Minimalist Tiki

Hukilau update: Commemorative mug, classic cocktails, and a new rum sponsor

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With the U.S. East Coast’s largest celebration of Polynesian Pop culture quickly approaching, more details have been released about the April 19-22 event in Fort Lauderdale. Centered at the legendary Mai-Kai restaurant and two beachside hotels, the 11th annual Hukilau is shaping up to be a tikiphile’s paradise.

The latest news from Hukilau headquarters:

Hukilau 2012 commemorative mug by Tiki Diablo.
Hukilau 2012 commemorative mug by Tiki Diablo.


Designed by Danny Gallardo, aka Tiki Diablo, this limited-edition drinking vessel was inspired by Milan Guanko, Hukilau organizer Tiki Kiliki’s favorite historic carver. When Gallardo sent her a photo of a Tiki from carver Richard Ellis that was made for the Tradewinds Restaurant in Oxnard, Calif., she immediately knew it was what she wanted: “This Tiki had everything we wanted and more. Danny has done an amazing job – we love it!”

To purchase one of the 250 mugs, click here.


While room parties will surely be ongoing throughout the weekend, the officially sanctioned cocktails will be centered around the pool and sun deck at the Best Western Oceanside Inn.

* Thursday’s kickoff drink will be served poolside from 5 to 9 p.m. (while supplies last) by the crew from New York City’s Lani Kai. A sampling of authentic Mai Tais will be served as a flight.

* Friday kicks off with a potent punch served between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. (while supplies last) on the Tiki Treasures Bazaar floor and sun deck. Inspired by the Caribbean island of Grenada (via Sweden), the St. George’s Punch was created by Helena Tiare Olsen of the cocktail blog A Mountain of Crushed Ice. It will be served by Hukilau Mixology Symposium Coordinator George Jenkins.

* Friday night’s festivities get in gear poolside from 5 to 6:30 p.m. as another New York City crew, the mixologists from the Lower East Side’s PKNY, show off their flair for craft cocktails with a special classic recipe featuring Sailor Jerry and other tasty rums (while supplies last).

Modern Caribbean Rum
Mai-Kai cocktails (Photo by
Mai-Kai cocktails (Photo by

* Saturday afternoon’s Tiki Treasures Bazaar features a warm-up for the evening’s main event with a classic cocktail provided by The Mai-Kai from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (while supplies last). Don’t miss this unique sampling of Mai-Kai mixology on the third floor sun deck area.

* Also on Saturday at the Best Western, Paul Monahan of Sailor Jerry rum will host a special free symposium on the history of spiced rum, its links to Tiki culture and its place in the competitive world of spirits. In addition, Richard Boccato and his team from PKNY will demonstrate classic spiced rum cocktails using Sailor Jerry.

Note: You must have a Hukilau wristband to receive free cocktails. And don’t forget DJs Gina of the Jungle and Jack Fetterman will be spinning retro and Tiki tunes at the Best Western all weekend.


The Hukilau has added Sailor Jerry to its lists of sponsors, which also includes Tiki Magazine, Fee Brothers and Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge.


Rates at the Bahia Cabana Beach Resort have been lowered for The Hukilau weekend. Prices range from $99 to $139 at the longtime favorite of Hukilau revelers and site of the Friday night main event featuring The Martian Denny Orchestra. Click here for more information on lodging.


Be sure to confirm the dates and times of all the great symposiums and your favorite bands. There’s always something going on, so make your plans and don’t miss a minute. Click here for the schedule.

The Hukilau


The Hukilau features four days of live music and themed entertainment, informative symposiums, acclaimed artisans and vendors plus dining and cocktails at one of the world’s great Polynesian restaurants.

Among the many performers scheduled to appear are: The Martian Denny Orchestra featuring Eddie Angel of Los Straitjackets, The Intoxicators, Gold Dust Lounge, Exotik-a-GoGo, The Cadillac Bombers, King Kukulele, Pablus of The Crazed Mugs, Dan Cunningham as Elvis, burlesque star Angie Pontani, plus Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid performing at the nearby Sheraton Beach Hotel’s Wreck Bar.

There will also be symposiums by influential author Sven Kirsten, cocktail guru Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, tattoo artist Paul Roe, and Mai-Kai historian Tim “Swanky” Glazner. There will also be a viewing of a new documentary, a Tiki bowling event, a fine art show, and the Tiki Treasures Bazaar hosting vendors from around the world. The Mai-Kai will host daily happy hours and late night parties plus Saturday’s dinner and main event.

Tickets range from $25 for Thursday night to $170 for an all-access pass. Click here to order online.

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