The Week in Tiki (June 1-14, 2015): The Hukilau 2015 latest news and updates

The Week in Tiki The Hukilau rolls into Fort Lauderdale for events Wednesday through Sunday, and we’ll be posting all the important updates here. Also, get news on the sinking of the Rapa Nui Reef in Deerfield Beach, plus we have some quick hits on a new seminar at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta, new bands at Tiki Oasis, and Tiki Kon merchandise. Regular features spotlight the late Tiki carver Barney West, The Molokai lounge at The Mai-Kai, Beachbum Berry’s new website, and surf guitarist Skinny Jimmy Stingray. The rum of the week, Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star, is featured in Beachbum Berry’s Tahitian.
Note: Starting in June 2015, updates are being published twice a month, around the first and third week. But don’t worry: We won’t miss any of the latest news.
* Keep up with The Week in Tiki: Facebook page | RSS feed | See past weeks | Archive
* Weekly features: Artist | Website | Band/music | Tiki bar | Rum | Cocktail | Events

The Hukilau is here! Get the latest updates

The Hukilau

South Florida is being invaded by a colorful swarm of aloha-shirt-wearing, rum-drinking, pleasure-seeking retro culture enthusiasts looking for an unadulterated Tiki experience. That could mean only one thing: The Hukilau is upon us. The East Coast’s largest and most authentic Tiki event hits Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday through Sunday, June 10-14, and this is the place to get the latest updates as well as live coverage. This blog post will be updated with all the latest news and updates, so be sure to check back.

Latest update: Noon Thursday, June 11

A new painting by Shag will debut at the 'Big Eye Spectacular' show in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar

A new painting by Shag will debut at the ‘Big Eye Spectacular’ show in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar.

* The Harold Golen Gallery has announced details of the “Big Eye Spectacular” exhibit that opens Thursday in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar featuring a new painting by Shag created specially for this event. Many more top Pop Surrealist artists will be participating, so be sure to check this out. Each artist created original artwork inspired by the “Big Eye” trend from the 1960s and ’70s, most famously featured in the work of Margaret Keene. The Tiki Treasures Bazaar is open Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also on Saturday, don’t miss the meet and greet at the Golen Gallery space from 1 to 3 with a book signing and autograph session featuring Dawn Wells, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, Jeff Chenault, and Domenic Priore.

Tiki Tower Takeover

The Tiki Tower Takeover will feature (clockwise from upper left) Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate, Paul McGee and Brian Miller mixing up special cocktails in the Pier Top Lounge on Thursday, June 11.

* Those lucky enough to attend Thursday night’s Tiki Tower Takeover will be sampling cocktails from three bars that are among the best in the country. We already knew that, but Tales of the Cocktail made it official in announcing the nominees for the ninth annual Spirited Awards, perhaps the most prestigious and coveted awards program in the spirits industry. From more than 2,000 nominees, a panel of 100 industry experts picked the top 10 for each of 24 award categories. Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco) was nominated for Best American Cocktail Bar, while both Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 (New Orleans) and Lost Lake (Chicago) were nominated for Best New American Cocktail Bar. Click here to see all the Spirited Awards nominees. The final four in each category will be named on Tuesday, June 16, and the winners will be announced at the 13th annual Tales of the Cocktail on Saturday, July 18. Brian Miller (“Tiki Mondays With Miller” New York City), winner of the recent Tiki cocktail showdown at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, will be mixing up drinks in The Hukilau’s exclusive event in the revolving 17th story lounge at Pier 66 along along with Berry, Lost Lake’s Paul McGee, and Smuggler’s Cove owner Martin Cate. Each of the acclaimed barmen will be presenting a special, full-sized and fully garnished drink to guests in this laid-back happy hour. Berry says he’ll be doing a new take on the 151 Swizzle, while Cate is rolling out a drink name he’s been saving for something special, based on the term Admiral Vernon used to describe drunkenness in his 1740 decree that ordered the watering of rum rations and the birth of grog. Meanwhile, Miller promises a “Daiquiri that beat up the Pina Colada and took his lunch money.” McGee is sure to have something just as creative up his sleeve for this one-of-a-kind meeting of the Tiki cocktail minds, so you’ll want to arrive early … and thirsty.

Previous updates as of 4 p.m. Tuesday

Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of aquaticats will perform two special shows for The Hukilau

Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of aquaticats will perform two special shows for The Hukilau.

