Tiki is back in Vancouver. Why did it ever go away?
Tiki culture is a liquid ticket to an imaginary tropical island where the breeze is always warm, the music sways like the branches of a palm tree, and the rum flows as easily as the waves that wash up on a sandy beach.
Tiki originated in California in 1933, but exploded in popularity after the Second World War. It was inspired by the romance of the South Pacific, the culture of Polynesia, the flavours of Asia and the rum punches of the Caribbean, making it the ultimate fusion cocktail experience, served in a kitschy-cool Hollywood-ready vessel to a market that was weary of war and ready to party.
Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.
• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat
The garnish says it all. The three cherries are the dots, the pineapple wedge the dash, representing the letter “V” in Morse code, which was the symbol for “victory” during the Second World War.
• 1.5 oz rhum agricole or demerara rum
• 0.5 oz aged blended rum
• 0.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lime juice
• 0.5 oz honey syrup (see note)
• 0.25 oz falernum
• 0.25 oz pimento dram (see recipe)
• 1 dash angostura bitters
• Garnish: 3 cherries and 1 wedge of fresh pineapple
Step by step: How to make the secret ingredient that puts the terrific into tiki drinks
In bartending, there’s a simple rule called the Golden Ratio: two parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour. If you apply this rule to your drink making, you can quickly learn dozens of cocktails.
If you dissect a Daiquiri for example, it is simply two parts rum, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. Sometimes you can use a sweet liqueur to replace the simple syrup, like Curaçao in the case of a Margarita. Depending on your palate, you can increase or decrease the sour and sweet elements or adjust the amount of spirits to create the right balance. In fact, herein lies one of the secrets of fine cocktail making: Bartenders often create one-of-a-kind cocktails by transforming classics simply by using different spirits, sours and sweets.
Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.
• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters
This tiki punch recipe serves a crowd—so find some friends to help you out!
• 6 oz añejo rum
• 6 oz dark Jamaican rum
• 4 oz high-proof rum (such as Lamb’s Navy 151)
• 3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1.5 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 3 oz falernum
• 1 oz pomegranate juice
• 2 tsp Pernod
• 10 oz filtered water
• 5 sprigs mint
• 3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
• 6 wheels grapefruit