For the Beachbum, being in the right place at the right time means being 86’d before it’s his turn to buy a round. But now he finds himself in an even better place and time: smack in the middle of today’s Tiki revival, which has hit just about every burg he’s stumbled into this year. Three recent sojourns come to mind:
The Miami Rum Renaissance festival was awash in Tiki bartenders, including Rich Hunt of London’s Kanaloa. He gifted us with the recipe for his Beachberry Fix: 50 ml (1 2/3 ounces) La Mauny 100-proof rum, 20 ml (2/3 ounce) Ribena blackcurrant cordial, and 15 ml (1/2 ounce) fresh lemon juice, stirred on the rocks with the zest from a lemon peel, then garnished with a lemon wheel and pineapple leaf. It was even better than spotting Celebrity Rehab star Dennis Rodman at the festival’s Grand Rum Tasting. No doubt he was preparing for his next show, Celebrity Relapse.
In Cuba for the Havana Club Grand Prix cocktail competition, the Bum was tapped to talk about Havana’s midwife role in the birth of Tiki drinks. (The Havana Cocteles blog recap of our seminar puts it better than we did, and it’s shorter too.) Perhaps to atone for putting us to work, our gracious Grand Prix host Michael Menegos poured us a shot of Havana Club’s Máximo Extra Añejo rum. Age: up to 50 years. Cost: $1,200 a bottle. Taste: worth every penny we didn’t pay for it. Mahalo, Mr. Menegos!
Fort Lauderdale’s Hukilau festival was a Tiki party par excellence, with hundreds of retro revelers in vintage aloha wear dancing to The Intoxicators, promenading in the Mai-Kai restaurant’s maze-like Tiki garden, watching mermaids swim in the hotel pool, and competing in a midnight Cocktail Challenge. Some of them even found time to attend our lecture about legendary bartender and longtime Florida resident Joe Scialom, whose Tiki drink creations included the Suffering Bastard, Dying Bastard, and Dead Bastard cocktails. In case you missed it, Ben Crandell talked to us about Joe in his Miami Sun-Sentinel column: