TIKI DRINK BOOK WORSHIPS THE SPIRITS The recent wave of Tiki madness is in full swing as Polynesia meets pop culture, and Surrey Books has joined the party with TIKI DRINKS ($12.95, hardbound), a compilation of seventy classic and novel concoctions guaranteed to turn any party into a luau.
Tiki, a Polynesian term for carved wood amulets, figures and posts, first took hold after World War II when servicemen returned from the South Pacific, bringing home images of scantily clad natives and pounding drums that emblazoned the conformist 1950s culture.
While Tiki collectibles were once relegated to garage sales and flea markets, todays trend has gone mainstream
and mass market. Macys East opened a decorated "Patio Luau" department complete with patterned plastic plates. On the other end of the island, Kmart, Savon Drugs and Home Depot sell tiki torches and figures for the yard. Ralph Lauren even sports a line of T-shirts with a wooden tiki idol ingrained with "Polo." For the ultimate in "Petiki," Bamboo Ben, who designs custom tiki bars, builds Polynesian-style dog huts and litter-box covers, complete with thatched canopy.
Of course, the craze has spread online with zines and sites featuring collectibles while eBay buyers haggle over mugs, recently paying $1,000 for one from Elvis Presley's movie Blue Hawaii. But a tiki mug means nothing unless its filled with a tropical drink topped off with a paper umbrella.
Author Adam Rocke stirs up seventy concoctions in Tiki Drinks, the definitive guide to mixing and shaking your way to paradise. Dont know the difference between a pony and a jigger? The book offers simple tips on setting up a tiki bar including measurements, garnishes and liquors, and features recipes for old favorites like the Singapore Sling as well as some new additions like the Caicos Cooler.
Rocke, who also writes for Maxim and GQ, spent a year on Floridas gulf coast, traveling to the islands and taking a "poll of the populars." Researching the local drinks was as much fun as writing about them, he recalls. "TIKI DRINKS is designed to bring the ocean to you if you cant get to paradise."
Tiki artist and consummate hipster, Shag, provides the illustrations for Tiki Drinks. His clean, tight graphic style, reminiscent of '50s and '60s commercial art, has also been a hit with Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Forbes. Shag recently expanded into gallery work, and his latest piece, the Madonna of Kahiki, is nothing less than, well, "shagadelic."
Why tiki, and why now? The culture is as much lifestyle as it is art, and its revival may be an antidote to the frantic pace of a wired generation seeking comfort from a primitive haven at home. Perhaps the trend reflects a desire for a simpler time, tinged with a nostalgia that author Dennis Coupland, who coined the term Generation X, first described as a longing for experiences we never had, a hunger to be part of a previous generation.
Or a thirst
Tiki is really about tiki bars serving up flaming cocktails, and Gen X doesnt have a lock on the fad: a president or two has been known to partake in "Politiki." Richard Nixon, for example, used to escape to Trader Vics for some daytime tropical ambiance along with his favorite drink: the Navy Grog. (151 proof rum definitely packs a presidential punch.)
Many bamboo-thatched bars and tiki-toriums are vanishing, but TIKI DRINKS provides all thats needed for spirit lovers of all generations to set up shop at home. So kick back, hang a light and sip a drink
its tiki time.
Dear Amazon shoppers...try these recipes and you'll be surfing.....
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients, and shake well. Strain into a chilled Cocktail glass.
*MUDSLIDE ON THE ROCKS Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add ingredients, and shake well. Pour into an Old Fashioned glass.
**FROZEN MUDSLIDE Blend all ingredients with 3-4 oz. of crushed ice until smooth and pour into a chilled Goblet or Hurricane glass.
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 1/2 oz. cream of coconut
2 oz. pineapple chunks
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of cream
Blend all ingredients until smooth, pour into a chilled Collins glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.
*FROZEN PINA COLADA Blend all ingredients with 3-4 oz. of crushed ice until smooth, pour into a chilled Goblet or Hurricane Glass, and garnish with a maraschino cherry and an orange slice.
**Numerous Pina Colada mixes are available.