The Hukilau: June 10-14, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Special guest: Dawn Wells. Musical guests and performers: Alika Lyman Group, The Intoxicators, Gold Dust Lounge, Pablus, Slip and the Spinouts, Kinky Waikiki, Skinny Jimmy Stingray, King Kukulele, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Lila Starlet, DJ James Brown’s Sweat. Symposium presenters: Arthur Dong, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, Domenic Priore, Jeff Chenault, Jon Bortles and Tiki Gardener. Guest bartenders: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Brian Miller, Martin Cate, Paul McGee, Dean Hurst, the Straw Hat Barmen.
TheHukilau.com | Facebook | Twitter
The Atomic Grog’s full event preview:
The Hukilau keeps 20th century Tiki culture alive and thriving in the 21st century

Artwork by Michael Uhlenkott for the official T-shirts and glassware

Artwork by Michael Uhlenkott for the official T-shirts and glassware.

TICKETS: Online sales at TheHukilau.com ended Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, you can buy tickets at the event during registration hours at Pier 66 in the Crystal Atrium entrance, just off the lobby and next to the Tiki Treasures Bazaar. The multi-day passes are sold out, but you can still pick up single-day and event passes for Thursday through Saturday, plus tickets to the symposiums and the Three-Hour Tour Cruise with Dawn Wells of Gilligan Islands fame. Registration hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

SOLD OUT: All tickets for both special Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid swim shows at the B Ocean Resort (Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.) have been sold. These events are limited to the seated capacity of The Wreck Bar, allowing guests a comfortable experience and clear sightlines for the two specially themed performances by Marina and her pod of aquaticats (see flyer). (You can catch the regular 6:30 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday, space permitting.) The only symposium to sell out so far is Brigands, Barons & Beachcombers: The Many Faces of Planter’s Punch, hosted by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and Brian Miller on Saturday, June 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the host hotel, Pier 66. This in-depth look at the classic Caribbean drink is Berry’s 10th appearance at The Hukilau and will include sample cocktails by both drink masters. Tickets still remain for the other four Friday and Saturday symposiums at Pier 66. They include presentations by Disney artists Kevin Kidney & Jody Daily, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong, author Domenic Priore, and historians Jon Bortles and Tiki Gardener. The Tiki Tower Takeover with acclaimed barmen Berry, Miller, Martin Cate and Paul McGee is sold out.

Jeff

Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (right) and artist Crazy Al Evans enjoy cocktails at The Mai-Kai at The Hukilau 2014. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

THE MAI-KAI: Reservations are still available for the second dinner show on Saturday, June 13. The first show is already sold out. You can also make reservations for dinner in the non-showroom dining areas, subject to availability. Call the Mai-Kai at (954) 563-3272 to save your seat. Locals who plan on attending are advised to go for dinner to ensure early entry. Those without reservations will be admitted after 9:30 p.m., capacity permitting. Passholders are also reminded to wear their wristbands. Guests without wristbands are subject to a $20 cover charge. Sunday’s finale, scheduled for noon to 4 p.m., is sold out. It will include a symposium on the The Kahiki (the historic Columbus, Ohio, restaurant) by author/historian Jeff Chenault, plus live music in The Molokai bar by Skinny Jimmy Stingray.

MERCHANDISE: Be sure to check out The Hukilau booth in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar for a wide range of new items created for the 2015 event. These include the official pendants by Perry Drake, vintage glassware and T-shirts featuring a design by Southern California artist Michael Uhlenkott, and limited edition silkscreens of original art by underground Argentine lowbrow artist Jorge Alderete. Big Kahuna, Aloha and Luau passholders will also receive swag bags containing an exclusive commemorative coffee mug. Items not sold at the event may be available online later.

Live coverage: Check back here for updates, plus look for a new blog post featuring photos and daily coverage of The Hukilau 2015.

Official sites: TheHukilau.com | Facebook: Page and Group | Twitter | Instagram
Quick links: Schedule | Hotel info | Performers | Symposiums | Guest bartenders

Press coverage
* The Hukilau hulas into Fort Lauderdale this weekend (The Palm Beach Post)
* 3-hour tour with Mary Ann (and other reasons to hit The Hukilau) (New Times)
* Interview with Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White (WLRN)
* Tiki culture reigns supreme in Fort Lauderdale during the Hukilau (New Times)
* New events added to 14th-annual Tiki festival (New Times)
* Rum roaming at The Hukilau, the world’s most authentic Tiki event (ATLRetro)

Good G(reef)! Sinking of Easter Island moai statues goes awry

Minutes before the barge went down, crushing most of the Rapa Nui moai

Minutes before the barge went down, crushing most of the Rapa Nui moai. (Photo by Mike Jones)

It was a grand build-up to a disappointing conclusion. Following months of anticipation and a gala weekend preview, 15 Eastern Island moai up to 22 feet tall were ready to take their place as a unique habitat on the ocean floor. But the sinking of the Rapa Nui Reef in Deefield Beach on Sunday, June 7, went horribly wrong when the statues slid off their barge and were crushed as the costly project went topsy-turvy.

