Minimalist Tiki

The Week in Tiki (July 27-Aug. 9, 2015): Tiki Oasis blasts off, plus Summer event recaps, more rum and cocktail news

The Week in TikiThe summer Tiki event season reaches its climax this week with the big kahuna, Tiki Oasis in San Diego. We have a full preview, plus a recap of many other recent happenings: Texas Tiki Week, Hot Rod Hula Hop, the Surf Guitar 101 Convention, plus Shag at Disneyland and Tiki Night in Hollywood. There’s also news on the upcoming Mai Tai Festival in Hawaii, a Trader Vic’s rum tasting, and lots more. Our regular features spotlight Tiki mug creators PopTiki; the otherworldly music of Man or Astro-man?; the Bali Hai Restaurant in San Diego; and the website of Americana ambassador Charles Phoenix. The rum of the week, Angostura 5, is featured in The Morning After cocktail.
* Keep up with The Week in Tiki: Facebook page | RSS feed | See past weeks | Archive
* Weekly features: Artist | Band/music | Tiki bar | Website | Rum | Cocktail | Events

EVENT PREVIEW: Tiki Oasis takes guests back to the retro future

Tiki Oasis

San Diego becomes the center of the Tiki universe when the 15th annual Tiki Oasis presents “Yesterday’s Future Today” on Aug. 13-16 with four whirlwind days of 20 live bands and 20 DJs, 35 educational symposiums, art, mixology, book signings, a 100-vendor marketplace, 20 burlesque performers, comedy, vintage cars, fashion, food, kids events, and more. If you can’t find something to enjoy at Tiki Oasis, you’re following the wrong pop culture subgenre.

As a testament to the popularity of Tiki Oasis, it’s pretty much sold out. Organizers announced Monday that limited tickets will be available for Thursday night’s Bali Hai party starting at 6 p.m. And those with hotel room reservations will still be able to buy two tickets if they haven’t already. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. However, the festival marketplace, car show, and an assortment of other activities are free and open to the public.

King Kukulele leads kids in a sing-along
King Kukulele leads kids in a sing-along. (Tiki Oasis photo)

Thursday’s’s Meet and Greet takes place at the legendary Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island, while ground zero for the rest of Tiki Oasis is the Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly The Hanalei Hotel). Though it has suffered through renovations, the hotel still features waterfalls, lava rock pools and eight-story glass elevators, plus classic tikis featured in Sven Kirsten’s The Book of Tiki.

In keeping with the theme, many events are centered around mid-century modern primitivism (think the jet age meets Tiki). Musical acts include spacy surf band Man or Astroman?, out-of-this-world rockabilly band The Phenomenauts, and ’60s garage legends The Chocolate Watchband. Other notable bands include The Phantom Surfers, Tikiyaki Orchestra, Clouseaux, and Project: Pimento.

Symposium educators include original Mothers of Invention keyboardist Don Preston, Rodenberry Entertainment CEO Rod Roddenberry, author and Tiki historian Sven Kirsten, and mid-century historian and entertainer Charles Phoenix. The art show features more than 30 top Tiki artists from around the world. The first San Diego Tiki Bartenders Challenge will be held during a beefed-up Sunday schedule that also features a special garage band showcase.

Don the Beachcomber room parties at Tiki Oasis

Guests always get in on the fun, so look for lots of retro and mod fashion, and appropriate Tiki space age decor for the famous room parties. Of course, everything is bigger at Tiki Oasis, including the Friday-Saturday room crawl. For example, Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach is hosting a two-night bash featuring live music from The Hula Girls and the Jimmy Psycho Experiment. New Las Vegas bar The Golden Tiki will also host a massive room party with live music and the owner himself DJing in his suite at the Crowne Plaza. Branden Powers is actually no stranger to the hotel, having DJ’d a weekly lounge event called Taboo 20 years ago when it was still the Hanalei Hotel.

Tiki Oasis is also a collector’s and shopper’s paradise, with some 100 vendors selling hand-crafted Tiki art, vintage clothing, records, collectibles and more. The marketplace is free and open to the public for most event hours Friday through Sunday at the Crowne Plaza. The vintage car show, also free, is held Saturday and Sunday in the hotel parking lot.

