Tiki Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Need a little help with your holiday shopping? Here’s some gift ideas for the tiki lover on your list…

1. The Martiki mug ($20) from Psycho Suzi’s

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A tiki mug is an obvious choice, but which one? One of my favorites to debut this year was the latest signature mug from Psycho Suzi’s, The Martiki, which was designed by Tiki tOny and produced by Tiki Farm. As a rule, Tiki Farm doesn’t sell these locale-specific mugs on their web site, but lucky for you Psycho Suzi’s has an online gift shop! This was gifted to me by Mr. Baseball’s family and I must say it’s even better in person.

Also worth mentioning is the Tiki Temptress Classic Cocktails Set from Fluff designer Claudette Barjoud and Tiki Farm. If you’re looking for something more festive, the Tiki-Ti has just recently made their Santa-themed Kahuna Kalikimaka mug available for shipping (ordering details can be found on their Facebook page).

2. The DVD of Tiki: Volume 1 – Paradise Lost ($29)

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I had the pleasure of seeing (and purchasing) “The DVD of Tiki: Volume 1” when it screened at the Egyptian Theatre this summer. This 95-minute documentary by Jochen Hirschfeld chronicles how and why tiki bars became popular and then passé. As I said before, it’s really is a must-buy for anyone that’s into tiki. Order it at www.dvdoftiki.com — shipping is available all over the world.

3. Classic Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants by Peter Moruzzi ($20)

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Last month, Peter Moruzzi (Palm Springs Holiday, Havana Before Castro) released his latest book Mid-Century Dining: Discovering America’s Finest Mid-Century Restaurants. His tribute to white-tablecloth, Continental restaurants and classic steakhouses spotlights several restaurants in particular, including the Mai-Kai which also happens to be featured on the cover. (At the book signing party at La Luz de Jesus gallery, Moruzzi told me it’s a never-before-published illustration that had been framed in one of the back rooms of the Mai-Kai.) Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki and Tiki Modern, contributed many photographs to the book as well as the profile of the Mai-Kai and a chapter on “The Rise and Fall of the American Tiki Temple.”

James Teitelbaum (Tiki Road Trip) also has a new book this year entitled Destination Cocktails: The Traveler’s Guide to Superior Libations, compiling the world’s best bars including tiki spots like Smuggler’s Cove, PKNY, Mai-Kai and Tiki-Ti.

4. Don Tiki’s Hot Lava Holiday Shows

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December is your chance for merry-making with Don Tiki, the Honolulu-based exotica music group. They will have three performances of their Hot Lava Holiday Show: December 15 at the Doris Duke Theatre in Honolulu, December 17 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and December 20 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. For the geographically challenged, Don Tiki has a Hot Lava Holiday Show EP just recently posted on iTunes. It includes such tongue-in-cheek tunes as “Havana Gila” (yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking) and carol-infused “Silent Village” — especially appropriate as the band includes percussionist Lopaka Colón, whose father, Augie Colon, contributed jungle and bird calls on Martin Denny’s 1956 hit “Quiet Village.”

5. Holiday Tiki Ornaments by Polynesiac ($12-$25)

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Our Christmas tree is being gradually tiki-fied as I’ve been collecting Polynesiac’s holiday tiki ornaments, which are hand casted and painted to look like carved wood. For 2012, he has a new design based on the “tiki babies” that fall from the flowers of the Tangaroa tree at the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland. There are other awesome ornaments ranging in price from $12-$25, depending on the amount of hand-painting. Bonus: shipping is only $2 for the entire order. His Etsy shop has limited quantities, so act fast!

Related Posts:
Tiki Night at the Egyptian Theatre: The DVD of Tiki
Tiki-Ti’s “Kahuna Kalikimaka” Tiki Mug
Tiki Nutcracker at Target

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Kahuna Kevin’s “Why is the Rum Gone?” Cocktail Book Review

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Kahuna Kevin titled his first cocktail book “Why Is the Rum Gone?” but I think my boyfriend would call it “Where Did All This Rum Come From?” Because after taking a look at all these intricate recipes, I went out on a spending spree so that I could recreate some of his crazy concoctions.

Even before I ever tried one of his drinks, I was already impressed by the passion and hard work that were apparent in producing this. The self-published book is beautifully designed, spiral-bound and printed on heavy card stock (the pages are now also coated with plastic to protect against spills), and there’s full color photos of the finished product to accompany each recipe. And how could I not be charmed by fun cocktail names like Irish Nutjob, Mary Ann & Ginger and the Truffle Shuffle? Goonies never say die!

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For the last year I’ve been plugging away through Beachbum Berry’s books and filling up our liquor cabinet with a modest store of light, gold and dark rums. However, Kevin specifically calls for various spiced (Kraken, Sailor Jerry, Kilo Kai), premium rums (Zaya, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva), and some exotic liqueurs that I’d previously never even heard of. (I still have no clue how to pronounce D’Aristi Xtabentun…) Most of the ingredients appear in multiple drinks, so it makes it a bit easier to justify springing for them. (Though if somebody wanted to buy me a bottle of Gran Duque D’Alba brandy for my birthday, I’d appreciate it.) DrinkupNY.com was helpful in tracking down some of the more obscure items, like the Rogue Spirits hazelnut rum. They used to offer free U.S. shipping for orders over $100 but now that’s only for certain states.

OK back to the book. No drink has fewer than five ingredients; in fact, most of them have several more (up to sixteen in Kahuna Kevin’s Headless Zombie). With so many different flavors in play, it was sometimes hard to discern what they were all supposed to contribute to the cocktails. I’d say the Five Mile Stare is my favorite so far, along with the Beretta Vendetta. The others have mostly fallen in the middle for me, but my high expectations weren’t quite realised by the Caramel Rebellion or Bac-o-tini. (Truth be told, I find most culinary experiments involving bacon to be disappointing compared to the real deal.) I still have more to try, and I’m hoping to add to the list of keepers.

If you and your liver enjoy a challenge, or you have an encyclopedic selection of booze, this will be right up your alley.

Kahuna Kevin is about to release volume two of “Why is the Rum Gone?” Both books are available to order on his web site: www.kahunakevin.com.

Master of My Own Domain (Name)

My dear Mr. Hockey is pretty impatient, so Christmas has come early ’round here! First, he ordered me Phillip Roberts’ new tiki book: Waikiki Tiki: Art, History & Photographs. Very cool, can’t wait to make a trip out to Hawaii and see all this stuff in person. (Well, what’s left of it, anyway.)

And, second, he got me my very own domain name: http://www.thetikichick.com. (Apparently somebody already registered tikichick.com and is doing nothing with it. Jerk!) Anyway, this is all very exciting and official so I had to share.

Also, I might as well announce two new pages that I made a couple weeks back in honor of my 100th post: