Loco Moco Vat at The Kon-Tiki

This cocktail was added to the Kon-Tiki’s third edition menu, and was part of a section of original cocktails that went along with a set of glasses to benefit Creative Growth, an Oakland-based non-profit serving artists with disabilities. Glasses are still for sale (glass pictured is the standard Kon-Tiki Zombie glass). The Loco Moco Vat was reintroduced last week to the Kon-Tiki’s vast list of to-go cocktails, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Loco Moco Vat:
White rum, Lime, Apricot and Banana liqueurs, Crème de Cacao, Pineapple and Bitters. This tropical drink a wonderful vacation in a glass, including some flavors I don’t often taste in cocktails. Glad I ordered.



Self-serving reason: after I completed the Kon-Tiki’s Expedition Rum list in December 2019, I thought I’d sample all the cocktails on the menu that I had missed when I was doing nothing but rum shots, Daiquris, and Mai Tais to complete the Expedition. I even printed out a nice little card with a checklist. I had gotten pretty far when the lockdown hit, but I haven’t been able to check off any for over 10 months. So, thanks Kon-Tiki for putting the Loco Moco Vat back on the menu.

All I need left is the Sunken Tugboat and the Virgin’s Downfall. Someday, maybe.

Mrs Mai Tai sampled the new Lychee Martini, a single serving tropical Martini. Featuring London Dry Gin, Lychee liqueur, and Vermouth blanc, this was a nice twist on a classic. Well done.

Weekend Specials at Kon-Tiki

Two specials this weekend continue the Kon-Tiki’s culinary tradition. Mrs Mai Tai had the Garlic Shrimp that most definitely did not skimp on the garlic, and were savory and amazing. Meanwhile I had the Sausage, Egg, Cheese Sandwich that was prepared like a breakfast sandwich but was huge and filling. Totally flavorful and not too spicy, so perfect for me. Greasy in the best possible way and a legit companion to the Kon-Tiki’s legendary Burger.

Cocktails were the Uma Uma, Mrs Mai Tai’s frozen favorite. I had the Jet Pilot that was truly outstanding.

Emotional Drake Meme by Chad Austin

This fab new book is from famed bartender Chad Austin. The tone is clearly not for everyone, but if you love great cocktails this is a key resource.

  • Purchase the book
  • Each copy comes signed by the author and includes unique content and a unique recipe

The cocktail is a Mai Tai variant called Emotional Drake Meme. High proof Jamaican rum, Demerara rum, banana liqueur, Orgeat, lime, Ango. Delicious!!

Mai Tai Makes Rum Better

That’s the lesson tonight. I’m sampling rums from the Forbidden Island Kill Devil rum list. I loved Dos Maderas 5+5 but wanted to try it in a Mai Tai. But my cocktail was an extra large version since the lime gave so much juice. So I added a little Martinique Rhum that I didn’t love when served neat, but put together in combination with Dos Maderas it turned into a great Mai Tai.

Wisconsin Brandy Old Fashioned

This cocktail is featured in this wonderful new book The United States of Cocktails. Each state is given a few pages highlighting key bars, traditions, and of course regional cocktail favorites. The material from California and Hawaii passes muster with me, giving me the confidence that the material from other states is authentic and noteworthy.

The Brandy Old Fashioned is the prototype example that author Brian Bartels has used when describing the book on some podcasts. So, I thought I’d give it a try.

Wisconsin’s Brandy Old Fashioned
2 Cocktail Cherries
1 Orange Slice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Brandy
7up Soda
Muddle the fruit, sugar, and bitters. Then add crushed ice and top with brandy. Then float with 7up. Alternatively, use Sour mix in place of 7up, or use half soda and half 7up.



This was pretty good, but I kept sucking up pieces of cherry. So I decided to make a variant with the same flavors but without pulp/fruit.

Wisconsin’s Brandy Old Fashioned (modified)
1 oz Orange Juice
¼ oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Maraschino Cherry Juice
3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
2 oz Brandy
7up Soda
Shake Orange Juice, Bitters, Simple Syrup, and Brandy with crushed ice. Dirty dump into a large glass and top with more crushed ice. Top with 1-2 oz of 7up and then float 1 oz of Maraschino Cherry Juice.

I liked my version better, though neither puts the Brandy as forward as I would like. I didn’t use the regional favorite, Korbel, however.