I have long been a Tiki fan. Way back in the day before the cocktail revolution, I dragged a bunch of friends to the original Trader Vic’s (well, it’s second incarnation since the original location burned down) in Emeryville, California. We had a great time and I still have the coconut glass to prove it. I have made a few returns but the coconut glass is not longer as easy to procure!
So, you can imagine my glee when we received a copy of Liquid Vacation – 77 Refreshing Tropical Drinks from Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas. It’s the 21st Century incarnation of the the Tiki Temples of the 1930’s through the 1950’s. The book explores the history of Tiki, delving into the history of the genre, the masters behind the decor and their modern twists on the libations. I loved the book for the history, the lore and the decor alone. I learned that the Eli Headley was the man responsible for the original decor of Disneyland’s Adventureland and Enchanted Tiki Room was conscripted to do the outdoor decor at the Stardust’s Aku Aku. The book contained many other interesting vignettes of Tiki history ad lore.
The bulk of the book is dedicated to original cocktails devised by the expert mixologists at Frankie’s Tiki Room. While many harken back to olden times – not surprisingly, there is a heavy emphasis on rum – there are a number of 21st Century Twists. Can you image Donn the Beachcomber or Trader Vic whipping up cocktails with energy drinks. Well, the mixologists at Frankie’s Tiki Room have figured out how to keep patrons lubed and alert! I guess that’s what you need for a night of gambling or relaxing after a long day of work in one of the casinos. Try one of these 21st Century Tiki concoctions with the Bombora Blast.
The remainder of the book is dedicated to classic Tiki drinks, like the Mai Tai and Scorpion, as well as a section providing instruction on how to make certain Tiki basics, like ginger beer. Honestly, that section, which is called the Syrup Recipes is my fave! You learn how to make Falernum, Ginger Beer and Sweet and Sour, all Tiki bar essentials!