Here’s a day-by-day preview of all the headlining entertainment:

The Phenomenauts

THURSDAY, Aug. 13 (Bali Hai Restaurant): King Kukulele (6:30 p.m.), Fono 66 (7 p.m.), Project: Pimento (7:45), Tikiyaki Orchestra with Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (8:45), plus DJs Jon Burchard and Mike & Anja Stax.

FRIDAY, Aug. 14 (Crowne Plaza): The Ding Dong Devils (5:15 p.m.), Miss Tiki Oasis 2015 (6 p.m.), Clouseaux (6:45), The Outta Sites (7:45), The Phenomenauts (9 p.m.), late-night dance party with DJ Howie Pyro (10 p.m.), burlesque show (midnight).

SATURDAY, Aug. 15 (Crowne Plaza): Costume contest (5 p.m.), The Neptunas (5:30), Costume contest (6 p.m.), The Little Richards (6:45), The Phantom Surfers (7:45), The Devil-Ettes (8:30), Man or Astroman? (9 p.m.), late-night dance party with DJ Howie Pyro & Slim Jenkins (10 p.m.), burlesque show (midnight).

SUNDAY, Aug. 16 (Crowne Plaza): Diddley Daddies (6:45), The Devil-Ettes (7:30), The Rosalyns (7:45), The Chocolate Watchband (8:45). Emcee Otto von Stroheim, DJ Sid Presley.

Sven Kirsten presents: Treasures of Tiki Archeology
Sven Kirsten presents: Treasures of Tiki Archeology. (Tiki Oasis photo)

SYMPOSIUMS: Tiki Paper Craft with Eric October; Honolulu Modern: Architecture in Paradise with Darren Bradley; Sci-Fashion: A history of sci-fi costume design with Penny Starr Jr.; Bartending Techniques for the Atomic Age with Ram Udwin; Future Schlock: Vintage Visions of Time and Space; Pin-Up Posing 101 with Penny Starr Jr.; Tiki Oasis Bookclub: A Wrinkle in Time with Karen Finlay; Myths, Mysteries, and Misconceptions About Rum with Richard Foss; Yoga, Tiki Oasis Style with Tana the Tattooed Lady; Singalong with King Kukulele; Out of this World Fitness Class with Coco Lectric; Blast Off Music with Duke Weiss; Space Age Pin-Up Hair with Shana Astrachan; Hangover: Stretch it Out with El Vez; Countdown to a Spectacular Celebration with Kelly Patterson; Let’s Get Hip to Hula!; “That’s impossible. You can’t do that on a Moog” with Don Preston; Galactic Au Go Go! with The Devil-Ettes; The Interstellar Tranya Symposium: Drinking the Good Life in the 23rd Century and Beyond featuring Rod Roddenberry, John Champion, Ken Ray, and Mark Holt (moderated by Jonathan Knowles); Tahitian Dance with Ruby Joule; Kahiki: Hear the untold stories of Columbus, Ohio’s legendary Tiki temple with Jeff Chenault; Surf Guitars lessons from Outer Space with Jason Lee; Treasures of Tiki Archeology with Sven Kirsten; Conversation with the last great Space Rock composer Neil Norman; Dr. Sketchy Anti-Art School San Diego; The Sophisticated Art of Pin-Up Make-Up with Nikki Napalm; Where Did My Rum Come From? with Martin Cate; Charles Phoenix: Big Retro Outer Space SlideShow; Hula Hooping with Szandora; Sci-Fi Meets Spy-Fi with Danny Biederman; Uke Jam; San Diego Bartenders Tiki Battle; Pacific Ocean Park: The Rise and Fall of Los Angeles’ Space-Age Nautical Pleasure Pier.

Just announced: A special listening party in honor of the late exotica music legend Robert Drasnin will be held Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza. This free event will feature the exclusive premiere of Voodoo III, Drasnin’s uncompleted work that was finished after his death in May by friend and associate Skip Heller. Special limited-edition copies will be available for purchase.

Official website | Downloadable schedule | Marketplace map | Program
Facebook updates | Twitter | Instagram

Tiki Oasis Radio

Tiki Oasis guests (as well as those of us following the festivities from afar) can also get into the spirit musically via Tiki Oasis Radio, a collaboration between ETI Radio (aka Exotic Tiki Island) and Spyrate Radio. There will be a low-powered FM transmission at the event, plus a live stream at and various apps. Besides the two host podcasts, you’ll hear programing from many others, including Cocktail Nation, The Quiet Village, Zen Tiki Lounge, 5 Minutes of Rum, plus more. The streaming starts Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Check the Tiki Oasis Radio Facebook page for updates.

