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  • Book Signing at the Mai Kai Tonight! Murder on Tiki Island, The Parrot Talks in Chocolate

    Posted on January 4th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    cover-murder-on-tiki-island-marinaBook signing by authors “Tiki” Chris Pinto and Everett Peacock

    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

    Everett Peacock

    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.

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    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.

  • Shanghai Cocktail: Your Weekend Tiki Bar Drink Recipe

    Posted on September 3rd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    shanghai-cocktailLike the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the whisper of the word “Shanghai” conjures images of a distant past, one of dark, narrow streets filled with underworld characters sneaking into opium dens and harlot-filled nightclubs. A six-month trip on a tramp steamer and there you are in “the Paris of the Orient”, where you take your chances and your life in your hands as you embark on a Noir adventure of mystery and lust.

    You step up to the hand-carved bar in The Shanghai Club, and order a

    Shanghai Cocktail

    from a seedy bartender. He narrows his eyes as he considers the strange American before him, and makes his decision whether to poison you or allow you to live. You slap an American sawbuck on the bartop, and he decides to give you another day.

    Shanghai Cocktail Recipe:

    1 oz dark rum
    1 tsp anisette
    1/2 tsp grenadine syrup
    juice of 1/4 lemon

    Shake ingredients together in a shaker with ice until a frost forms on the outside of the canister. Rim a martini glass with lemon, and strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

    To make a Shanghai Surprise, set a half ounce of Bacardi 151 aflame and pour into the mixed drink.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, the web’s hottest blounge for Tiki Drink Recipies.

  • Memories of The Hukilau 2011, Ft. Lauderdale FL

    Posted on June 22nd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    mai-kai-signThe 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!

    Some stories:

    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 🙂

    Tiki Chris & Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid with her pod and my book, Murder on Tiki Island

    Tiki Chris & Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid with her pod and my book, Murder on Tiki Island

    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.

    Me, Tiki Chris, showing off a vintage tux

    Me, Tiki Chris, showing off a vintage tux

    (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.

    Hukilau 2011 Mug cast in gold as a thanks for helping out

    Hukilau 2011 Mug cast in gold as a thanks for helping out

    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.

    Colleen at The Mai Kai

    Colleen at The Mai Kai

    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.

    We decorated our room and had a bar set up

    We decorated our room and had a bar set up

    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!

  • The Mai-Kai’s Barrel O’ Rum: Your Weekend Tiki Bar Drink!

    Posted on May 21st, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    rum-barrelWe’re heading to the Mai-Kai tonight for The Hukilau kickoff party. It’s a hell of a kickoff when it happens three weeks before the actual event, huh? Anyhoo, since the Barrel O’ Rum is one of everyone’s favorites, and it’s pretty simple to make as far as Tiki/exotic cocktails go, I figured I’d feature it this week! Here’s the recipe that I found that seems to mimic the Mai-Kai’s recipe…

    The Barrel O’ Rum

    • 2 oz good Silver rum (I like Meyers Silver, or even 10-Cane, which is a little different)
    • 2 oz Appleton Estate rum
    • 2 oz fresh-squeezed Lime juice
    • 2 oz fresh-squeezed Orange juice
    • 2 oz fresh-squeezed Grapefruit juice
    • 2 oz Passion fruit syrup
    • About a teaspoon honey
    • splash of soda
    • A few dashes Angostura bitters
    • Ice

    Colleen & I at the Mai Kai

    Colleen & I at the Mai Kai

    Throw everything together in a blender and blend for 5 seconds, then pour it into the barrel. Goooood stuff!

    The Rum Barrel is also going to be the featured drink at this year’s Hukilau’s Master Mixologist Cocktail Challenge. Contestants get to devise a better barrel. I hear the competition is going to be pretty heavy, so if you’re going, make sure you check it out poolside at Bahia Cabana. See Hurricane Hayward’s post at Atomic Grog for more info!

    -Tiki Chris P, reporting from the Molokai Bar at The Mai-Kai, Fort Lauderdale (well, OK, not yet, but I will be soon)

  • Beachbum Berry’s Rumposium at The Hukilau 2011

    Posted on May 16th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    hukilau2011logoIf you’re in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, June 11th, and if you like rum, and if you like Tiki drinks, then you’ll have to find yourself a way to swing down to The Hukilau 2011…especially for Beachbum Berry’s Rumposium at the Mai Kai.

    What the hell is a Rumposium? Pretty much what it sounds like. Here’s the description from The Hukilau’s website:

    “The Bum’s Rumposium — a Hukilau tenth-anniversary exclusive — will be a rollicking ride down the rapids of a river of rum, an exhaustive and literally explosive look at rum in history, rum on the high seas, rum in Tiki drinks, how to pair rum with food, how to pair rums with each other, how to keep zombies away using rum, and how to use rum in Zombies. Don’t miss the cocktails, the tall tales … or the gunpowder test!”

    Beachbum Berry

    Beachbum Berry

    The Rumposium costs only $35. It starts promptly at 2pm, and will segue into the first seating for the Polynesian Show & Dinner at the Mai Kai. Reservations are required for both, so if you haven’t done it yet, get on the ball and get your tickets! Visit The Hukilau’s website at www.thehukilau.com/2011.

    Remember, this is the 10th anniversary of The Hukilau, so there are all kinds of fun events, music, performances and kool stuff to buy this year!

    -See you there, Tiki Chris P.