline. It’s got a nice sweet taste, with citrus kick. Kind of like this girl named Caroline I used to know.

    1 oz Midori
    1 oz Amaretto
    1 oz Sour Mix
    Fill with Orange Juicemidoridrink

    Pour over ice in a large glass and stir. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry. Pretty simple, very tasty! The sugars seem to make the booze hit your head faster than you’d think, so be careful with this one, kids.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from under the table at Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Tropical Storm may squash weekend plans in Cocoa Beach

    Posted on July 23rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-talk-logo-colorIf you follow me on Twitter or The Retro Tiki Lounge on Facebook, you’ve probably heard we’ve been planning a trip to the Space Coast, Cocoa Beach for this weekend. It’s been an up-and-down/on-and-off-and-back-on-again krazy kind of plan. We were originally going to swing up to Orlando (with a stop in Cocoa) on a work/trip, but the work part got canceled. We managed to rescue the Cocoa Beach part of the trip, but several events in the last week (flat tire, sudden influx of rescue puppies and kittens, dates moved on paying gigs with the little lady, etc etc) have severely screwed things up.tropical-storm-bonnie

    As of yesterday, we were all set up for a cruise up to Cocao today. Then this goofy Tropical storm, which is all the way down in the Caribbean, decided to fling itself into a big mess of rain clouds and shot some rain all the way up the East Coast of Florida. So as of now, 10:30 am on Friday, here in Fort Lauderdale is a big soggy wreck of a day, and our sources north tell us Cocoa Beach isn’t much different.

    One thing you should know about Florida: The best stuff to do is outdoors. Even the Tiki Bars are all either open-air, on the water (Like Islamorada) or have great tropical gardens (like the Mai Kai). So zipping around in the rain is maximum dullsville.

    welcometococoabeachCocoa Beach is full of kool old ’50s motels and Tiki-ness. It’s like you can’t get drunk and fall over without hitting a Tiki. There are great Tiki Carvers up there, and lots of fun beachy stuff. And the plan was to take lots of pix and post a report on this seaside Tiki lovers’ getaway. But I’m afraid this TS-Bonnie is going to squash the plans on this foray into vintage-meets-neo tiki culture. It’s no fun driving three hours on I-95 in buckets of rain, even in the sleek little Cruiser with the aquatreds, especially if it’s to spend most of the time sitting in the motel room waiting for the rain to stop. So, we’ll see how it plays out today. If Bonnie bows out by tonight, we’ll swing up tomorrow instead of today. If not, this weekend will be a great time to catch up on some writing.

    More to come…

    Later Gators.

    -Tiki Chris, soaking wet and not packed yet, reporting from under the overhang of the lanai at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar. Tiki Lounge Talk, The Tiki Culture Blog for Hep Kats and Swingin’ Kittens.

  • The Manhattan: Weekend Cocktails at the Tiki Bar

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

    tiki-bar-drinksReady for the weekend kids? We sure are at the Tiki Bar! Since out last post was on some sophisticated Latin Jazz, lets Jazz the weekend up with some sophisticated cocktails…

    The typical Manhattan calls for rye whiskey and sweet vermouth. Here are two twists on the original:

    Bourbon Manhattan

    3/4 oz sweet vermouth
    2 1/2 oz good bourbon whiskey (I’d go with Maker’s Mark)
    1 dash bitters
    1 maraschino cherry
    1 twist orange peel

    Pour the booze and bitters over the rocks and stir gently. Add the Cherry; twist the orange into the drink and ditch the peel. A little sweeter and smoother than the traditional drink.

    The Manhattan Cocktail. Old-style is served in a rocks glass.

    The Manhattan Cocktail. Old-style is served in a rocks glass.

    Southern Comfort Manhattan

    1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
    1/2 oz dry vermouth
    dash bitters
    Cherry

    Stir with cracked ice, strain into a glass (also good on the rocks). Drop in the cherry and you’re good to go with a ’60s style cocktail that will make the southern belles melt.

    Either of these splashes would be a great accompaniment to the sultry tunes presented in our previous post.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the Tiki Bar