Conceived in 2001 by longtime Tiki enthusiasts and scene pioneers Otto and Baby Doe von Stroheim, Tiki Oasis was originally a fundraiser to support the rehabilitation of the mid-century Caliente Tropics motel in Palm Springs (now the site of Tiki Caliente). Tiki Oasis grew rapidly, moving to San Diego in 2006 and becoming the largest and longest running event of its kind in the world, attracting more than 3,000 attendees annually. [See the event history]
More previews: The San Diego Union-Tribune | Huffington Post | NBC4-TV | KPBS Radio
A Mountain of Crushed Ice | The Hula Girls blog

EVENT RECAPS: Shag at Disneyland, Tiki Night in Hollywood, Texas Tiki Week, Hot Rod Hula Hop, Surf Guitar 101 Convention

"A Perilous Adventure" by Shag

As part of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration, Shag participated in an artist showcase at the WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney on July 25. The acclaimed artist held a meet-and-greet and signing to mark the release of a new original painting, “A Perilous Adventure,” which pays tribute to the iconic Jungle Cruise attraction. Some previously released Shag pieces from the Disneyland 50th anniversary as well as Disney World were also available for purchase.

The American Cinematheque is an independent, non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the art form of motion pictures
The American Cinematheque is an independent, non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the art form of motion pictures. (Facebook photo)

The historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood hosted Cinematheque’s 11th annual Tiki Night on July 25. The full day of activities included a Tiki marketplace; performances by King Kukulele & The Friki Tikis, and the Polynesian Paradise Dancers; a book signing; a Tiki fashion show; plus food and drinks. The main event included a pre-show hosted by King Kukulele with rarities and surprises, followed by the feature film South Seas Adventure (1958). Narrated by Orson Welles, this final travelogue produced by Cinerama to showcase its widescreen process takes viewers on a trip to Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia through fictional vignettes. The film was presented in a special format that simulates a Cinerama projection in a non-Cinerama theater.
Photo gallery: Browse a slideshow from LA Weekly

Chicago's Paul McGee
Chicago’s Paul McGee brought cocktails from Lost Lake to Hotel San Jose in Austin for a special garden happy hour on Aug. 5-6. (Facebook photo)

The Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild welcomed regional and national bar and spirits industry VIPs to the fourth annual Texas Tiki Week on Aug 2-9. Tiki enthusiasts in the Lone Star State joined in on the fun during an assortment of public events, including a pop-up bar hosted by award-winning barman Paul McGee of Lost Lake in Chicago mixing up cocktails featuring Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, Rhum Clement and Plantation Rum. Other events included educational classes and a Mai Tai-themed bus tour for USBG members, plus a special screening of the classic spring break flick Beach Blanket Bingo and giveaway of commemorative Texas Tiki Mugs. There was a Tiki bowling tournament, a burlesque revue, a “Tiki Takeover Pool Party,” and a riverboat tour. Texas bartenders definitely do things big. See more on the event’s Facebook page.
* 5 ways Austin bars celebrated Texas Tiki Week (Food Republic)

The famous monkey fountain from The Kahiki, a legendary Polynesian restaurant in Columbus, finds a new home at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room
The famous monkey fountain from The Kahiki, a legendary Polynesian restaurant in Columbus, finds a new home at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room. (Facebook photo)

The Tiki gods were smiling down on Columbus, Ohio, during the seventh annual Hot Rod Hula Hop hosted by the Fraternal Order Of Moai the weekend of Aug. 7-8. At least George, the iconic monkey fountain from the beloved Tiki temple The Kahiki seemed happy. During Friday’s “Feast of the Tiki Gods” luau, he was installed in his new home at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room in Columbus, where he’ll enjoy the company of Tikiphiles year-round. Headliner Unknown Hinson rocked the house during Saturday’s “rock ‘n’ bowl show,” which also featured regional bands The Revomatics and Hellroys. The charity event earmarks a portion of the proceeds to benefit Cure CMD. See photos on the Facebook page.

