On today’s drink history lesson, we learn about the full history of the tropical Tiki cocktails.
Tiki cocktails are really exciting. What’s more exciting is the fact the history behind the delicious cocktails. They are the perfect cocktails for the summer, and you know, since it’s summer and the weather gets hotter , your drinks should become cooler and more adventurous.
The word Tiki is derived from Maori mythology about the first man – the equivalent to Adam in the Eden story . however, tiki did not become the wonderful collection of cocktails that it is today, until 80 years ago. Tiki started in Hollywood with Donn the Beachcomber (both the man and the restaurant). Donn beach spent time as a young man in the Caribbean and South Pacific and came home with a head full of tropical notions.Donn then devised the idea of making drinks from rum ( we have a huge collection of rum on drinks.ng for you to pick from, so finding ingredients for the recipes would not be a problem!), flavoured syrups and fruit juices and then pairing them with food based loosely on Polynesian, Hawaiian and Cantonese cuisines.
Don the Beachcomber’s restaurant became really popular with Hollywood celebrities in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. His success was eventually copied by many other Restauranteurs. Tiki was huge in the 1950’s, as servicemen returning from the South Pacific brought back tales of their travels. The musical South Pacific was a hit on broadway and then later at the movies. Hawaii joined the U.S in 1959, and shortly after, Elvis Presley starred in Blue Hawaii. Americans developed a romanticized obsession with the tropics, and tiki bars helped them get their fix at home.
Tiki began to fall away in the 1960s and 1970s. Probably because people got tired of the whole tropicana fad. Now, tika is back and it’s better than ever. You can find some Tiki recipes here.