Chinola Mango Daiquiri

Heard about Chinola‘s new Mango Liqueur on the Make & Drink YouTube channel and I can honestly say this Mango Daiquiri is a delight. Very fruity that leans subtly sweet with just a bit of tart aftertaste from the lime and liqueur. Really nice, and worked equally well with both Havana Club 3 and also Trader Vic’s White Rum.

Chinola Mango Daiquiri
1 oz Chinola Mango Liqueur
1 oz light rum
¾ oz lime Jjuice
½ oz simple syrup
Shake with ice and strain.

You might go a little tad heavy on the simple syrup but overall I was quite impressed.

Bali Hai Sells 3 Millionth Mai Tai (with Recipe)

Congrats to San Diego’s Bali Hai Restaurant, a longtime institution located on scenic Shelter Island. The venue’s infamous Mai Tai is known to be extraordinarily potent, advertised as not being made with any juice. It’s basically rum in a glass with little splashes of traditional Mai Tai ingredients.

The 3 millionth Mai Tai was recently sold at Bali Hai, which has a ticker inside the restaurant showing how many they’ve sold. Quite a milestone for such a noteworthy entrant in the lore of the Mai Tai.

People often ask how this is made, so we present the recipe that tastes like the real thing.

Bali Hai Mai Tai
½ oz Sweet and Sour Mix (or ¼ oz Lemon Juice and ¼ oz Simple Syrup)
¼ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Triple Sec
2½ oz Cruzan Light Rum
2½ oz Coruba Dark Jamaican Rum
Shake with ice

Hula Hoops Tiki Passport

South San Francisco’s Hula Hoops recently introduced a tiki passport / cocktail checklist. This tiki bar and restaurant has been doing Hawaiian food and fine cocktails for over five years, with the quality of the cocktails being far better than you’d expect for a suburban location that’s more restaurant than bar. They started strong with a couple Doc Parks cocktails and the Buz-Tai from local luminary Buz Deadwax, along with cocktails that pair well with the food offering such as the Ube Martini.

The Tiki Passport is a checklist of 15 cocktails, including the aforementioned Buz-Tai and two other Mai Tais. Plus some tiki favorites and a few that lean creamy such as the Coco Banana. Once you complete all 15 you get a Hula Hoops branded King Kong mug that includes a basketball carrying Wahine that’s a nod to the venue’s logo. The mug is made by Tiki Farm and looks pretty nice as long as gorilla mugs are your thing. You can see a version of this mug in Hula Hoops’ tiki room where it was made into a lamp.

The Lilikoi Tai is pretty great and nicely balanced, if you like passionfruit cream topping on your Mai Tai. Certainly better than the famed Monkeypod Mai Tai since the topping at Hula Hoops is sweeter.

Hula Hoops seems to be doing very well with business since it has been busy every time I’ve visited the last couple years, especially for brunch on the weekends. Reservations are recommended.

“Donn the Blowfish” Tiki Mug

I’m not a huge mug collector but when this one came back on sale I thought I would pick it up. This is the second mug from Doc Parks Designs and pays homage to Donn Beach and also the blowfish that lived in the tank by the front door at Park’s old haunt, Pagan Idol. That fish had a name which especially this week is no longer a fun nod, so we won’t note it here. See the photo of me with the puffer back in 2017.

The mug comes with a few Doc Parks swag items so this was a pretty good deal and quite unique. The mug was produced by the Kon-Tiki Tiki bar and sculpted and glazed by Tiki Koa in Mexico. Really good quality and it continues my desire to have mugs that tend to be smaller and more suitable for single-serve cocktails.

This mug is sold out but keep an eye on for tshirts and future merch offerings. And then check out the dates for the Doc Parks 2024 Tour stops. We loved the Doc Park Tour stops in the past year so don’t sit on these if they come to your town.

Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour Makes the Ultimate Mai Tai

We’ve been supporters of Spike Marble’s YouTube show Spike’s Breezeway Cocktail Hour ever since it debuted in 2020. Based in Orange Country, Spike is the frontman for The Hula Girls rockabilly group and a longtime member of the SoCal tiki scene. His YouTube show focuses on cocktails that are often made with a special guest in attendance, but some recent episode are shot in a travelogue style and shows Spike visiting commercial and home tiki bars.

Tonight’s episode has Spike tasting our Ultimate Mai Tai. Now that we’ve watched the episode, what were Spike’s thoughts on the Ultimate Mai Tai? Spike says this is “Complex, there are a lot of different layers dancing around. The rums aren’t hiding in this cocktail. That is a delicious Mai Tai. This is super good.”

Spike’s suggestion for an improvement was to add an orchid for a garnish, which is a great addition. Thanks to Spike for trying the Ultimate Mai Tai and having kind words to say about it.

Mai Tai Monday at Dr. Funk

Mrs. Mai Tai and I rolled into Dr. Funk on Monday for drinks and dinner on our way to run errands elsewhere in San Jose. The Coconut Shrimp and Chicken Skewers were prepared very well but the highlight was the excellent Dr. Funk Mai Tai that’s only $8 on Mondays.

As with Dr. Funk’s Happy Hour menu, the Mai Tai is not a sub-par version even when priced at $8. It’s the standard version that uses Appleton 12 and Smith & Cross rums from Jamaica and is quite delicious. One of the best Mai Tais I’ve had so far this year and the best value by a mile.

The turnover of bartenders here seems to have stabilized and the quality of the cocktails seems to be back where they should be again. Music on Monday was peppy but still a mix of exotica, surf, and other retro genres, meaning that Dr. Funk maintains their tiki bar aesthetic and hasn’t ventured into nightclub territory.

Fallout Themed Cocktails at The Kon-Tiki

The Kon-Tiki Oakland has really been killing it with their special menu cocktails, including last Wednesday when Carlos and Kriss put together a special menu themed to Fallout. This franchise was new to me, but from I hear is very popular. There was a special menu for the night and even a few costumes that I’m sure made sense to viewers of the show or video game. Putting “East Bay” and “Wasteland” on the cover was appropriately pointed.

The Glowing One cocktail was a Zombie variant including irradiated melon, pineapple, citrus, honey, spices, and plenty of absinthe. This was absolutely fantastic, even with a heavy pour of absinthe that sometimes makes the flavors unbalanced. More than okay, this really made the drink.

Congrats to the Kon-Tiki team for continuing to try new things and most importantly to keep the quality of the exotic cocktails high. Keep checking their socials for upcoming special events.