Ears are still ringing in Southern California in the wake of the eighth annual Surf Guitar 101 Convention, which hosted its main event on Aug. 8 in Garden Grove but featured satellite shows throughout the region from Aug. 1 through Aug. 13. California bands were well represented, but Els A Phonics and The Longboards came all the way from Spain to play in the birthplace of surf rock. The main event was headlined by classic 1960s band Davie Allan and the Arrows, celebrating their 50th anniversary. See photos and more on the website and forums.

QUICK HITS: Mai Tai Festival in Hawaii, Trader Vic’s rum tasting, Daiquiris in Havana, The Broken Shaker honored, more Kahuna Kevin cocktails, Rapa Nui Reef reprise?

Last year's winner, Michael Soo. (
Last year’s winner, Michael Soo. (

The Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii hosts the seventh annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival on Saturday, Aug. 15. More than 20 of the world’s top bartenders will compete to create the best Mai Tai and take home $10,000 in cash. Festival highlights include a marketplace featuring crafts and island treats, a Hawaiian barbecue battle, pool party featuring live music, and the Mai Tai mix-off. The full-day festival celebrates the legacy of Tiki bar pioneer Don the Beachcomber and the iconic Mai Tai cocktail. Admission is free and open to all ages. If you can’t make it to Hawaii for the festival, you can watch live during the cocktail contest from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Michael Soo of Bar Crudo in Phoenix, Ariz., took home the prize last year in front of 2,000 festivalgoers with the drink A Hui Hou (See story, recipe). The Royal Kona Resort is home since 2005 to the Don the Beachcomber restaurant and Don’s Mai Tai Bar, the largest open-air, oceanfront bar in Kailua-Kona. Reflecting the legacy of the contest, the menu includes more than 10 different Mai Tais. Though not directly associated with Donn Beach or his historic mid-century Hawaii establishments, the venue has a beautiful oceanfront location with classic Tiki design by acclaimed architect George “Pete” Wimberly.
* How to make a tropical Mai Tai, according to the experts (The Huffington Post)

This month’s Rum Journey seminar at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta will explore rums from across the Caribbean and South America on Saturday, Aug. 15. The tasting will be led by rum expert Paul Senft, Rum Journey blogger, writer for Got Rum? magazine, member of the International Rum Expert Panel, and a rum judge. Seating is limited, so call Trader Vic’s at (404) 221-6339 to make a reservation. The $25 price includes five rum samples and “tidbits” to snack on.
* Click here for more info | Trader Vic’s Atlanta

Ernest Hemingway at El Florida with bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert.
Ernest Hemingway at El Florida with bartender Constantino Ribalaigua Vert.

American and Cuban bartenders gathered at Havana’s Colón Cemetery for an unprecedented Daiquiri toast July 24 to legendary barman Constantino Ribalaigua Vert. Popularly known as Constante, the influential bartender was famous for serving Ernest Hemingway at Havana’s El Floridita bar, where he worked and later served as owner over the course of 50 years. Constante, who died in 1952, was also a major influence on the flourishing Tiki cocktail scene with his many reinventions of the Cuban Daiquiri. A dozen bartenders from both the U.S. and Cuba gathered under a scorching tropical sun for a minute of silence in front of the mausoleum of Constante, according to a report by The Tico Times of Costa Rica. “We did this incredible ceremony for him,” said Miami bartender Christian Delpech. Several bartenders prepared rounds of Daiquiris and also toasted to the reconciliation between Washington and Havana that will allow Americans to again enjoy Cuban rum-based drinks, the story said. The homage to Constante marked the start of activities to celebrate the bicentennial of El Floridita in 2017.
* Related: The story of the Floridita Daiquiri rivals any novel

The Broken Shaker

Fresh off a victory at the Spirited Awards during last month’s Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (for Best American Hotel Bar), The Broken Shaker in the Freehand Miami hotel has been named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars for the second year in a row, according to Miami New Times. The small but influential South Beach hideaway was No. 22 on last year’s list. The full 2015 list has not yet been announced, but Drinks International has been leaking out the names of some of the bars via social media. The ranking of the Top 50 will be announced a gala awards ceremony Oct. 8 in London. Also named to last year’s list were Tiki favorites Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco (16th), and Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago (27th).

