Doc Parks 40th Anniversary Party Recap

Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Shopping Center to Close

VenTiki Visit

Finally made it out to Ventura to visit VenTiki Tiki Lounge & Lanai.

Palm Springs Summary

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Palm Springs Tiki Summary 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. I am developing a rating system based on these four criteria. Drinks: quality, variety, price, consistency Ambiance: Decor, immersiveness, seating, special features Service: Hours, ease of service, friendliness Tiki Aesthetic: Totems, Polynesian and/or Nautical theme, music Ultimate Mai Tai Tiki Bar Ratings: Bootlegger Tiki 7.5 Tonga Hut 6.75 The Reef 6.75 Toucans Tiki Lounge 5 Interesting, my ratings on Critiki were in the same order: Bootlegger Tiki 8 Tonga Hut 7.9 The Reef 7 Toucans Tiki Lounge 5.4 Overall, Bootlegger Tiki was my top choice. With a great immersive experience inside (if you can hang with an occasional classic rock number) and truly outstanding drinks, this place was my number one and compares well to fine tiki bars nationally. But Tonga Hut was pretty close, and most certainly is the best one to take those new to tiki bars. Drinks were fine to excellent and the centrally located venue has a high seating capacity, perfect music, and great decor. Plus they have some great food, too. Service issues held the rating down for me. The Reef is also a destination that every tikiphile should seek out. The friendly hotel bar vibe is truly relaxing and they too have fine food and great music. Drinks and decor elements were more uneven, hence the slightly lower rating. But with a group of people? This might be the most fun place for an evening of drinks. Lastly, Toucans Tiki Lounge is a nightclub with a tiki theme and so isn't essential for hardcore tiki people. But, you might have a fun time anyway. #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #tikiculture #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #1944maitai #palmsprings

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For more details about Palm Springs, check out the page: Tiki Travels – Palm Springs.

2019 Tiki Bar Visits

Best Nine 2019

Top 10 Mai Tais of 2019

This was my summary post for my Top 10 Mai Tais of 2019.

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I had a lot of great Mai Tais in 2019 and it was difficult to pick the top 10. I easily had dozens more worthy of inclusion. 10. Molasses Mai Tai at Fred & Ginger's Exotic Cocktail Bar and Lounge This is the only home tiki bar on the list. The Mai Tai was made with Molasses Syrup and the rum was Appleton Reserve. Rich and delicious. 9. 1944 Mai Tai with Appleton 12 at Trader Vic's Emeryville I like the scratch 1944 Mai Tai at Trader Vic's and it's even better when you sub a higher quality rum. Appleton 12 is my go-to single rum sub. 8. Mai Tai at Club 33 This was a good Mai Tai, but an amazing venue. It's not often you have a three Mai Tai lunch at a park where booze isn't served. 7. Mai Tai at Forbidden Island Made special by Brian Rechenmacher. It's always nice when the bartenders get to know your preferences. 6. Mai Tai at Lono A high-quality Mai Tai with Rhum JM, Appleton Signature, Smith & Cross, Coruba, and Lemon Hart 151. 5. Halekulani Mai Tai The best Mai Tai in Waikiki is a tweak to the 1944 recipe with more lime, orgeat, sugar, and Lemon Hart 151 as a float. A great Mai Tai with a simple twist. 4. Mai Tai with Appleton 12 at Skull & Crown Trading Company The S&C Mai Tai comes with rhum agricole and is very good. But this one made just with Appleton 12 was even better. My favorite Mai Tai in Hawaii. 3. National Mai Tai Day Mai Tai at Smuggler's Cove This special event featured Appleton/Wray rums, so this is 2 parts Appleton Reserve, 1 part Appleton 12, and 1 part Wray Overproof. 2. Mai Tai with Appleton 12 at Rhumba The standard Mai Tai comes with rhum from Martinique and was great, but by now you should know I preferred it just with Appleton 12. One of my top 3 Mai Tais of all time. 1. The Ultimate Mai Tai at The Kon-Tiki The Mai Tais at Kon-Tiki have gotten better over the year. But this one was the best, which isn't a surprise since it features my own rum blend: Appleton 12, Smith & Cross, Plantation Xaymaca, and Plantation OFTD. I can't thank the Kon-Tiki team enough for doing the special menu on the night I completed the rum list. This has been my best Mai Tai in a commercial bar, ever! Cheers to 2019!

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The Eastern Sour

Took another run at the Eastern Sour, a Trader Vic’s original from the 1950s. This is a tweaked version of a Whiskey Sour using Trader Vic’s signature ingredient, Orgeat. The pairing of Orange Juice alongside the Lemon Juice also adds an additional dimension, though due to the volume can be risky depending on what your Orange Juice tastes like.

When I had this last time I didn’t find it sweet enough. But I made a few adjustments. This time, I used fresh Valencia Orange juice, which I find sweeter than typical store-bought OJ. I also upped the Orgeat and used Demerara rather than Simple Syrup.

Eastern Sour (original Trader Vic’s Recipe)
¾ oz Lemon Juice
2½ oz Orange Juice
¼ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Sugar Syrup
2 oz Bourbon
Shake with crushed ice and sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.

Eastern Sour (modified)
¾ oz Lemon Juice
2½ oz Orange Juice (fresh Valencia Orange)
½ oz Orgeat
¼ oz Demerara Syrup
2 oz Bourbon (Maker’s Mark)
Shake with crushed ice and sink spent orange and lemon shells into the drink.

Happy Instagramiversary to Me

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Happy Instagramiversary to Me Two years ago on December 4, 2017, I relaunched The Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai here on Instagram. The goal was to share my experiences, highlight things going on in the community, and connect with others, This is the 911th post, which averages around 1.25 posts daily (lots of extra posts when I was traveling, mostly). I set a goal to post something daily and have done so with very few exceptions. Hopefully most of them have added value to the community as well. Big thank you to Mrs. Mai Tai @juliebeane for coming along for most of the travels, for being a good sport, and indulging the hobby. I visited 34 tiki bars in 2018, and incredibly I blew past that number this year. 51… and counting. And I have enjoyed most of those tiki bars, too. And have met some incredible people. Thanks to everyone. And thanks to you out in Instagram for following and commenting. To celebrate, I’m finishing the Kon-Tiki Expedition rum list tonight at @thekontikioakland in downtown Oakland. What a great place to kick off year number three, in the city where the Mai Tai was invented by Trader Vic 75 years ago, and where they make a killer Mai Tai today. Just love that bar, the staff, the food, the drinks, the music, and of course the rum. My final rum is Plantation OFTD. You might think you know what O-F-T-D means. Today it means “Oh Finally, That’s Done!" #tiki #tikibar #tikidrinks #cocktails #craftcocktails #rum #rhum #maitai #oakland @plantation.rum

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