The Week in Tiki (May 18-25, 2015): New Beachbum Berry barware, The Hukilau 2015 merchandise now on sale

The Week in Tiki Cocktail Kingdom has joined forces with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry for the release this week of some cool vintage Tiki cocktail gear. The Hukilau’s official mug and pendant are now on sale as the June 10-14 event announces a new rum sponsor and updated entertainment schedule. Other news includes a special cocktail event at The Mai-Kai, the reopening of the Tiki-Ti, a historic unveiling at the Caliente Tropics hotel during Tiki Caliente, plus new Shag artwork at a Palm Springs party and New York City exhibit. Weekly features spotlight artist Mookie Sato, the Southern Surf Stomp! blog, instro icons Los Straitjackets, and Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge in Minneapolis. The rum of the week, Wicked Dolphin Silver, is featured in the Piña Colada.
* 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

Cocktail Kingdom launches new line of Beachbum Berry Tiki barware

New from Beachbum Berry and Cocktail Kingdom: Pearl Diver Glass, Skull Bar Spoon, and Swizzle Cup
New from Beachbum Berry and Cocktail Kingdom: Pearl Diver Glass, Skull Bar Spoon, and Swizzle Cup. (From CocktailKingdom.com)

Just in time to jazz up your summer cocktail creations, premium barware company Cocktail Kingdom has teamed up with Tiki’s leading tropical drink historian, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, for a new collection of vintage barware. The Swizzle Cup, Pearl Diver Glass, and Skull Bar Spoon join the Navy Grog Cone Kit (released in 2013) as worthy additions to any bar, Tiki or otherwise.

As with all of Cocktail Kingdom’s retro-inspired items, much care was taken to recreate the original, classic items. The combination of Berry’s meticulous research and the dedication of Cocktail Kingdom, which is owned by cocktail history enthusiast Greg Boehm, results in the best possible products. The publishing arm of Cocktail Kingdom also released Berry’s sixth book, Potions of the Caribbean: 500 Years of Tropical Drinks and the People Behind Them, in late 2013. In November 2014, the author became a Tiki bar proprietor with the opening of his first exotic lounge and restaurant, Latitude 29 in New Orleans.

From a mid-century Don the Beachcomber menu
From a mid-century Don the Beachcomber menu.

The skull-topped barspoon is not based on any particular vintage item, but rather was inspired by pirate history and headhunter lore. You could put it to good use mixing a floater of 151 rum into a Shrunken Skull [See recipes] or other ominous concoction. It joins Cocktail Kingdom’s extensive selection of premium barspoons.

The arrival of the new glassware will likely be toasted at home and commercial Tiki bars across the land, where these rare items have been sought-after for years. The Swizzle Cup is made of lightweight stainless steel to the same specifications of the heavier metal versions that were popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. Newer versions of the sleek and stylish cups are used in a select number of the world’s top Tiki bars, such as The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, but the more common variety found on eBay just don’t measure up to the original. The new cup should allow for many more cocktail enthusiasts to enjoy a perfect 151 Swizzle, the deadly drink most commonly featured in the steel vessel to keep its contents ice cold. [See classic, Mai-Kai recipes]

Continue reading “The Week in Tiki (May 18-25, 2015): New Beachbum Berry barware, The Hukilau 2015 merchandise now on sale”

Summer of rum: South Florida hotspots give cool spirit a chance to shine

Updated Aug. 16, 2014

Several of the area’s most respected cocktail bars are embracing rum this summer, giving the sometimes maligned spirit its moment in the sun and providing guests with a jolt of bold and sweet flavors to match the season’s sizzling intensity.

Perhaps spurred by the success of the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and a growing respect by mixologoists and serious drinkers, rum is poised to break away from its stereotypical niche and reach a broader audience. It’s the prefect fun summer spirit, and it offers many ways to enjoy its versatility.

See below: Kapow UPDATE | Dada | The Mai-Kai | Miami

Bar Stache welcomes an array of rums, brand mixologists for special events

Don Q rum event at Bar Stache

Bar Stache in Fort Lauderdale is offing the most ambitious summer events, dubbed Rum Takeovers. They kicked off July 9 with a Rhum Clément tasting and drink demo by Nick Nistico. Then on July 23, Ron Zacapa from Guatemala was featured along with artesian cocktails by Brijette De Berardinis. Aug. 6: brought Brugal from the Dominican Republic, presented by Bar Stache mixologist Brian Sassen. On Aug. 13, Freddy Diaz of AlambiQ Mixology in Miami brought some of his signature cocktails featuring Mount Gay Rum, joining brand ambassador Karlene Palmer-McLeod.

These Wednesday night tastings (from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) feature not only some of the top rum brands in the world, but also include cocktails created by special guest mixologists who will also answer questions about each brand. RSVP to vip@stacheftl.com.

Here’s the current schedule (as of Aug. 16):

Continue reading “Summer of rum: South Florida hotspots give cool spirit a chance to shine”

Miami festival offers many lessons in rum appreciation

The surging popularity of rum was clearly evident at this year’s Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, which again doubled its attendance in its fourth year to more than 8,000 connoisseurs of the cane spirit. The festival was held April 16-22 at the Deauville Beach Resort on Miami Beach, plus other locations around the area.

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival kick-off party at the Broken Shaker at the Indian Creek Hotel on Monday, April 16
Miami Rum Renaissance Festival kick-off party at the Broken Shaker at the Indian Creek Hotel on Monday, April 16. (Photo by Soul of Miami)

According to the festival organizers, the attendance total included more than 6,000 ticket holders, around 450 VIP passes, and nearly 900 industry passes. Events included rum tastings, VIP parties, celebrity seminars and much more.

