Texas Tiki Week returns to 10 Austin bars this week

Texas Tiki Week

Break out your coconut bras and Hawaiian shirts, it’s time for the Third Annual Texas Tiki Week taking place Tuesday, June 24 through Monday, June 30.

The world owes a debt of gratitude to Donn Beach (a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber) who established the first Polynesian-themed tiki bar shortly after the end of Prohibition in 1934 in Hollywood, California. The former bootlegger single-handedly created this tropical drink genre in an attempt to bolster interest in lowly rum. He introduced 70 original cocktails, such as the Scorpion and the Zombie, using the recipe for the Jamaican Planter’s Punch as a starting point.

During Texas Tiki Week, bars in Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio will pour special tiki cocktails and feature tiki seminars led by cocktail experts from around the country. Participating bars in Austin include Bar Congress, Contigo, Drink.Well., East Side Show Room, Half Step, Péché, Pleasant Storage Room, Red7, The Tigress and Whisler’s.

“Texas Tiki Week was initially designed to be Austin’s contribution to all of the many cocktail weeks that are popping across the country,” says Jessica Sanders of Drink.Well., who is also co-founder Texas Tiki Week and president of the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG).

“Austin is a bit eccentric and quirky, which makes it ripe for a week that celebrates Tiki, which is also a bit left of center in the cocktail world. Tiki is fun, whimsical and there is an elevated level of theater watching a tiki cocktail come together. You can’t help but smile.”

This year’s festivities start on Monday, June 23 with the Official Kick-Off Party at Pleasant Storage Room with renowned New York barman and tiki master Brian Miller mixing classic and contemporary tiki cocktails. The event is open to USBG members and invited guests only, but Pleasant Storage Room will reprise the cocktail menu for the public through Sunday. Don’t look for a tired mai thai. The menu will include more interesting classics like Don the Beachcomber’s original Pearl Diver Punch and new drinks like the Na Poli Death Toll.

Here are just a few of the most anticipated Tiki Week events.

Tuesday, June 24
Tuesday, June 24: Drink.Well. will host the Grease 2-inspired “Rock a Hula Luau” with five tiki cocktails, including a tiki twist on the classic Pink Lady and the “T-Bird,” variation of the classic Jungle Bird with rhum agricole, pineapple gomme syrup and aperol. Mindy Kucan from the Hale Pele tiki lounge in Portland will be the guest bartender.

Wednesday, June 25
Bar Congress‘ Tiki Night will feature modern twists and tiki classics including the Flaming Bowl of Cong’s Navy Grog and the Baba Yaga tiki amuse booze’ shot featuring rums, spices and Amaro.

Thursday, June 26
The Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter will host a “Cinema Cocktails” screening of the Elvis Presley classic Blue Hawaii with a tiki menu created by Bill Norris, