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.

Rum Curious Happy Hour at Kon-Tiki

Fun times on Monday with a rum tasting happy hour at The Kon-Tiki in Oakland, hosted by Bryan Inman as part of his Rum Curious Club event series. The rums available for tasting were from Hawai’i’s Kō Hana and Haiti’s Rhum Barbancourt.

This session was a little different than the typical rum tasting at Kon-Tiki where a rum rep usually sets up and is there for maybe a couple hours. For this one the tasting was limited to one hour as were the special $7 cocktails made with the sponsored rums. As such, it was quite the feeding frenzy to get in to taste the rums. I’m not sure this is a better format, but there’s no doubt there was a certain energy in the room, and the Kon-Tiki bar team certainly did a great job keeping up with cocktail orders.

I’ve tried the entire Kō Hana lineup before so I didn’t partake in the rum tasting, but I really loved the Kon-Tiki’s take on the Royal Hawaiian Cocktail made with Kō Hana rum, orgeat, pineapple, and citrus. It was absolutely delightful, featuring the flavorful sugar cane rum made on O’ahu very much in balance with the pineapple.

As for Rhum Barbancourt, I was interested in Haitian Proof, an unaged expression at 110 proof. This was noticeably different than the aged Barbancourt releases which to me don’t have that “sugar cane distillate” taste. Haitian Proof on the other hand definitely has that flavor that you get from other Haitian rums and clairins. Very interesting and retailing for around $30 plus or minus.

Monymusk Rum Tasting at Oakland’s Kon-Tiki

Seemed like old times in downtown Oakland for some rum tasting and special cocktails at The Kon-Tiki. Michael Goldman was on hand to share the new lineup of Monymusk rums from Jamaica, including two aged expressions and a very interesting Overproof blend.

Michael Goldman

The Monymusk Classic Gold aged for five years is a wonderful rum that’s perfect for cocktails, with the 10 year Special Reserve being affordable enough for cocktails but better suited as a sipper. There’s plenty of traditional Jamican flavor in these two expressions, but as a 40% ABV blend of pot and column-still distillates are perhaps more approachable than some of the overly funky Jamaica rums. Compare to Appleton, not Smith & Cross.

Meanwhile, Monymusk’s Overproof is definitely within the range of White Jamaican Overproof rums you’ve seen before but leaning a little lighter due to a pot/column blend. The funky flavor is there, just a bit rounded out.

Park Lane Special

Kon-Tiki had a special menu of cocktails and I was completely blown away by the grapefruit forward highball cocktail called Park Lane Special. This featured Monymusk Overproof along with a dazzling Grapefruit punch cordial. Kon-Tiki’s Carlos Jimenez really has a winner with this one. I also tried the Jamaican Bee with Monymusk Gold, lemon, and honey – a nice daiquiri riff that shows how the Monymusk rums work well in cocktails.

It was really interesting to try the updated Monymusk product line and to see their new labels. Look for these to be available in California and other states very soon.

Doc Parks 2024 Encore Tour at The Kon-Tiki

I’m late in posting about the amazing event held at Oakland’s Kon-Tiki that served as the first event of Doc Parks’ 2024 Encore Tour. The former Zombie Village and Wilfred’s Lounge GM took over the Kon-Tiki with a custom menu featuring some fabulous cocktails. The Kon-Tiki was packed and it was all hands on deck including guest bartender Julio Palacios.

Doc Parks

Music was provided by DJ Woody Miller who opened the venue with a mellow set of tunes that gradually increased the tempo in advance of Oakland surf band The Greasy Gills who started their tight and groovy set a little after 6:30. The three-piece band played energetically and pulled in a number of fans who crowded the makeshift dance floor in the center of the Kon-Tiki space.