Instead of going straight down into the Atlantic in 70 feet off water about a half mile off the coast near Deerfield Beach’s fishing pier, the barge rolled when its scuttle holes were opened, dumping the statues that Pompano Beach artist Dennis MacDonald and his team spent 18 months, up to 14 hours a day creating. The barge then landed on top of the moai, resulting in not quite what the organizers and benefactor Margaret Blume had in mind.

In happier times: The moai were on display Saturday, June 6, in advance of the sinking

In happier times: The moai were on display Saturday, June 6, in advance of the sinking. (Photo by Mike Jones)

Blume sunk $500,000 into the project, seeking to create a living tribute to the statues that were built on the South Pacific’s remote Easter Island between 1250 and 1500 A.D. But even after the mishap, she and her team were undeterred. “It may be broken. It may be sad and devastating. But we are not finished with this story,” she told WPTV-TV. With MacDonald’s help, Blume has pledged to not give up on the project. “Nobody can take away how beautiful those statues were,” Blume told the Sun-Sentinel. “We’ve got to turn it around in some fashion to make it positive.”

A diver who inspected the site said the shattered sculptures are visible beneath the overturned barge, but the site is hazardous and officials are urging divers to stay away until work is completed on making it more secure. Holes might be cut into the bottom of the barge to allow safe access to the sculpture pieces below, scuba expert Arilton Pavan told the Sun-Sentinel. [See photos on Facebook]

Photos on Facebook show the aftermath of the reef sinking

Photos on Facebook show the aftermath of the reef sinking.

MacDonald, 63, told the Sun-Sentinel that he could imagine new figures being installed next to the overturned barge. He said he has the original molds to make more cast concrete figures. “I saw what this means to the community,” he said. “We’re going to make lemonade out of this lemon.” The city and state support the new plans.

Asked by the Sun-Sentinel if she thought the Polynesian gods may have been upset by the project, Blume replied: “I don’t think they’re angry. I think they are just giving us a teachable moment.”

* Rapa Nui Reef official website | Facebook page
* See drone video: Pre-sinking | Sinking

Press coverage
* Organizers vow to sink more time, money into botched Rapa Nui Reef (Sun-Sentinel)
* Woman behind artificial reef has plans for new one (WPTV)
* Barge overturns, crushes Rapa Nui Reef (Sun-Sentinel)
* Photos: Statues for artificial reef crushed after barge flips (The Miami Herald)
* Barge sinks, ruins $500,000 Rapa Nui artificial reef (New Times)
* Photos: Rapa Nui Reef finishes construction in Stuart (TCPalm)

Quick hits: Trader Vic’s seminar, Tiki Oasis lineup, Tiki Kon merchandise

Trader Vic's

Paul Senft of the Rum Journey website will host a new seminar at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta on Saturday, June 13. “History of Rum and Tiki Cocktails” will cover the transition from classic cocktails to rum-based tropical drinks in post-Prohibition era America. Senft, who last month discussed the history of Tiki in Atlanta and the signature Mai Tai cocktail, will also talk about the origins of some favorite cocktails. The seminar begins at 5 p.m. and costs $20. Included with the one-hour seminar is a cocktail and shared Tiki platter. Seating is limited, so call Trader Vic’s at (404) 221-6339 to make a reservation. Senft is also a writer for Got Rum? magazine, member of the International Rum Expert Panel, and a rum judge.
* Click here for more info | Facebook event

Tiki Oasis has announced more of bands for the Aug. 13-16 event in San Diego, including acclaimed surf band Man or Astro-man? The band’s out-of-this-world sci-fi vibe fits in perfectly with the theme of the 15th Tiki Oasis, “Yesterday’s future, today!” – celebrating mid-century space age styles . Other new additions to the lineup include Fono 66, The Devil-Ettes, The Angel & Robot Show, Slim Jenkins, and the Millionaire Beach Bums. The three-day, four-night event features live entertainment, an art show, a vendor marketplace, burlesque performances, a car show, and symposiums with top experts in history, mixology, music and more. Tiki Oasis, the world’s first and largest Tiki weekender, takes place at the Crowne Plaza hotel and the historic Bali Hai Restaurant.
* See the entertainment lineup | Facebook group

Tiki Kon's 2015 mug

Tiki Kon’s 2015 mug by VanTiki.

