The Week in Tiki (Nov. 2-15, 2015): The Hukilau and Miami Rum Fest tickets, Makahiki arrives, Wayne Coombs tribute, Tiki bars, galleries and more!

The Week in Tiki Florida tops the latest news with updates on passes and tickets for The Hukilau and Miami Rum Fest, a preview of Makahiki in Orlando, and a special tribute to the late artist Wayne Coombs. In Atlanta, artist Derek Yaniger will talk at Trader Vic’s, and news has emerged on a new Tiki bar. Check out photos from two Los Angeles art events spotlighting Shag and Tiki Farm, plus find out which Tiki and rum bars were rated among the nation’s best. We also have quick hits on the new Beachbum Berry Tiki Cocktail Picks, Tiki bar openings and closings, a Hawaiian War Chant marathon, award-winning Caribbean rum, an album featuring Los Straitjackets playing the Peanuts theme, and the death of Kustom car legend George Barris. Regular features spotlight lowbrow artist Big Toe; simian surf band The Disasternauts; Foundation Tiki Bar in Milwaukee; and the Tales of the Cocktail website. The Rum of the Week, Clément Select Barrel, is featured in Paul McGee’s Three Dots and a Dash.
* Keep up with The Week in Tiki: Facebook page | RSS feed | See past weeks | Archive
* Weekly features: Artist | Band/music | Bar | Website | Rum | Cocktail | Events

Event tickets: The Hukilau selling fast, Miami Rum Fest available now

The Hukilau 2016

The Hukilau has announced that all five-day tickets are sold out for the 15th annual Tiki weekender scheduled for June 8-12 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. The last of the Big Kahuna passes was snapped up just one week after all the new South Seas passes sold out. But prospective villagers shouldn’t worry. There are plenty of Aloha (Thursday through Sunday) and Luau (Friday through Sunday) passes available. All passes went on sale in late October at 2015 prices, which will remain in effect until early January. If you buy your pass early, you also get first shot at several exclusive ticketed events on June 9 in the hotel’s rotating 17th floor ballroom: Shag’s SkyLounge (hosted by artist Josh Agle) and the Tiki Tower Takeover (featuring cocktails by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry of Latitude 29, Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, Paul McGee of Lost Lake, and Brian Miller of Tiki Mondays With Miller). Look for an update soon on two more bars joining the Tiki Tower Takeover lineup. Previously announced guests include Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (MeduSirena), plus Tiki historians Sven Kirsten and Humuhumu. Shag will also be hosting his first-ever symposium at a Tiki event.
* Buy passes and tickets | Book a room
Atomic Grog coverage
* Tiki Tower Takeover bartenders return, Marina to perform in expanded Wreck Bar
* The Hukilau 2016 passes on sale now at 2015 prices
* Shag to help toast The Hukilau’s 15th anniversary in 2016
Official sites: TheHukilau.com | Facebook: Page and Group | Twitter | Instagram

2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

Tickets are on sale now for the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, scheduled for April 15-17 at the Doubletree by Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center. The eighth annual event, one of the world’s largest gatherings of rum enthusiasts, will include a trade expo for professionals and grand tasting for the general public featuring new and award-winning spirits from Florida, the United States, the Caribbean and across the globe. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample hundreds of rums, attend expert seminars, see cocktail competitions, browse an island-themed marketplace, plus more. Heading into its fourth year at the spacious convention center, the Miami Rum Festival features 50,000 square feet of exhibit space that annually includes more than 100 exhibitors, two stages and multiple seminar rooms. Experts attending the festival will present dozens of awards in the annual RumXP Tasting Competition. Past festivals have given guests an early taste of some of the industry’s hottest new rums. Hotel rooms typically sell out well in advance of the festival, so it’s a good idea to book early and get the best rates. Miami Rum Fest organizers Robert A. Burr and Robert V. Burr are currently in the midst of hosting the 2015 Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise, sailing Nov. 15-22 with stops at distilleries in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Croix, and San Juan.
* Buy tickets | Book a room
Atomic Grog coverage: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012| 2011 | All posts
Official sites: MiamiRumFest.com | Facebook

In Florida: Tiki fest launches in Orlando, street named for Wayne Coombs in Cocoa Beach

