Researching Tiki cocktails

For the past two years we’ve seeing a strong resurgence of tiki cocktails; bars dedicated to this tropical drinks have been popping up around the country with no sign of slowing down. During this time I’ve made sure that this category of cocktails are represented in the cocktail menus I’ve worked in, but for the project I’m currently working I thought I needed a bit more inspiration, so like the people behind Painkiller in NYC and Smugglers Cove in San Francisco I decide to visit The MAi KAi, one of the most Iconic Tiki theme restaurants in the country (open since 1956) and see if ideas would start flowing. Painkiller NYC actually pays homage to this bar featuring one of their signature libations The Derby Daiquiri. This “research” was a bit more challenging then what I thought it would be because oppose to all other bars their recipes are secrecy, the ingredients are not featured on the menu and the bartenders are never seen by the guest, the cocktail ladies punch in the orders in their computers and the drinks “magically” appear through a window. The ideas did start flowing after the first drink, The Barrel O’ rum ( a drink featured on the “strong” side of the menu) kick started and evening of many possiblities for tiki drinks. I will be featuring later the tiki cocktails that I’m presenting on my next project.

Here also I’m featuring a video from Frank Bruni of the NY Times talking about the Tiki movement in NYC.

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Eben Freeman shows how to make a Martinez