Kahuna Kevin's Tiki Cocktails, Vol. III

If Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is the Indiana Jones of tropical drinks, then “Kahuna Kevin” La Bounty is Han Solo, defiantly forging his own path through the Tiki cocktail universe. With his third independently-released book of wildly original cocktail recipes, Kahuna Kevin’s Tiki Cocktails Vol. III, La Bounty solidifies his status as the Sid Vicious of Tiki. A devil-may-care, DIY punk-rock spirit permeates not only the long-awaited book (volumes 1 and 2 came out in 2010-2011), but all of the related merchandise. It’s all appropriately dark and ominous, from the seriously cool Krak’n Skullz Tiki Mug (sculpted and manufactured by Tiki Diablo), to the men’s and ladies’ T-shirts, to the posters, prints and artwork all available for sale at La Bounty even has his own bitters, which he’ll have available at Tiki Oasis in San Diego on Aug. 13-16 (see preview above). He hopes to repeat last year’s “best cocktail” award during the Tiki Oasis room crawl, so if you’re attending the event be sure to check out Kahuna Kevin’s Voodoo Lounge. The new book contains 44 recipes that show off La Bounty’s creative approach to mixology, featuring lots of high-end rums and non-traditional ingredients. These are recipes you won’t find anywhere else. All the books are spiral bound and printed on glossy card stock that makes them perfect Tiki bar companions.
* Shop: Sale prices at through Aug. 17 | Buy the books on Amazon
* Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
* Book review: A Mountain of Crushed Ice

Photos on Facebook show the aftermath of the reef sinking
Photos on Facebook show the aftermath of the reef sinking.

Some 500 tons of limestone boulders have been sunk near the remains of the ill-fated Rapa Nui Reef off the coast of Deerfield Beach in southeast Florida, raising hopes of that the crumbled Eastern Island moai may still become a tourist attraction and diving destination. Dubbed Mount Deerfield, the project was funded by the state and planned before the Rapa Nui Reef. But the boulders may end up advancing plans to submerge more statues, according to a story in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. “We’re going to do a survey of where the Rapa Nui Reef ended up, where they are in relationship to the boulders and then establish a composition with the new Moai that makes sense artistically,” sculptor Dennis MacDonald of Pompano Beach told the Sun-Sentinel. He’s working on new giant moai that he and project organizers hope to add to the budding dive destination. If they sink more moai, however, it won’t be done by a tipsy barge, he said. “We will lower them with a crane and systematically place them on the bottom in an upright position.”
* See previous coverage on The Atomic Grog
* Rapa Nui Reef official website | Facebook page

***** Links of the week*****
* Tiki culture is alive and well in Fort Lauderdale (Travel + Leisure)
* How Tiki cocktails returned to rock the party, again (Eater)
* The best tiki bars in America (Time Out New York)
* The postmodern Tiki movement is upon us (Food Republic)
* Behold, everything glorious inside The Golden Tiki (Las Vegas Eater)
* Rum’s ready to rebound (Beverage Dynamics)
* Plantation Original Dark rum new look and taste (The Floating Rum Shack)
* Defining what it means to be an ‘authentic’ Caribbean rum (The Straw Hat Barmen)
* 5 white rum cocktails that scream summer (Chilled)
* 5 rum-based summer cocktails everyone should know how to make (Business Insider)
* There’s no wrong way to make a Planter’s Punch (Playboy)
* How NYC’s Slowly Shirley revived a forgotten Tiki elixir (Eater)
* Ten classic Caribbean cocktails (Punch)
* What may or may not be announced at the D23 Expo (WDW News Today)
* Disneyland Nights: Suggestions for nighttime fun during D23 Expo (Disney Parks Blog)
* Surf-rock legend Dick Dale plays through the pain (Pittsburgh City Paper)

The Hot Rod Hula Hop 7 mug by PopTiki of Colorado, limited to an edition of 50, is sure to become a collectible
The Hot Rod Hula Hop 7 mug by PopTiki of Colorado, limited to an edition of 50, is sure to become a collectible.