Makahiki

The first annual Makahiki, a Tiki fest and luau in the area surrounding Aku Aku in Orlando, will light its torches on Saturday, Nov. 21. The event will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and include live music from The Intoxicators and The Disasternauts, live Tiki carving by Jeff Chouinard of Surf Soul Tiki, hula and fire dancers, a pig roast, a mechanical surfboard, artists and vendors, plus more. All ages are welcome until 8 p.m., when it becomes a 21-and-older event. The live music and performers start around 6 p.m. Aku Aku opened in January 2014, injecting a much-needed shot of authentic Polynesian Pop into downtown Orlando. Located near Lake Eola in the city’s downtown Thornton Park district, Aku Aku is now the center of what could be a new annual Tiki tradition in Central Florida, Makahiki.
* Facebook event | Makahiki Facebook page
* Aku Aku official site | The Atomic Grog’s Bar of the Week

The late Wayne Coombs was best known for his Tiki carvings, but he was also an accomplished painter whose gallery and workshop is now the site of the Mai Tiki Market in Cocoa Beach

The late Wayne Coombs was best known for his Tiki carvings, but he was also an accomplished painter whose gallery and workshop is now the site of the Mai Tiki Market in Cocoa Beach.

Cocoa Beach will honor a legendary artist on Friday, Nov. 27, with the dedication of Wayne Coombs Way, a street behind the Mai Tiki Market area where the late icon carved his famous Tikis until his death in 2012. The street-naming ceremony will include a street party hosted by the Cocoa Beach Art Show with “food, fun and entertainment for all ages,” according to the Facebook event. The cluster of small shops and galleries along Minutemen Causeway was renamed Mai Tiki Market in honor of Coombs and his wife, Beki, who were fixtures in the area for more than 40 years. Coombs established the Mai Tiki name worldwide with distinctive carvings that became known as “Florida Style” Tikis with their large toothy grins that many consider a self-portrait. Coombs was a larger-than-life figure who also had a huge influence on the local art scene. Many of his pieces stand in prominent spots throughout the beachside town.
* Facebook event | Mai Tiki Market on Facebook
* Related story: Wayne finally gets his way (The Beachside Resident)
* Atomic Grog coverage: Artist of the Week | Remembering Wayne Coombs
* WayneCoombs.com | Video from Plastic Paradise documentary

In Georgia: The Art of Tiki at Trader Vic’s, new Tiki bar opens

The Art of Tik at Trader Vic's in Atlanta

Instead of rum or cocktails, seminar host Paul Senft of the RumJourney.com blog will turn his attention to The Art of Tiki with a special event on Saturday, Nov. 21, at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta featuring artist Derek Yaniger. The seminar will focus on discussion of the art and artists who have influenced the Tiki world through the years, including many pieces that can be found at the vintage Trader Vic’s in Atlanta, which opened in 1976. Yaniger will talk about his influences, inspirations, and artistic evolution from the Cartoon Network and Marvel comics to the world of Tiki and retro art. The $25 admission includes a signature cocktail and food. Call Trader Vic’s at (404) 221-6339 to reserve a seat.
* Facebook event | Trader Vic’s Atlanta

The SOS Tiki Bar is now open in Decatur, Ga. (Photo by Paul Senft)

The SOS Tiki Bar is now open in Decatur, Ga. (Photo by Paul Senft)

Opening without much fanfare in Decatur, a suburb of Atlanta, a new Tiki bar has caught the attention of Polynesian Pop enthusiasts and enthusiastic locals alike. The SOS Tiki Bar lit its torches on Friday, Nov. 6, showing off a vintage design with a few traditional Tiki design touches (dim lighting, carved Tikis, hula girls, mugs). Plans call for it to be Tikified even further. Already fully realized are the well-crafted menu and cocktails that include originals plus classics such as the Zombie, Mai Tai, and Planter’s Punch. Communal cocktails are also available for groups of two to four, and punch bowls for six to eight. The kitchen offers pupus such as coconut shrimp, jerk wings, and Polynesian spare ribs. The small space was formerly the midcentury-modern-themed craft cocktail bar Paper Plane, sharing a building and ownership with the Victory Sandwich Bar. The restaurant, run by the Victory Brands group, had already dipped its toes into Tiki with an annual luau held since 2012. It appears that a Polynesian passion has bloomed into a full-blown business. The SOS Tiki Bar is open at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays). We’re not sure if The SOS is named after the classic cocktail of the same name at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, which itself was a tribute to a Don the Beachcomber classic from the 1940s (see Cocktail of the Week below). Regardless, it’s a welcome addition to the latest generation of Tiki bars cropping up around the country.
* Press coverage: Atlanta Eater story and Photos
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Decatur Metro
* Official Facebook page | Instagram
* Critiki News | Critiki profile | Tiki Central discussion