Tiki Kon has released exclusive merchandise for its 13th annual event, the largest Tiki gathering in the Pacific Northwest. Limited quantities are being produced, so it’s recommended you act now before items sell out. The merchandise matches this year’s theme (Tiki Kon Air Flight #13, a salute to the Jet Age) and includes The Happy Traveler limited-edition mug by VanTiki, custom cocktail glasses, shirts, and more. Click here to order. The July 10-12 event in Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., features live music and entertainment, cocktail and history symposiums, art and vendors, plus the grueling Iron Tikitender contest.

***** Links of the week*****
* 6 truly impressive Tiki drinks to pour at your next party (Huffington Post / Liquor.com)
* The 9 brand-new Tiki bars you should visit this summer (Liquor.com)
* Tiki Takeover: Where to find the best Tiki bars (Huffington Post)
* Latitude 29: A worthy Polynesian escape in the French Quarter (WWL-TV)
* Lost Lake – Chicago’s Tiki bar comeback continues (The Tiki Chick)
* It’s always island time at the Tacoma Cabana (SouthSoundTalk)
* Hale Pele’s Blair Reynolds opening coffee and cocktail bar (The Oregonian)
* Hawaiian-Style spam for breakfast at Hale Pele (Portland Monthly Mag)
* Carrying the Torch: Ernest Coffee Co. in Palm Springs (The Tiki Chick)
* An interview with Helena “Tiare” Olsen of A Mountain of Crushed Ice
* The difference between all those Bacardi white rums (Alcademics)

A postcard for Barney West's Tiki Junction in California

A postcard for Barney West’s Tiki Junction in California. (Sausalito Historical Society)

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Barney West
A legendary mid-century artist and carver, Barney West created work as over-sized as his personality and reputation. At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, the former sailor set up a sprawling shop for he and his crew to create 300 carvings a year, some as tall as 40 feet. Tiki Junction in the San Francisco Bay area became a tourist attraction in its own right. West learned to scuplt from natives in the Marquesan Islands while in the merchant marines during World War II. According to legend, he swam to a nearby island when his ship was torpedoed, and he ended up living with the natives for six months. West’s clients included many of the era’s top Polynesian restaurants, including Trader Vic’s. Some 50 years later, several of his giant Tikis still stand at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale (this one and this one can be found outside facing Federal Highway), but others have disappeared over the years (including, sadly, this guy and this guy). Many have been turned into Tiki mugs, including a Tiki Diablo mug last year that paid tribute to this long-gone Tiki.
* South Sea outpost in Sausalito – Tiki Junction (Marinscope newspapers)
* More on Barney West: Tiki Central | Google Images
* See past artists of the week

Beachbum Berry's new website

Beachbum Berry’s new website.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK:
Beachbum Berry

The Tiki cocktail revival’s founding father has been very busy of late, opening his first brick-and-mortar outpost for exotic drinks and chow, Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 in New Orleans. Just six months old, the classy and classic Tiki bar has already been named one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire magazine. This should come as no surprise to fans of “the Bum,” who has been anything but lazy during the past 20-odd years researching and writing six of the most vital and crucial cocktail books, releasing an accompanying app, plus a new line of custom barware. Berry has just launched a completely redesigned website that touts all his endeavors, including a new recipe section that features some tasty cocktails to go into the new Pearl Diver Glass and Swizzle Cup. The new site features a clean, modern design and one throwback to the past: A rare short film made by Berry almost 25 years ago when he was a fledgling film professional and budding Tikiphile. Check out The Secret of Easter Island, an award-winning comedy short shot on location in Rapa Nui.
* Find Beachbum Berry: BeachbumBerry.com | Facebook | Latitude 29
More on The Atomic Grog:
* Cocktail Kingdom launches new line of Beachbum Berry Tiki barware
Navy Grog Cone Kit | Take 5 interview | All posts
* See past websites of the week

Don’t miss: Beachbum Berry will return for his 10th symposium at The Hukilau this week, co-hosting the sold-out “Brigands, Barons & Beachcombers: The Many Faces of Planter’s Punch” with Brian Miller on Saturday, June 13. He’s also participating in the sold-out Tiki Tower Takeover with Miller, Martin Cate and Paul McGee. Both events will feature signature and historic drinks crafted by Berry. Check above for more details.

