New Site Feature: Tiki Travels – San Francisco Bay Area

We’ve added a new page to the Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai website: Tiki Travels – San Francisco Bay Area.

Home to the largest concentration of tiki bars anywhere in the world, our Tiki Travels page covers all 20 tiki bars in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have location info, touring tips, and photos. We also rate these destinations on a number of categories, so you can choose which ones to prioritize on your visits to the area.

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Tiki Travels – San Francisco Bay Area

Kevin Crossman at Trader Vic's
Having a Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville

Mai Tai in Pop Culture: “Mai Tai Break” by L’Exotighost

We discovered a new exotica band from Spain called L’Exotighost who put out an EP last year called La Ola Oculta. There are a number of interesting songs here, including “Cha Cha Challoween” that includes the classic theme from the movie Halloween.

Here’s a list of the band members: Theremin & Güiro (Javier Díez Ena), Drums & congas (Ricardo Moreno), Marimba (María Arranz Fernández y Vera Garrido), Bass Ukulele (Juan Pérez Marina) Audio manipularion of birds and theremin sound (Jav Álvarez). 

The La Ola Oculta EP is available in a number of services including the music streaming services and also iTunes.

The band put together an entertaining video for their single, “Mai Tai Break.” This song has the Theremin as the lead instrument, and it’s quite effective on this track. We’ll also note that they’re being served a traditional 1944 Mai Tai made with Appleton Rum, so somebody really knows what they’re doing.

New Site Feature: Tiki Travels – Honolulu

We’ve added a new page to the Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai website: Tiki Travels – Honolulu.

Most of our Tiki Travels pages will be exclusively focusing on Tiki Bars. However, since Hawaii is also a great Mai Tai destination, many of the places we visited weren’t tiki at all. Nonetheless we had some great Mai Tais, including our favorite on Waikiki at the Halekulani Hotel.

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Tiki Travels – Honolulu

New Site Feature: Palm Springs Tiki Bars

We’ve added a new page to the Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai website: Tiki Travels – Palm Springs.

If you’re looking for a tiki destination, Palm Springs has a little bit of everything, and the four tiki bars are all in close proximity. Each place has their own charms and good reasons to visit, and so your preference might depend on your taste, which aspects of the venue are most important, the location, or even some small details.

Each bar is located within a four mile stretch of Palm Canyon Drive.

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Tiki Travels – Palm Springs

Choose the Right Ingredients

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Choose the Right Ingredients Two examples from the Ultimate Mai Tai cocktail lab on Friday night. First is a Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail, a Daiquiri variant featuring rum from Barbados along with that rum’s best friend, Falernum. I made this a few months ago with the John D. Taylor Falernum and my fasting note was that it needed to be a little sweeter and a little less on the ginger/spice notes from the Falernum. Which would have meant going from 1/2 oz Falernum to 1/4 oz Falernum and 1/4 oz Simple Syrup. Or I could just use a different, sweeter Falernum. Thanks to fellow Bay Area Tikiphile @laurasmurphy I had a little bit of her delicious homemade Falernum. This is sweeter and doesn’t hit the spice notes quite as hard and boy did it make this cocktail sing. The recipe called for Mount Gay Eclipse but I only have the longer aged Mount Gay XO and it was a really nice cocktail. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail 2 oz Barbados Rum 1 oz Lime Juice .5 oz Cointreau .5 oz Falernum Shake with ice and strain into a coupe glass. Second, I tried the Small Hand Foods' Orgeat again. I had obtained this as a backup Orgeat for a game night we hosted and then didn’t need to use it. So, here it goes again into testing against my standard Fremont Mai Tai recipe. And once again I felt the almond flavor was lost in the cocktail compared to other Orgeats, and it has more of a floral flavor than what I prefer. It also requires constant shaking to keep the contents mixed properly. That’s too much work for me; if I’m going to buy a commercial orgeat it’s because I want things to be simple and easy. #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #tikiculture #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #1944maitai #falernum @mountgayrum @cointreau

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Exploring The Kon-Tiki’s Yacht Rock Hits Menu

Article in Exotica Moderne Magazine #6

Time to add paid, published author to my resume.

Actually, I did some freelance RPG writing years and years ago, but it’s nice to start doing some more again. This is my article in the latest issue of Exotica Moderne, a story about tiki bars in Honolulu.

Ken from House of Tabu did an amazing job with the layout and design. Look at the map! So awesome.

And glad to give shout outs to Arnold’s Beach Bar, The Myna Bird, Skull & Crown Trading Company, La Mariana, and the recent departed Wiki Waki Woo Tropical Bar (hope that one comes back). Great fun in Honolulu.

If you haven’t ordered your copy get over to House of Tabu website to secure your copy.

Drinks at Trader Vic’s

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Drinks at Trader Vic’s Had some great drinks at @tradervicseville last night. I started with their standard-issue 1944 Mai Tai, which features the Trader Vic’s Royal Amber Rum. The Trader Vic’s rums do not have a great reputation these days, and their bargain-basement retail pricing are not a sign of quality. I have the Trader Vic’s Dark Rum and it is not particularly flavorful. But some folks have said the Royal Amber is pretty good, so I asked for my Mai Tai to hold back a little bit of the rum so I can try it neat. It was… okay. The Mai Tai is pretty good with this rum but I knew I could do better. My second Mai Tai was made just with Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum. This one was much better as it really allowed the fine flavorful rum to shine and be forward in the cocktail. Best part was that they only charged me 50 cents extra for this much better rum. We had a really long dinner as the dining room was not particularly busy and we didn’t feel the need to give up the table. So, I decided to try one of the after-dinner drinks on the “Happy Ending” portion of the cocktail menu. Suitably I chose this cocktail – Almost There: "Macadamia nut liqueur, Galliano and cream will get you there!” I’m not sure what is supposed to be implied here, but I found this to be really delicious, especially with the ground nutmeg on top. Mrs. Mai Tai liked her Banana Batida and Koana Puffer quite a bit, and our friends like their drinks too. Trader Vic’s did a great job with the cocktails this evening. #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #tikiculture #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #1944maitai #tradervics #emeryville

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Dinner at Trader Vic’s