In Los Angeles: Shag’s new store, Tiki Farm toasts 15 years

Shag at the opening of his new namesake store in West Hollywood during the grand opening party on Nov. 7. (Photo by Kari Hendler)

Shag at the opening of his new namesake store in West Hollywood during the grand opening party on Nov. 7. (Photo by Kari Hendler)

The Shag Store empire expanded to West Hollywood with a free grand opening party on Nov. 7 in the swank new Melrose Avenue digs. Hundreds of fans of the artist and his distinctive and colorful mid-century style lined up down the street for a first look at the space and debut of Shag’s newest print, “995 Skyline Drive” (his largest print to date). Guests were able to meet and schmooze with Shag, enjoy complimentary cocktails (crafted by the Tonga Hut), and pick up Shag art, prints and merchandise. Entertainment included DJ Amor, King Kukulele and Cherry Capri. The original store opened in Palm Springs in 2010 as the world’s only store dedicated solely to Shag’s fine art and merchandise.
* More photos from Kari Handler (Facebook):
Grand opening and Soft opening | YouTube video
* Shag the Store: Offficial site | Facebook
Twitter | Instagram
* Shag the artist: Shag.com | Artist of the Week
Don’t miss Shag: The artist will be the guest of honor at The Hukilau on June 8-12, 2016, in Fort Lauderdale. He’ll host the Shag’s SkyLounge cocktail party, present a special symposium on his life and times, design special merchandise, plus more. [See story | Get tickets]

Mondo Tiki at La Luz de Jesus Gallery

The ultimate Tiki mug collection is on display through Nov. 29 at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles during the Mondo Tiki show celebrating the 15th anniversary of pioneering manufacturer Tiki Farm. A jaw-dropping display of 500 mugs includes the work of the biggest names in the Tiki revival, including five who created special limited-edition mugs for the Nov. 6 opening reception: Tom Laura (Big Toe), Scott Scheidly (Flounder), Doug Horne, Ken Ruzic, and Michelle Bickford. [Buy mugs in the gallery store] These artists also have a large assortment of art covering the walls of the exhibit space. Another key part of the exhibit is a tribute to The Pizz, the famed lowbrow artist and former Tiki Farm art director who died in August. Led by founder Holden Westland, Tiki Farm has produced millions of mugs from more than 2,000 original designs, growing into the world’s largest mug-maker and becoming a living (and drinking) history of the modern revival. Clients include Trader Vic’s, The Mai-Kai, Don the Beachcomber, Disneyland and Disney World, plus many more. La Luz de Jesus Gallery, established in 1986, is considered to be the birthplace of pop surrealism and lowbrow. One of the world’s premiere showcases for underground and counterculture art, the gallery has launched the careers of many of today’s top artists, from Robert Williams to Shag.
* Press coverage: KPCC radio (audio) | Los Angeles Magazine | A Mountain of Crushed Ice
* Tiki Central: Discussion, photos from the artists
* Tiki Farm official site | Mugs on Ooga-Mooga | Buy mugs (Amazon)

Tiki bars rated among America’s best

Several notable Tiki establishments were included in Playboy magazine’s annual ranking of the 20 Best Bars in America. As noted in the introduction that praises the quality and variety of today’s bars, “no fewer than three take their inspiration from the tiki trend.” Congratulations to Latitude 29 in New Orleans (Best Traditional Tiki Bar), Lost Lake in Chicago (Best Neighborhood Hangout That Happens to be a Tiki Bar), and Mother of Pearl in New York City (Best Spin on Tiki).

Four of the Tiki bars cited in Liqour.com's list will be featured in June at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale.

Four of the Tiki bars cited in Liqour.com’s list will be featured in June at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale.

