Aloha, and welcome to a new feature on The Atomic Grog spotlighting the latest news and information on the Polynesian Pop revival and wide world of retro-themed entertainment. Every Monday, look for a new blog post that previews what’s coming up and looks back at the highlights of the previous week. The Week in Tiki will attempt to cover all the major happenings across the world, with a focus on our home base, Florida and the U.S. East Coast. In keeping with the theme of the blog, look for updates on events, music, art, cocktails and culture, along with our obsession with Disney World. We’ll also celebrate our favorite spirit, rum, and spotlight a different cocktail recipe every week. Sit back, relax … and enjoy!
* Keep up with The Week in Tiki: Facebook page | RSS feed | See past weeks
* Weekly features: Artist | Website | Band/music | Tiki bar | Rum | Cocktail | Events
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS (Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2015)
Rum will help preserve Miami reef
The Miami Dade Reef Guard Association has announced the establishment of a “Rum Reef” off Miami’s Key Biscayne, in partnership with the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. The non-profit group places mooring buoys on the reef to help eliminate damage when boaters drop anchor. The Miami Rum Festival is sponsoring two buoys, with plans to add more leading up to rum fest in April. The dedication of Rum Reef will be celebrated on Thursday (Jan. 29) from 5 to 8 p.m. at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza on South Beach. Tickets are $30 and include Wicked Dolphin rum, drinks, appetizers, live island music and more. Go to the Reef Guard website to reserve a seat, and check out the Facebook event for more info.
Who’s playing at Ohana: Luau at the Lake?
Look for an announcement today (Jan. 26) on the Ohana: Luau at the Lake Facebook page regarding the June 25-28 event at The Tiki Resort in Lake George, N.Y. Musical guests Waitiki and 9th Wave have already been announced. Expect more entertainment to be revealed. Event tickets go on sale on Monday, Feb 2.
***** Tiki links of the week*****
* A tale of two rum and mint drinks – The Mojito and the Gregorio’s Rx (To Have And Have Another blog)
* Tiki drinks transport you to the tropics (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
* Cuban rum and Cuban cigars (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Derek YanigerA former artist for Marvel and Cartoon Network in the 1990s, Atlanta-based Derek Yaniger dropped those gigs to pursue his passion for mid-century modern art. It was a wise move. His distinctive artwork can now be found in every corner of the Tiki scene, from colorful paintings and cartoon work to Tiki mugs and barware. A hardcover book, Wildsville: The Art of Derek Yaniger, was released in 2008. Yaniger’s festive designs are synonymous with events such as Tiki Oasis. His newest mug, “The Victor,” will be released online today (Jan. 26) by influential mug manufacturer Tiki Farm.
* Visit him at DerekArt.com.
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK: Tiki Central
Over the course of the past 15 years, the Tiki Central message board not only documented the revival of Polynesian Pop culture around the world, it became the nerve center for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of ambitious and creative artists, musicians, mixologists and lovers of mid-century Tiki culture from every walk of life. It’s now a living and breathing database containing everything you’d ever need to know about Tiki today. The freewheeling and fun discussion is always entertaining, even if you’re just lurking. And the research and expertise of the participants puts many journalists and scholars to shame. In short, Tiki Central is ground zero of Tiki today.
* Check it out: TikiCentral.com
BAND/MUSIC OF THE WEEK: Alika Lyman Group
Alika Lyman is not only a talented Hawaiian native with a passion for jazz and blues guitar. He’s also the great nephew of exotica music legend Arthur Lyman. In 1957, Arthur Lyman left the ground-breaking Martin Denny group, formed his own combo and released his first of many albums, Leis of Jazz. In May 2014, Alika Lyman joined forces with exotica historian and vibes master Mark Riddle (Tikiyaki Orchestra, Tiki Joe’s Ocean) to release a historic tribute album, Leis of Jazz, Vol. 2. Melding cool jazz and exotica sounds that are both retro and contemporary, the album features many standout tracks, including Swingtime in Honolulu, Night Orchid, and Hukilau. The cover, designed by Tiki Magazine assistant editor Kari Hendler, also pays tribute to the 1950s original. Catch the Alika Lyman Group at The Hukilau in June 2014 in Fort Lauderdale. [Event preview]
* Official band website
* Buy Leis of Jazz, Vol. 2: CD Baby album/download | Amazon download
TIKI BAR OF THE WEEK: Hala Kahiki
Long before the Chicago area’s recent Tiki revivals, there was Hala Kahiki, an unlikely tropical oasis in the sleepy suburb of River Grove. Opened in 1966, Hala Kahiki is “perhaps in the top five remaining vintage Tiki bars anywhere,” wrote James Teitelbaum in Tiki Road Trip
(2007). Family owned and operated for nearly 50 years, Hala Kahiki is also considered to have one of the largest collection of vintage mid-century Witco objects in the world. In Tiki Modern, his 2007 book that celebrates the furniture company’s exotic style, Sven Kirsten called Hala Kahiki the “King Tut’s Tomb of Witco.” Dark and mysterious, the Hala Kahiki experience includes three separate rooms, a patio, gift shop, and more than 100 tropical drinks, most of them house originals that you’ll find only here. With so many authentic Tiki establishments from the ’50s and ’60s long gone (like last week’s profile, The Kahiki), it’s great to see Hala Kahiki alive and well.
