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.

View the page:
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

Mai Tai in Pop Culture: Here’s Lucy S1/Ep15 (1969) “Lucy and the Ex-Con”

Mai Tai in Pop Culture will be a recurring segment here on the Ultimate Mai Tai blog. For this edition we are focusing on the Season 1 episode of Here’s Lucy called “Lucy and the Ex-Con.”

In this episode, Lucy (Lucille Ball) meets a reformed ex-con named Rocky (Wally Cox) who is wrongly accused of stealing diamonds from a safe. Lucy and Rocky go undercover as old ladies to find a way into the office of a South Seas themed bar to find the safe and prove someone else stole the diamonds.

When Lucy realizes that patrons who have too much to drink are led into the bar’s office to sleep it off, she comes up with a plan to pretend to get drunk on Mai Tais. “Might I have a Mai Tai,” Lucy cleverly asks, and is then informed that the Mai Tai “packs a punch” and is made with seven kinds of rum. 

Lucy needs to stay sober, so smartly pours her drinks into a bowl of popcorn. Meanwhile, Rocky is drinking Mai Tai after Mai Tai for real. In order to demonstrate that the Mai Tais are having the desired effect, Lucy hula dances to “Sweet Leilani” and the “Hawaiian War Chant.”

“Lucy and the Ex-Con” is actually pretty funny, with some good physical humor by both Ball and Cox. It is also an interesting time capsule of the cultural awareness of Mai Tais in the late 1960s. 

More info about this episode is available on the Papermoon Loves Lucy Tumblr.

You can watch this episode of Here’s Lucy on Hulu and Amazon Prime

“Might I have a Mai Tai?”

Clairin Mai Tai

London Sour and London Trip Planning

Looks like we are headed for the British Isles for vacation this summer. Specific dates/plans are still TBD but most likely a tour starting in late June with some extra days in London.

I haven’t been to Trader Vic’s there (stupidly, didn’t even consider it the last time we were there 5+ years ago – before I got back hard into Tiki), but it’s gonna happen this time. Some other good tiki bars there too, and I’m looking forward to trying some Scotch and Irish Whiskeys too.