Meanwhile, Liquor.com published a comprehensive list of “the 173 bars that matter most – right now.” Tiki and rum bars are well represented, including the ubiquitous Latitude 29 and Lost Lake. Others listed are The Broken Shaker (Miami Beach), Caña Rum Bar (Los Angeles), Cane & Table (New Orleans), Cienfuegos (New York City), Hale Pele (Portland), La Descarga (Los Angeles), The Mai-Kai (Fort Lauderdale), Porco Lounge & Tiki Room (Cleveland), Rumba (Seattle), The Rum Club (Portland), The Rum House (New York City), The Rum Line (Miami Beach), Smuggler’s Cove (San Francisco), Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago), and Tiki-Ti (Los Angeles).

If a visit to multiple locations is not an option for you, there are several opportunities in 2016 to experience signature drinks made by some of these bar staffs at special events in South Florida:
* Feb. 26: The Broken Shaker, The Mai-Kai, Porco Lounge and Tiki Room, and The Rum Line will be competing in The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. [Get tickets now]
* June 9: The owners and bar masters of Latitude 29 (Jeff “Beachbum” Berry), Lost Lake (Paul McGee), and Smuggler’s Cove (Martin Cate ) will be serving signature cocktails in the Tiki Tower Takeover event at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale. The Mai-Kai will also serve as one of the host venues. [Get tickets now]

Quick Hits: Beachbum Berry’s Tiki Cocktail Picks, Tiki bar openings/closings, Hawaiian War Chant marathon, Caribbean rum awards, Los Straitjackets play the ‘Peanuts’ theme, George Barris dies at 89

Beachbum Berry's Tiki Cocktail Picks

Cocktail Kingdom is now offering Beachbum Berry’s Tiki Cocktail Picks, a cool new product in its Tiki Collection. The 4-inch custom plastic picks are designed in the Bum’s likeness and come in packs of 36 and 144. They join the other great barware produced in association with the Tiki cocktail author and bar owner (Latitude 29 in New Orleans), including the Swizzle Cup, Pearl Diver Glass, and Navy Grog Cone Kit (see previous coverage).
* Cocktail Kingdom USA | UK site

The Critiki website is doing a great job of keeping us updated on all the latest Tiki bar openings and closings around the world. In addition to The SOS Tiki Bar in Decatur, Ga., (see story above), Humuhumu reported on the opening of a new Tiki bowling alley in Hong Kong. It includes a bar called Sea Dogs & Mermaids that serves classic tropical drinks in Tiki mugs, plus a sit-down restaurant called Beach Bums & Cannibals. Unfortunately, there was also a closing to report. After less than a year, Tiki Hideaway in Charlotte, N.C., shut down for business reasons despite great Yelp reviews and a loyal following.

Hawaiian War Chant

If you’re a fan of the Hawaiian War Chant, then you’ll want to set aside some time between 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, when Tiki Brian of the Exotic Tiki Island podcast will be webcasting a 48-hour marathon of nothing but the classic song. The ETI Radio marathon will feature more than 200 versions of the song, which was written in the 1860s and first recorded around 1910. It’s been covered by everone from Tommy Dorsey, to Les Paul, to Bill Haley & His Comets. It’s perhaps most famously used in the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. If you can endure at least two hours of the marathon broadcast, Tiki Brian is offering a diploma you can download to prove your commitment to Tikidom.

A highlight of the fifth annual Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival held Nov. 6-7 in St. Maarten was the CAB Rum Tasting Competition. The 12 judges tasted around 60 rums, making their selections based on appearance, aroma, taste and overall impression. Gold, silver and bronze winners were announced in eight categories on Nov. 7 during the festival’s closing day at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino. Gold medal winners were: Toppers White Rhum (St. Maarten), Jack Iron overproof (Grenada), Topper’s Mocha Mama Rhum (St. Maarten), Clifton Estate Original Spice (Nevis), Richland Distillers Estate (Georgia), Guavaberry Republic 8 (St. Maarten), Westerhall 10 (Grenada), and Borgoe 15 (Suriname). [See all the results] The sixth annual festival will be held Nov. 4-5, 2016. Meanwhile, Wicked Dolphin from Cape Coral, Fla., which took home a silver medal for its acclaimed overproof Rumshine, announced the release of a new rum expression: Wicked Dolphin Gold Reserve.
* Related: Caribbean Journal Rum Awards