* Chicago Tribune: Aloha from the Hala Kahiki
* HalaKahikiLounge.com | Critiki.com profile, photos
RUM OF THE WEEK: Appleton Estate V/X
A blend of 15 different rums aged 5-10 years, V/X is the entry-level gold rum in the venerable Jamaican distiller’s premium Appleton Estate line of products, which also includes the excellent Reserve and 12-year-old Extra dark rums. Unlike the other Estate rums that are equally outstanding as sipping rums, V/X is primarily suited as a mixer. But what a mixer it is. Almost dark in body, it has a sophisticated sweet and fruity character with distinctive hints of molasses, making it perfect in tropical drinks. More at AppletonEstate.com.
Note: In April 2015, Appleton announced it was rebranding its Estate line of rums, though thankfully the product in the bottles remains the same. The V/X is being repackaged as Appleton Estate Signature Blend.
* 2 ounces Appleton V/X rum
* 3/4 ounce passion fruit syrup
* 3/4 ounce lime juice
* 1/2 ounce pineapple juice
* 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
* 1/4 ounce Campari
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain over crushed ice into a Tiki mug or double old-fashioned glass. Garnish tropically.
A well-crafted classic-style cocktail that goes down very easy. A wonderful combination of flavors that shows off McGee brilliance as a cocktail creator. Maraschino and Campari can dominate a drink, but they blend perfectly here. The rum is a bit overshadowed, but that’s a small quibble. The recipe suggests a garnish of pineapple leaves, an orchid, and a paper umbrella. I went with a more classic garnish of mint spring and fruit stick (speared pineapple and cherries).
If you’re not lucky enough to live near Chicago, home of McGee’s Lost Lake, (along his previous triumph, Three Dots and a Dash), don’t fret. He’ll be taking part in The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale in June 2015, joining fellow Tiki craftsmen Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (Latitude 29, New Orleans), Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco), and Brian Miller (Tiki Mondays With Miller, New York City) for a one-of-a-kind “Tiki Tower Takeover” on June 11 in the Pier 66 hotel’s 17th-floor revolving ballroom. [See previous story]
Video: Watch McGee make the Lost Lake
Photos: Lost Lake is a Tiki paradise in Logan Square
* Last week’s recipe: La Floridita Daiquiri
SAVE THE DATE: Upcoming events
***** In Florida *****
* Feb. 20 – The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami Beach. Featuring Emeril Lagasse, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate.
* Feb. 28 – Rockabilly Ruckus at Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa.
* March 14 – Dapper Day at Disney World.
* April 17-19 – Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. The ultimate rum festival and trade expo. [Past coverage]
* June 10-14 – The Hukilau at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel and The Mai-Kai restaurant, Fort Lauderdale. The world’s most authentic Tiki event. [Past coverage]
* Oct. 1-3 – Ohana: Luau by the Sea, Fort Lauderdale. A weekend of ohana in sunny South Florida.
***** On the Eastern Seaboard *****
* May 15-17 – Instro Summit, Chapel Hill, N.C.
* June 25-28 – Ohana: Luau At The Lake at The Tiki Resort, Lake George, N.Y.
* July 15-19 – Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans, La.
***** Across the U.S. *****
* Feb. 12-22 – Modernism Week, Palm Springs, Calif.
* March 1 – Dapper Day at Disneyland.
* April 11-13 – Mojave Oasis, Newberry Springs, Calif.
* April 24-26 – Chicago Area Tiki Tour
* May 14-17 – Tiki Caliente, Palm Springs, Calif.
* July 10-12 – Tiki Kon, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.
* Aug. 13-16 – Tiki Oasis, San Diego, Calif.
Keep us informed: If you have news or events to report, simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what’s happening, along with any appropriate links. Feel free to send photos and flyers. You can also send a message via the Facebook page. If you post news or updates on a regular basis, let us know how to follow you (website, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)