Top 5 Spooky Tiki Mugs

Frankie's Tiki Room Las Vegas Halloween Thurston Howl Mug

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…)

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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.

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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.”

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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.)

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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?

Related Posts:
Tiki Halloween Decorations: Shrunken Head Pumpkin
Halloween Art Show at the Tonga Hut
Aunt Tiki’s Halloween-Themed Bar in New Orleans

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Holiday Drinks & Decor at Trader Sam’s – Disneyland Hotel

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Trader Sam’s might be more appropriately called Trader Santa’s this month. The new-ish tiki bar at the Disneyland Hotel has gotten in the Christmas spirit with Santa caps placed on the Enchanted Tiki Room drummers, poinsettias mixed among the tropical foliage, and stockings hung from the bamboo (with care).

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The “family tree” of shrunken heads was decked with silver tinsel, lights and snowman and snowbird ornaments. The Disney Parks Blog has far better pictures, and a close-up of Trader Sam’s Naughty and Nice list. (Apparently the bartenders have all been rather mischievous this year — no surprise there.)

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Draped over the mug display behind the bar were what appeared to be gift-wrapped coconut bras with tags from Trader Sam. I enquired about them to Skipper Jennifer, as one was addressed to her, and she insisted that surely they must be yarmulkes because they were far too small for any other use…

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Tucked into the first page of the menu was a sheet highlighting the two holiday drinks that are being served through the end of December (or so, no specific end date was mentioned). We’d skipped dessert at our dinner at Blue Bayou, so the Mele Kaliki-Mocha was an ideal after-dinner drink. It was like a coconut-infused Frappuccino with a kick.

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The Red-Nosed Zebra, a sweet and tart blend of rum, strawberry purée, lemon and lime juice, is whimsically garnished with minty antlers and cranberries for its eyes and nose. This one also elicits some theatrical touches — a skipper shouts about winter weather warnings and a snowstorm erupts from the volcano in the “window.” Also watch out for impromptu “hail” in the form of crushed ice thrown from behind the bar. (And I do mean “watch out” because I got hit in the face!)

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The good folks at the Disney Parks Blog also posted recipes for both cocktails. This Christmas Eve I’ll be whipping up some Mele Kaliki-Mochas for the family, and I’m looking forward to trying it with B.G. Reynold’s hazelnut orgeat for a bit of a twist.

Not sure if this is working (Flickr is being sort of fickle), but I also shot a short video of the snowflakes serenely falling on the tropical peaks. This effect was my favorite holiday touch at Trader Sam’s. Gotta love those Imagineers.