The star of the show for us were the cocktails provided. I started with the Banana Afterlife, recently featured on the Make & Drink YouTube show, including three rums, juices, banana liqueur, and Doc’s signature Passionola. This isn’t actually that banana-forward but is another killer cocktail from the good doctor, featuring an incredible lantern garnish from the Kon-Tigo Tiki Bar. Meanwhile, Mrs. Mai Tai was enthusiastic about the Unicorn Tears, a milk punch with coconut and ube that are two of her favorite flavors.

Mister, Might I…

Mister, Might I… was a great variant of our favorite cocktail including Denizen Merchant’s Reserve and Tanduay Gold as a base, with a touch of Passionola and a Worthy Park 109 float that was doctored with spices and liqueurs. In a brilliant stoke, this Mai Tai was served with a side of pineapple juice for you to choose your own adventure. Do you add it to the drink? Or do you take it as a shot? I love this idea and this will be on my year-end Mai Tai list for sure.

The Gong Show was my final cocktail and included seven rums (yes, seven), plus cinnamon, black tea, spices, lime, and grapefruit. And served on fire, because of course it was. Totally amazing cocktail and such a great night at The Kon-Tiki.

I’ve been fortunate to check out a couple of these Doc Parks tour stops and if you have the opportunity be sure to take it if you’re a fan of amazing cocktails.

The Multipass at The Kon-Tiki

This is one the “zero gravity” drinks on The Kon-Tiki‘s recent Sci-Fi themed cocktail menu. It has Watermelon, Hibiscus, Oolong, Honey, and Lime and is well garnished for $8. You can “choose your element” by adding a called spirit for just $6 more.

This is a wonderful drink just by itself but does work very well with a variety of rums and other spirits. Would go great with Tequila and Vodka, and I can attest it works for Rhum Agricole and Clairins too. The juicy flavors and the tang from the watermelon really work for me.

I like this for tasting rums from the Kon-Tiki’s large selection. I have the rum by itself and I try some of it neat, then pour into the Multipass to see how the rum works in a cocktail. It’s a great option when you’re doing the tiki thing in downtown Oakland.

Mai Tais Monday

These are the different Mai Tais I’ve had this month at The Kon-Tiki in Oakland. I’m working on their Expedition rum list and trying some of the rums in Mai Tais.

Real McCoy 5
I enjoy traditional Barbados rum, including those from the Real McCoy brand produced at the Foursquare Distillery. The blend of heavy pot still and lighter column still distillate means that the rum is more delicate than rums from other locations. This Mai Tai didn’t hit me with the usual punch I’m used to, a much lighter style and leaning more on the lime juice for overall flavor. A tad more orgeat would have improved this.

R.L. Seale’s
Another Barbados rum produced by Foursquare and with better but similar results as Real McCoy. Again, not terrible but the rum is mostly lost in the cocktail.

Hampden Estate 8 YO
This is more like it. A bold Jamaica rum aged for 8 years and issued at a reasonable 46% ABV, this Hampden is just what I’m looking for in a Mai Tai. The rum is bold enough to punch through but the other ingredients do support the rum and make it more palatable than drinking neat.

Hamilton Pot Still Blond
My favorite of the Hamilton Jamaica Pot Still rums, this Worthy Park distillate is absolutely fantastic in a cocktail. It’s very smooth, but with long and lingering flavors that make every sip a treat. I’m in love.

The Kon-Tiki’s rum selection is vast and there’s something for everyone. They have a nice printed list with prices to help you decide and the bartenders are knowledgeable and always able to offer suggestions depending on what you’re looking for.

Happy 6th Anniversary Kon-Tiki in Oakland

Officially opening six years ago today, we’ve had so many memorable times at The Kon-Tiki in Oakland. Birthdays, rum celebrations, even a of couple wakes. Such a special place to me over the past few years.

The place where I’ve had the best Mai Tai of my life (so far…), and also the best cheeseburger. And so many cocktails. So. Many.

Thanks to Matt and Christ and all the crew over the years. You’re awesome, Kon-Tiki.