Skinny Jimmy Stingray rocks The Molokai bar during The Hukilau 2014

Skinny Jimmy Stingray rocks The Molokai bar during The Hukilau 2014. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

BAND/MUSIC OF THE WEEK:
Skinny Jimmy Stingray

A throwback to the golden era of surf, South Florida’s Skinny Jimmy Stingray is on a mission to keep that stripped-down style of instrumental rock alive at all costs. When mild-mannered James LeClair puts on a suit and straps on his vintage guitar, he becomes an evangelist for the traditional guitar-driven sounds of the 1960s. He has earned opening slots with some of the genre’s greats – including Dick Dale, The Surfaris and Los Straitjackets – while bucking trends in the local music scene. Jimmy’s extensive set list includes originals such as Hurricane Surf along with a wide range of classics, from The Ventures to The Bel-Airs to Link Wray. After jettisoning his former band, Jimmy has assembled a brand new group of veteran musicians who will join him June 13 and 14 for his third straight appearance at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale.
* Facebook page | Facebook band page | Reverb Nation | YouTube
* All past bands/music of the week

Don’t miss: Skinny Jimmy Stingray performs Saturday night (June 13) at 10 p.m. and Sunday afternoon (June 14) in The Molokai lounge at The Mai-Kai during The Hukilau. Other past bands of the week performing at The Hukilau:
Alika Lyman Group | The Intoxicators | Kinky Waikiki | Gold Dust Lounge
* Check The Hukilau schedule

The Mai-Kai's Molokai Girls show off some of the restaurant's amazing tropical drinks

The Mai-Kai’s Molokai Girls show off some of the restaurant’s amazing tropical drinks (Jet Pilot and Shark Bite). (Photo courtesy of The Mai-Kai)

TIKI BAR OF THE WEEK:
The Molokai lounge at The Mai-Kai

If The Mai-Kai restaurant is the Mecca for Tiki devotees, then The Molokai is the trusty canteen where pilgrims stop for fortifications before exploring the historic site in more depth. Built in 1956, The Mai-Kai was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places, and its storied history is well documented on this blog and elsewhere. But the 150-capacity Molokai, with its distinctive Mutiny on the Bounty theme, was added in 1970 and sometimes doesn’t get the attention of the famed main service bar, which is hidden deep inside the kitchen. It was there that original mixologist Mariano Licudine worked with owners Bob and Jack Thornton to create more than 50 secret cocktail recipes, many descended from Don the Beachcomber’s original creations in the years following Prohibition. You can still get these classic cocktails in The Molokai, however, and it’s hard to beat the nightly happy hour (5 to 7 p.m.), when everything except the large multi-person drinks are half-priced (along with appetizers). And who can resist all those decadent bites on the pupu platter? Secluded from the dining rooms, The Molokai exists in its own little world, with unique events and special entertainment throughout the week, including live bands on weekends. It can get noisy when it’s packed, but it can also be calming and serene during off hours, the mesmerizing Tiki torches glowing behind windows with cascading water that makes it appear to be perpetually raining outside. In the Don the Beachcomber tradition, the booze and bartenders are in a back room, out of sight, while guests are waited on by the bar’s sarong-clad Molokai Girls. Like any great Tiki bar, it’s the kind of place you almost never want to leave.
Video: See The Mai-Kai on Food Network’s Craziest Restaurants in America | Episodes
* The Mai-Kai: Official website | Facebook page
* On The Atomic Grog: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | Tropical drink family tree
* Photo tour of the bars, kitchen | Historic Mai-Kai celebrated | Lost stories of The Mai-Kai
* See past Tiki bars of the week

Don’t miss: The Molokai will host several key events during The Hukilau during the June 10-14 festivities: The sold-out Wednesday Pre-Party (featuring Gold Dust Lounge), two happy hours and live music during Saturday’s Main Event (Kinky Waikiki, Pablus, Skinny Jimmy Stingray), and Sunday’s sold-out finale also featuring Skinny Jimmy Stingray.

Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star

RUM OF THE WEEK:
Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star

Barbancourt is a unique sugar cane rum made only in Haiti using a distinctive distillation and barrel-aging process that dates back 150 years, when Dupre Barbancourt created the original recipe. The rum recipe and its legacy have been passed down through four generations, and it’s still made today using the original traditions. Note that the “Rhum” designation is a throwback to Haiti’s French influence and closely links this rum to the agricole rhums from Martinique. Though both are high quality spirits made from sugar cane instead of molasses, Barbancourt has its own distinctive flair. It treads a middle ground between the grassier agricole rhums and the sweeter molasses-based rums. There are five rhums in the Barbancourt portfolio, ranging from an unaged white to a premium 15-year-old aged gold. All but the 70-proof Pango Rhum are 86 proof, slightly more potent than most rums. The 3 Star rum is the brand’s entry-level aged gold rum (aged 4 years), but this is no run-of-the-mill rum. It’s sophisticated yet also rough around the edges, making it equally good as a sipper or mixer in cocktails. There’s some up-front heat and burn plus sugar notes that stand out in tropical cocktails like the one below.
* Official sites: BarbancourtRhum.com | Facebook | Twitter | Pintrest | YouTube
* See all past rums of the week

Don’t miss: Rhum Barbancourt will be pouring samples of its rums in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale from Thursday, June 11, through Saturday, June 13. A special Rhum Barbancourt cocktail, the 1862 Rhum Punch, will be served at The Mai-Kai during Wednesday’s pre-party and happy hour during Saturday’s main event. It will also be featured in Martin Cate’s drink at the Tiki Tower Takeover, at the Planter’s Punch symposium with Beachbum Berry and Brian Miller, and on the Three-Hour Cruise with Dawn Wells.
* Other rums of the week at The Hukilau: The Real McCoy | Wicked Dolphin | Gubba

Beachbum Berry's Tahitian featuring Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star

Beachbum Berry’s Tahitian featuring Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star. Hukilau 2013 mug by Tiki Diablo, based on a Barney West carving at The Mai-Kai. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: Tahitian
(From Beachbum Berry’s Grog Log)

* 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
* 1 ounce fresh lime juice
* 1/2 ounce white creme de cacao
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar simple syrup
* 1 dash Angostura bitters
* 2 ounces Rhum Barbancourt
* 1 1/2 ounces gold Jamaican rum
* 1/2 ounce gold Puerto Rican or Virgin Island rum
Shake with ice cubes, then pour into a tall glass or Tiki mug. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and paper parasol.

An oldie but goodie from Grog Log (1998) that didn’t make it into the compendium Beachbum Berry Remixed (2009) or Total Tiki app. I can’t understand why, because this underrated cocktail is a great vehicle for Rhum Barbancourt. (Note that Berry’s faithful fans on The Grogalizer website gave the drink a 7.5 rating.). It’s boozy and brawny, the rum and juices vying for attention with a subtle sweetness and hint of bitterness to keep things in balance. The end result is sour and not at all fruity, yet refreshing and easy to drink despite its 4 ounces of rum. Rhum Barbancourt 3 Star is a good choice here, and its flavor stands out above the milder gold Jamaican (Appleton Special is a good choice) and Spanish-style rums.
* See all past cocktails of the week

Don’t miss: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry will be mixing up a new signature drink at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, June 11. Lucky attendees will meet him and fellow Tiki bar luminaries Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco), Paul McGee (Lost Lake, Chicago), and Brian Miller (Tiki Mondays With Miller, New York City) at the sold-out Tiki Tower Takeover in the 17th floor lounge of the historic Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel.

SAVE THE DATE: Upcoming events

Tiki Oasis

***** In Florida *****
* 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. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* Oct. 1-3 – Ohana: Luau by the Sea, Fort Lauderdale. A weekend of ohana in sunny South Florida.
* April 15-17, 2016 – Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. The ultimate rum festival and trade expo. [Atomic Grog coverage]

***** On the Eastern Seaboard *****
* 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. *****
* July 10-12 – Tiki Kon, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.
* Aug. 7-8 – Hot Rod Hula Hop, Columbus, Ohio.
* Aug. 8Surf Guitar 101 Convention, Garden Grove, Calif.
* Aug. 13-16 – Tiki Oasis, San Diego, Calif.
* Sept. 12 – California Rum Fest, San Francisco.
* Dec. 4 – Midwest Rum Fest, Louisville, Ky.

***** Worldwide *****
* June 18-21 – Surfer Joe Summer Festival, Livorno, Italy.
* June 26-28 – Tiki Pop Fever, Saint-Tropez, France.
* Oct. 3-4 – German Rum Festival,, Berlin
* Oct. 17-18 –
UK RumFest, London
* Nov. 6-7 – Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival, St. Maarten

Keep us informed: If you have news or events to report, simply e-mail theatomicgrog@gmail.com 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.

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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