We’d had great experiences with the cocktails at Tiki-Ko in the past, so had high expectations for the ones at their newish downstairs sister-bar, The Sinking Ship. The cocktails were great, and the attention to detail from bartenders @bell_uh_sorry_hoe, @_spongibob, and another bartender who’s name I didn’t catch was outstanding.
My Mai Tai was totally “out of this world,” using Denizen Merchant’s Reserve for the rum. I followed up with a Navy Grog that was nearly as good, and I appreciated the additional honey upon request.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Mai Tai started with the “Mary Ann” cocktail, which is Tiki Ko’s version of the Tradewinds. I’ve had this before and it’s still really great. She followed it up with the top-notch El Duderino, with rum, vodka, coffee liqueur, and coconut cream.
We wanted to stay longer but were driving so we did two “virgin sacrifices,” Julie liked The Chai-Lite, with a non-alcoholic cane spirit and chai tea concentrate. While I had the tart but still tasty Peachy Keene featuring peach nectar. Both of these were quite wonderful.
As far as I can tell the cocktail program at The Sinking Ship is the same as upstairs at Tiki-Ko, which in my mind is sort of a bummer but not really an issue. With 18 cocktails including some made for tiki newbies (Pina Colada and Blue Hawaii) but also some for savvy craft cocktail fans (Three Dots and a Dash, 151 Swizzle), there’s enough choice but doesn’t lead to analysis paralysis. I only wish they’d have a few more original recipes to try, but there ain’t nothing wrong with what’s being offered. The back bar offers some additional spirts choices, but a vast rum collection isn’t really a focus. There are some beer choices and a monthly rotation of slushy cocktails, so there’s something for everyone.
With fabulous decor, great music, impressive service and also some great cocktails, The Sinking Ship ranks amongst the best tiki bars I’ve visited. Totally worth making a trip to Bakersfield to check it out – along with Tiki-Ko upstairs of course. We’ve heard the nearby Padre Hotel is a good option that’s walking distance away. Be sure to check current hours before visiting, as there are some days where either Tiki-Ko or The Sinking Ship are open. Or go on a weekend when both are open.