For most of the country, this time of year is all about back to school, preparing for fall, and football. That's all fun, but what if you don't want your summer to end yet? What are you to do?
Luckily I live in Southern California, where it's always summer-time and the tiki drinks flow all year. Obviously Tiki Bars are based on Hawaiian, and more broadly, Polynesian island culture. A romanticized version of the South Pacific. But, did you know that the earliest known tiki bar was located in Los Angeles?
Don The Beachcomber was opened by Ernest Gantt in 1933 and after he did his part in WWII, Ernest moved to Hawaii and opened Waikiki Beach. Other famous Tiki bars popped up in California such as Trader Vic's in Oakland, CA, inventor of the Mai Tai, and The Tonga Room in San Francisco. The culture spread across the U.S. until it declined in popularity in the 70s. I clearly remember my parents taking me to exotic Polynesian restaurants when I was a kid.
That culture never went away in SoCal. Especially in San Diego, where the annual tiki convention Tiki Oasis, takes place every year. If you're not lucky enough to attend or live in the Southern California area, you needn't worry. You can keep the summer party going past last call with just a little bit of help. Here are some essentials to help transform that den or basement into your own tiki beach bar.
The first thing you're going to need is a bar, of course. You can always make one out of bamboo & palm leaves, but here's a ready made option that can get you started.
The next thing you need is the proper surrounding décor. Tiki masks, artifacts & more will spice up the area more than the rum in your cocktails.
Now you need some drinks in your hand. Here are a few guides to help you become the cocktail master of the gods.
Speaking of that spiced rum, you'll need something exotic to hold those drinks... you can't have a tiki drink in a normal glass...
No one wants to drink that scorpion bowl alone, so why not partake in the time-honored tradition of sharing giant tiki drinks!
You'll need to look the part at your new digs. Grab your sandals and try on a few of these duds.
Lastly... no Luau styled bar experience is complete without the right music. Finish off the island vibe with a few tunes from some of the masters of musica exotica...
Hopefully this will keep your summer beach fun going just a little bit longer. While you're enjoying that Zombie Punch, check out my full list of tiki related items.