Glen Helzer is the creative mastermind behind PopTiki of Colorado, one of the premiere purveyors of distinctive mugs and ceramics in the modern Tiki scene. He also makes jewelry, clocks and other items, but the limited-edition mugs are PopTiki’s claim to fame, designed and manufactured by Helzer and his family with great realism and attention to detail. They can be found at events, restaurants, bars and are coveted by private collectors around the world. Helzer was recently commissioned by Bacardi to create a mug for Peche in Austin, and Colorado bars Adrift and Arvada Tavern are loyal customers. PopTiki, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015, is also popular with podcasts (Zen Tiki Lounge, Velveteen Lounge) and events (Chicago Area Tiki Tour, Hot Rod Hula Hop, and Ohana: Luau by the Sea).
* Find PopTiki: Official website | Facebook | Twitter | Flickr
* See past artists of the week

Man or Astro-man?

Man or Astro-man?

One of the prime movers of the 1990s instrumental surf music revival, Alabama’s Man or Astro-man? has over the past two decades taken the genre to places its never gone before. Melding surf rock with new wave, punk and experimental avant-garde styles, the band remains one of the most revered instrumental combos in rock ‘n’ roll. From Is It … Man or Astroman? (1993) through Defcon 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 …1 (2013), the band’s albums push the boundaries of a sometimes rigid musical style with an immersive science fiction theme, audio samples, synthesizers, and obscure electronic devices such as theremins and tesla coils. After a prolific spurt of 10 albums between 1993 and 2001, the band has scaled back to infrequent recording and touring between long breaks, but fans eagerly await each new missive from the group, which still includes founding members Star Crunch, Birdstuff, and Coco. The band’s bio claims they’re a young collective of extraterrestrials who landed in Alabama and disguised themselves as a rock band, a statement that’s hard to dispute.
* Official website | Facebook
* Buy music on Amazon: CDs and vinyl | Digital downloads
* All past bands/music of the week

Don’t miss: Man or Astro-man? is the perfect band to headline Tiki Oasis on Saturday, Aug. 15, considering the retro-futuristic theme “Yesterday’s Future Today.” The 15th annual event takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego (see preview above).

Bali Hai

Built in 1953 and originally one of several Christian’s Hut locations, the iconic Bali Hai Restaurant on San Diego’s Shelter Island is one of the oldest classic mid-century Tiki establishments still alive and thriving. It became Bali Hai in 1954, with owner Tom Ham eventually gaining total control of the operations, then passing it along to his family after his death in 1973. Ham’s daughter, son-in-law and their three children still run the show. With its modern design and spectacular waterfront views it’s long been a local favorite for special events. The outdoor Hawaiian Village pavilion is an in-demand wedding site. Spread out over multiple rooms and event spaces, the Bali Hai features more than 100 pieces of Polynesian art and artifacts. The restaurant has two Tiki icons: Mr. Bali Hai, a large wooden headhunter sculpture that greets guests as they enter; and The Goof, which dates back to the early days of Christian’s Hut and can still be found sitting atop the building. The Bali Hai is also well-known for its potent Mai Tai and other classic tropical drinks. The food is modern Asian-inspired cuisine with Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese influences.
* Official website | Facebook page | Twitter | Instagram
* A full history of the Bali Hai (San Diego Reader)
* Critiki profile, photos | Tiki Central discussion
* See past Tiki bars of the week

Don’t miss: Bali Hai is the longtime host the opening-night Meet & Mingle at Tiki Oasis, happening this year on Thursday, Aug. 13. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a limited number of tickets available at the door. A new Bali Hai totem mug will be available for the first time at the party.

Charles Phoenix

Charles Phoenix

His website says it best: “Showman, author, humorist, and ambassador of Americana!” Charles Phoenix is all that and more (he’s also a chef). This colorful one-man celebration of classic kitsch is best known for his retro slideshows, colorful coffee table books, fun-filled school bus field trip tours, and zany test kitchen videos. He travels from coast to coast spreading the gospel of classic American culture, and he’s a favorite among Tiki and mid-century enthusiasts. He’s also an in-demand expert and speaker on Disneyana, his slideshows of vintage Kodachrome images perfectly capturing the spirit of Walt’s original vision. Phoenix has also crossed into the mainstream consciousness, making TV appearances with Conan O’Brien, Martha Stewart and many others. His website highlights all his activites in just as colorful fashion. It includes retro photos and video on his blog, details on live events, plus lots more.
* Find Charles: | Facebook | Twitter | Pintrest | Instagram
* See past websites of the week

Don’t miss: Charles Phoenix has a full lineup of live appearances on his schedule: Aug. 14 at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Aug. 16 at Tiki Oasis in San Diego, Aug. 22 at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, plus more.

Angostura rums include white, gold and aged varieties
Angostura rums include white, gold and aged varieties.

RUM OF THE WEEK: Angostura 5
Another fine gold mixing rum from the House of Angostura, famous for its Aromatic Bitters but also a producer of some very underrated rums crafted 100 percent in Trinidad. While I originally thought the 5-year-old expression would be redundant to the previously reviewed 7-year-old rum, this is certainly not the case. The 5-year is sharper and spicier, less of a sipper and more of a fine mixer. Distinct fruit notes (banana, raisins) mingle with vanilla and caramel overtones. The complexity is enhanced by a seamless blend of sugar, spice and woodiness.
* Official sites: Angostura Rum | Aromatic Bitters | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube
* Related rum of the week: Angostura 7
* See all past rums of the week

Don’t miss: Angostura Rum and Bitters is one of the spirit partners of Tiki Oasis, coming Aug. 13-16 to San Diego. Angostura is sponsoring the Thursday night Meet & Mingle at the Bali Hai, and guests can enjoy free tastings in the Tiki Oasis Sip ‘n Shop on Friday.

The Morning After featuring Angostura 5 rum. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, August 2015)
The Morning After featuring Angostura 5 rum. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, August 2015)

(By Yani Frye, 2013 Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge winner)

* 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
* 1/2 ounce maple syrup
* 2 ounces Angostura 5 rum
Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe or small glass. Top with several dashes of Angostura Aromatic Bitters and a small dash of cayenne pepper, sprinkled lightly over the top.

Small in size but big in flavor, this take on the Daiquiri is sour, sweet and spicy … a great showcase for the rum and bitters. The syrup and chili add unique tastes to elevate the drink. Angostura 5 works perfectly here, adding an underlying sweetness and slight heat but maintaining a rich balance and drinkability.

The House of Angostura is one of the most aggressive promoters of its products via mixology contests and competitions, and The Morning After was one of the winning recipes by Yani Frye in the 2013 Angostura U.S. Cocktail Challenge. It seems extremely simple, but it puts a nice spicy spin on the classic Daiquiri if you make sure to include the bitters and cayenne pepper. Add more if you like it as spicy as I do. Note that the original recipe called for Aromatic Bitters foam, but I went with the simpler option of a couple healthy dashes of straight bitters. It will certainly get you going the morning after.
* Related: 2016 Angostura U.S Cocktail Challenge winner announced
* See all past cocktails of the week

SAVE THE DATE: Upcoming events

Ohana: Luau by the Sea

***** In Florida *****
* Oct. 1-3 – Ohana: Luau by the Sea, Fort Lauderdale.
* April 15-17, 2016 – Miami Rum Renaissance Festival. [Atomic Grog coverage]

***** On the Eastern Seaboard *****
* Oct. 17 – The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown at the New York City Wine & Food Festival.
* June 23-26, 2016 – Ohana: Luau At The Lake at The Tiki Resort, Lake George, N.Y.

Mod-Palm Springs

***** Across the U.S. *****
* Aug. 13-16 – Tiki Oasis, San Diego, Calif.
* Aug. 14-16 – D23 Expo, Anaheim, Calif.
* Aug. 15 – Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival, Hawaii.
* Sept. 11-13 – Denver Modernism Show.
* Sept. 12 – California Rum Fest, San Francisco.
* Sept. 18-19 – Dapper Day Expo, Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim.
* Sept. 19 – Makahiki: A Night of Tiki, Indianapolis, Ind.
* Oct. 8-11 – Mod-Palm Springs, Palm Springs, Calif.
* Dec. 4 – Midwest Rum Fest, Louisville, Ky.
* May 12-15, 2016 – Tiki Caliente, Palm Springs, Calif.
* July 8-10, 2016 – Tiki Kon, Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash.

***** Worldwide *****
* Sept. 26-28 – Rome Rumfest, Italy.
* 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 [email protected] 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.)

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