Organized by Robert Burr along with his wife Robin and son Rob, the festival is poised to become one of the largest and most prestigious spirits conferences in the country. The festival “surpassed expectations and served to reinforce our message that rum is enjoying a notable resurgence in popularity,” they wrote in a recap sent via e-mail. “We are showing the world that rum is fun – a delightful component of interaction when friends gather to enjoy life.”

Continue reading “Miami festival offers many lessons in rum appreciation”

Get a Ph.D in rum appreciation this week at Miami festival

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival: Monday-Sunday, April 16-22, at the Deauville Beach Resort, Miami Beach, plus other locations. Featuring rum tastings, VIP parties, celebrity seminars and more.

Previous: Miami rum festival events include The Mai-Kai, week of VIP parties
Miami festival set for same weekend as Hukilau in April

So what do you do during the weeklong Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, which kicks off today, besides drink rum? You learn about rum, of course.

Miami Rum Renaissance Festival

For many, it’s all about the VIP parties throughout the week, and of course the two-day Grand Tasting events on Saturday and Sunday that will offer hundreds of samples of great rums and rum cocktails. But lesser known are the educational opportunities associated with all the revelry.

Seminars and lectures will be presented by high-profile mixologists, plus experts from the rum manufacturing, distilling, and blending world. You’ll get insightful information geared to both consumers and members of the trade. These symposiums range from “The History of Rum in North America” to one we’re not going to miss, “The Piña Colada Paternity Test.”

Presented by Ian Burrell, producer of the U.K. RumFest, this promises to be a fun and enlightening presentation that answers the burning questions: Who created the Piña Colada? Where was it created? And what rum was used?

Continue reading “Get a Ph.D in rum appreciation this week at Miami festival”

Mai-Kai cocktail review: Tradition, quality give the Piña Colada a much-needed dose of respect

Updated September 2015
See below: Our Piña Colada review | Ancestor/tribute recipe
Related: Mai-Kai cocktail guide

For better or worse (typically worse), the Piña Colada has been ubiquitous on tropical drink menus for more than half a century. Not surprisingly, The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale – a haven for finely crafted Tiki cocktails – is one of the rare places that does it right.

Waiters at the kitchen service bar garnish and prepare to serve Rum Barrels, Mai Tais and other cocktails while a bartender finishes up a long line of Piña Coladas in The Mai-Kai's kitchen service bar.
Waiters at the kitchen service bar garnish and prepare to serve Rum Barrels, Mai Tais and other cocktails while a bartender finishes up a long line of Piña Coladas in The Mai-Kai's kitchen service bar. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, November 2011)

I was skeptical at first. With some 50 classics to choose from on The Mai-Kai’s amazing menu, why order this butt of jokes normally associated with cruise ships and 1970s fern bars? Four words: Fresh ingredients, quality rum. And it doesn’t hurt that the drinks are crafted to high standards in The Mai-Kai’s service bars (see photo at right). The other key: Order it on the rocks, not blended.

Thankfully, this maligned drink is being rediscovered and reinvented by craft cocktail mixologists. In 2011, the Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans featured a Piña Colada competition challenging the world’s top bartenders to come up with their own take. The fact that the contest was held at one of the world’s premiere cocktail events, and was sponsored by Bacardi and the United States Bartenders’ Guild, proves that the Piña Colada is making a strong comeback in the credibility category.

Continue reading “Mai-Kai cocktail review: Tradition, quality give the Piña Colada a much-needed dose of respect”


Warning: Undefined array key "header" in /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/functions/minify.php on line 145

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: implode(): Argument #2 ($array) must be of type ?array, string given in /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/vendor/matthiasmullie/minify/src/CSS.php:518 Stack trace: #0 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/vendor/matthiasmullie/minify/src/CSS.php(518): implode(Array, '|') #1 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/vendor/matthiasmullie/minify/src/CSS.php(311): MatthiasMullie\Minify\CSS->shortenHex('#sb_instagram,#...') #2 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/vendor/matthiasmullie/minify/src/Minify.php(111): MatthiasMullie\Minify\CSS->execute(NULL) #3 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/functions/minify.php(371): MatthiasMullie\Minify\Minify->minify() #4 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/functions/minify.php(304): rocket_minify(Array, 'css') #5 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/functions/minify.php(165): get_rocket_minify_url(Array, 'css') #6 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/front/minify.php(31): rocket_minify_files('<!DOCTYPE html>...', 'css') #7 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(307): rocket_minify_process('<!DOCTYPE html>...') #8 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php(191): WP_Hook->apply_filters('<!DOCTYPE html>...', Array) #9 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/inc/front/process.php(267): apply_filters('rocket_buffer', '<!DOCTYPE html>...') #10 [internal function]: do_rocket_callback('<!DOCTYPE html>...', 9) #11 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/functions.php(5275): ob_end_flush() #12 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(307): wp_ob_end_flush_all('') #13 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(331): WP_Hook->apply_filters('', Array) #14 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/plugin.php(476): WP_Hook->do_action(Array) #15 /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-includes/load.php(1102): do_action('shutdown') #16 [internal function]: shutdown_action_hook() #17 {main} thrown in /data/23/2/84/46/2247209/user/2469392/htdocs/atomicgrog/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-rocket/vendor/matthiasmullie/minify/src/CSS.php on line 518