Tiki mugs have gone way beyond ersatz portrayals of Polynesian gods. Thanks to creative companies like Tiki Farm and Munktiki there are now ceramics in all sorts of shapes and styles. In the spirit of Halloween, I present this round-up of a few of my favorite spooktacular spirits vessels.
The mugs that Tiki Farm produces for Frankie’s Tiki Room are some of my all-time favorites, especially the ones with Las Vegas details like the dice eyes on the Thurston Howl mug designed by Mark T. Zeilman. The regular version of this mug is green and red but for Halloween 2010 there was a limited run of 100 “Halloween Howl” mugs made in orange and black. (This photo is from an eBay auction since I missed out on this one…)
Trader Sam’s tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel contains many references to Adventureland attractions like The Enchanted Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones, but this creepy collectible bears a resemblance to the Hatbox Ghost/tall Hitchhiking Ghost from the Haunted Mansion. Manufactured by Tiki Farm, it made its debut in 2012 but is still available as a souvenir when you order the Shrunken Zombie Head cocktail.
One of the first mugs I ever ordered from Tiki Farm was The Gravekeeper (center), which was sculpted by Baron Shivers of the spooky surf band The Ghastly Ones. (Their song “Ghastly Stomp” is an infectious ode to “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion.) This ghoulish guy was so popular that it was later released in another color: “Perilous Purple.”
Another eerie locale-exclusive mug I like is the shrunken head mug from Psycho Suzi’s in Minneapolis. They commissioned it from Tiki Farm in 2011 for The Shrunken Head bar, one of the sections of the Shangri-La Cocktail Lounge upstairs. (Read more about this mug in my Psycho Suzi’s gift shop post.)
The Southern California event Tiki Oasis has a signature mug every year, and Munktiki drew inspiration from 2008’s theme “Voodoo Vacation on Zombie Island” for this clever creation. (Here again, photo is from an eBay auction.) It’s a zombie-fied take on the Don the Beachcomber head mug — fitting since Don the Beachcomber invented the Zombie cocktail. Speaking of Zombies, if you’re in the mood to mix one up on Halloween (or any other night of the year), you should check out Professor Cocktail’s Zombie Horde: Recipes for the World’s Most Lethal Drink by David J. Montgomery. (Stay tuned for a full review of that e-book.)
Do you have a favorite tiki mug you’ll be imbibing from this All Hallows’ Eve?