Los Straitjackets play the Peanuts theme

The perfect addition to your holiday playlist will be released on Nov. 27, aka Record Store Day Black Friday. The Los Straitjackets cover of Linus and Lucy, the iconic theme music from the Peanuts TV specials, was recorded last year during a sold-out show in Boston on Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue tour (see video). It will be included on an exclusive vinyl album, The Quality Holiday Revue Live, on Yep Roc Records. The LP includes Lowe classics and tracks from the new-wave icon’s holiday studio album, all backed by the acclaimed instrumental rockers. A second Quality Holiday Revue tour will hit the road in December (check dates).
* More on the song and album from Dangerous Minds

George Barris, the groundbreaking Southern California custom car designer best known for creating Batman‘s iconic Batmobile and The Munsters hot rods for the classic 1960s TV shows, died of cancer Nov. 5 at age 89. An influential figure who continues to inspire new generations of car designers and lowbrow artists in the “Kustom” scene, Barris actually created the term in the 1940s. He and his brother called their first shop Barris Kustom, gaining acclaim for their wild designs. “Because I was Greek, I spelled it with a K,” Barris once said. “I wish I would have trademarked that. I’d be a millionaire.” A Barris design appeared in the first custom-car show in Los Angeles, presented in 1948 by Hot Rod magazine. It wasn’t long before Barris took his talents to Hollywood, where his creations landed on the big screen. Frank Sinatra’s character drove a Barris Kustom Mustang in Marriage on the Rocks (1965). The “King of Kustom” reached his artistic height in the 1960s with the Batmobile, which he transformed from a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura. He created five Batmobiles for the show in 1966, keeping the original in his personal collection until 2013, when it sold at auction for $4.6 million.
* Obituaries: Los Angeles Times | The Hollywood Reporter

***** Links of the week*****
* What music was played in Polynesian restaurants and Tiki bars? (Critiki News)
* La Mariana and 6 other great tiki bars in Hawaii (LA Daily News)
* Toronto has gone Tiki (Toronto Star)
* Tiki bar tour of Germany, part 2: Die Blume von Hawaii – Nuremberg (The Tiki Chick)
* True Caribbean spirits: Rum distillery tours that rock (USA Today)
* Rum is back, and so are daiquiris (Chicago Tribune)
* Spiced rums that aren’t gross (Bloomberg)
* Koloa announces Kaua’i Coffee Rum from Hawaii (Rob’s Rum Guide)
* Upcoming U.S. rum releases (Cocktail Wonk)

Big Toe with his portrait of fellow lowbrow artist The Pizz at the opening of the Hollywood Babylon art show at Rick Miller's Surf Club Art Gallery in Hollywood on Oct. 3. (Photo by Rick Miller)

Big Toe with his portrait of fellow lowbrow artist The Pizz at the opening of the Hollywood Babylon art show at Rick Miller’s Surf Club Art Gallery in Hollywood on Oct. 3. (Photo by Rick Miller)

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Big Toe
Also known as Tom Laura, the artist Big Toe emerged on the lowbrow scene in 2006 with his own distinctive mash-up of Tiki, Kustom and surf culture. Big Toe soaked up all those counterculture influences growing up in Southern California, then spent more than 20 years in the Southern California surfing and apparel industry before exploring his passion for painting. His artwork, which is also infused with a sly sense of humor and playful eroticism, has been shown in galleries across the country as well as books and magazines worldwide. In addition to paintings, Big Toe is known for his custom Tiki mugs and jewelry.
* Find Big Toe: BigToeArt.net | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
* Buy art: Big Toe’s Etsy store
* See past artists of the week

Don’t miss: Big Toe is one of the featured artists at the Mondo Tiki art show and 15th anniversary celebration of Tiki Farm at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Hollywood, which runs through Nov. 29. He created 10 paintings, plus a special limited-edition mug for the exhibit. You can also find some of Big Toe’s past work among the 500 Tiki mugs on display.

