The Christmas/Tiki themed pop-up has been gaining momentum over the past few years and is expanding to new locations. This year, downtown San Jose is in the mix thanks to 55 South who are hosting the pop-up for the first time (view menu). A cocktail bar and restaurant, 55 South had previously hosted monthly “tiki nights” that served as sort of gathering place for some South Bay locals who have been underserved for tiki for so long.
The 55 South team did a pretty good job with the decor. Quite festive and for sure plenty good for the first year to get everyone in the mood. Music was 70s-80s leaning Christmas music, so quite peppy.
Cocktails for Sippin’ Santa are developed in conjunction with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (of Sippin’ Safari book fame). I had the Kris Kringle Colada, an excellent riff using Dark Jamaican Rum, Amaro, and Allspice, while Mrs. Mai Tai ventured away from her coconut sweet spot to try the Sippin’ Santa with Demerara rum and citrus. Unfortunately that one seemed to be lacking the “Gingerbread mix” that makes it a holiday favorite.
Nonetheless we had a great time and the bar was quite busy even at opening on a Sunday. I had the “Tiki Tacos” that were quite good, and Julie liked her Edamame Salad. The meetup was for members of the “South SF Bay Area Tiki Ohana” group on Facebook. If you’re a local, please join the group for more meetups and local info.