It's an instrumental surf rock onslaught from The Disasternauts. (Atomic Grog photo)

The Disasternauts perform at The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

BAND/MUSIC OF THE WEEK:
The Disasternauts

One of the lesser known (and top secret) byproducts of the U.S. space program, this group of former space chimps banded together on a new mission: Playing instrumental surf rock with a primal fury unequaled by Homo sapiens. Based in the wilds near their former Space Coast home, the band unites periodically to assault us with an onslaught of classic instro tunes. For nearly a decade, The Disasternauts have crashed The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, along with other special events such as the Sunset Tiki Party in St. Petersburg, Bubbapalooza and Drive Invasion in Atlanta, and the Surf Guitar 101 convention in Los Angeles. Oddly enough, whenever The Disasternauts perform you will also find The Intoxicators in the vicinity, most notably lead guitarist Gary Evans and drummer Brian Crum. It’s probably just a coincidence.
* Disasternauts.com | Facebook | Twitter
* All past bands/music of the week

Catch ’em live: The Disasternauts will be performing (along with The Intoxicators) at Makahiki in downtown Orlando on Saturday, Nov. 21 (see preview above). The first annual Tiki fest, hosted by the Aku Aku Tiki bar, will also include live Tiki carving, hula and fire dancers, artists and vendors, plus much more.

Foundation Tiki Bar

BAR OF THE WEEK:
Foundation Tiki Bar

In the very non-tropical locale of Milwaukee, Wisc., you’ll find one of the most highly regarded bars of the Tiki revival, which like many revivalists spent its youth reveling in punk and surf rock. Don’t let the unassuming exterior or sketchy neighborhood keep you from visiting Foundation, recently ranked as one of the 10 best Tiki bars in the world by the members of the Critiki website. Owner Charles Jordan and manager Don Nelson (a member of surf band The Exotics) have completed a transformation of the bar over the past 10 years (it dates back to 1995) with authentic Tiki decor and music, top-notch cocktails, and a commitment to the aloha spirit. The bar is small, dark and cozy, decorated with more than 50 pieces by Milwaukee Tiki carver Dave Hansen (aka Lake Tiki), including 7-foot Marquesan poles. Foundation features all the design elements required of a great Tiki bar (bamboo, thatch, pufferfish, etc.) and a cocktail menu to match. There are more than 30 very reasonably priced Tiki classics (Fog Cutter, Jet Pilot, Scorpion, Zombie, et al.) and original creations, plus an extensive list of more than 70 rums. Pick up a Rum Barrel mug, Mai Tai glass and more in the online store.
* FoundationBar.com | Facebook | Instagram
* Critiki profile | Tiki Central discussion
* See past Tiki bars of the week

Don’t miss: Foundation Tiki Bar and mixologist Michael Kotke will be participating in The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival on Feb. 26. Hosted by Food Network’s Guy Fieri, the event will feature eight of the country’s best Tiki bars competing for cash prizes. Guests can sample all the cocktails, plus tropical treats from some of South Florida’s top chefs. Tickets are on sale now.
* The Atomic Grog’s recap, photos from the 2015 showdown

Tales of the Cocktail

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK:
Tales of the Cocktail

The world’s premiere cocktail festival, which unites the international spirits community for five days every July in New Orleans, also offers a robust website that spotlights what’s trending and what’s upcoming in the industry. Recent informative articles cover everything from the science of glassware, to the return of gum arabic, to the revolutionary Lost Spirits distillery, to a profile of Whitechapel, Martin Cate’s new gin bar in San Francisco. Advanced users can become a member of Tales 365 to access exclusive content, such as seminar videos, special live streams, product discounts and more. Keep an eye out for Daiquiri Month, coming in 2016.
* TalesOfTheCocktail.com | Facebook | Twitter | Pintrest | Instagram | YouTube
* On The Atomic Grog: 2015 Tales of the Cocktail recap | 2014 cocktail recipes
* See past websites of the week

Clément Select Barrel

RUM OF THE WEEK:
Clément Select Barrel

Rhum agricole, the pungent and grassy cane spirit distilled from sugar cane juice on Martinique, can be an acquired taste for rum-drinkers accustomed to the more popular English or Spanish style rums made from molasses. Produced under the strict certification rules of France, these rhums are extremely high quality, but they’re generally not well-known by the cocktail-drinking public outside of their use in the traditional Mai Tai. The venerable Clément, founded in Martinique in 1887, produces a wide range of rhums, from an unaged white to a blended extra old sipping rum. While the 4-year-old V.S.O.P. is typically recommended for Mai Tais and other high-end mixing, the 3-year-old Select Barrel rhum vieux can be a more budget-friendly option and also a better entry-level agricole for newbies. Aged in oak barrels that impart a natural sweetness, this rhum is darker, smoother and sweeter than the V.S.O.P. It may be a bit less sophisticated, but it’s a less grassy, more accessible agricole that works equally well in many cocktails.
* Official sites: RhumClementUSA.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
* Clément Rhum Masterclass (The Floating Rum Shack)
* See all past rums of the week

COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: Three Dots and a Dash
(From Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago)

Three Dots and a Dash featuring Clément Select Barrel. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, November 2015)

Three Dots and a Dash featuring Clément Select Barrel. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, November 2015)

* 1 ounce rhum agricole
* 1 ounce Demerara rum
* 1/2 ounce dry curaçao
* 1/2 ounce falernum
* 1/4 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
* 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 1/2 ounce rich honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part water, mixed and chilled)
* 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Pulse blend with 1 cup of crushed ice. Pour into a Tiki mug or a snifter glass, adding more crushed ice to fill. Garnish with a pineapple spear, an orchid and three brandied cherries. Source: Punch

The signature drink at the neo-Tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash was created by mixologist Paul McGee during his tenure at the Best New American Cocktail Bar of 2014 (Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards) before he moved on to open the equally acclaimed Lost Lake. It’s McGee’s take on an old Don the Beachcomber classic that dates back to the 1940s (the name is a nod to the troops returning from World War II) and is a favorite of craft mixologists. McGee replaced the orange juice with dry curaçao (try the Pierre Ferrand brand) and tweaked the proportions of other ingredients to create arguably an even better version. It’s sweet, sour, spicy and full of flavor (most notably the allspice and curaçao) while also showcasing the rhum agricole nicely.

Mixing notes:The Punch recipe recommends a young, slightly sweet agricole that’s a little hard to find, so we substituted the similar Clément Select Barrel. The recommended Demerara rum is El Dorado 5, which is light enough to take a back seat to the agricole rhum. If you seek a richer Demerara flavor, try one of the older El Dorado rums (such as El Dorado 8 or El Dorado 12). The recipe also calls for a shaken drink, but since it’s so complex I went with the old Don the Beachcomber technique of pulse blending for 4-6 seconds to get a fuller, richer cocktail. Add pineapple leaves to the garnish if you can find them.

Related recipes
* Don the Beachcomber’s Three Dots and a Dash, The Mai Kai’s S.O.S.
* Don the Beachcomber’s Island of Martinique Cocktail
* Lost Lake by Paul McGee
* See all past cocktails of the week

Don’t miss: Paul McGee will be one of the elite bartenders mixing up cocktails in the Tiki Tower Takeover at The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale in June 2016 along with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (Latitude 29, New Orleans), Martin Cate (Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco), Brian Miller (Tiki Mondays With Miller, New York City) plus two more bars in the revolving Pier Top Lounge at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel. Get tickets now.

Makahki Orlando

SAVE THE DATE: Upcoming events

***** In Florida *****
* Nov. 21 Makahki Orlando at Aku Aku Tiki bar.
* Dec. 28 – 59th Anniversary Customer Appreciation Party, The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale.
* Feb. 26, 2016 – The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown, South Beach Wine & Food Festival, Miami Beach.
* April 15-17 – Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* June 8-12 – The Hukilau, Fort Lauderdale. [Atomic Grog coverage]

***** On the Eastern Seaboard *****
* June 23-26, 2016 – Ohana: Luau At The Lake at The Tiki Resort, Lake George, N.Y. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* July 20-24 – Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans, La.

Tiki Oasis

***** Across the U.S. *****
* April 14-17, 2016 – Viva Las Vegas.
* April 21-24 – Mojave Oasis, Newberry Springs, Calif.
* April 30 – Midwest Rum Festival, Chicago, Ill.
* May 12-15 – Tiki Caliente, Palm Springs, Calif. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* July 8-10 – Tiki Kon, Portland, Ore. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* Aug. 18-21 – Tiki Oasis, San Diego, Calif. [Atomic Grog coverage]
* Sept. 17 – Makahiki: A Night of Tiki, Indianapolis, Ind.

***** Worldwide *****
* June 16-19, 2016 – Surfer Joe Summer Festival, Livorno, Italy.
* Oct. 22-23 – The RumFest: London, United Kingdom.
* Nov. 4-5 – 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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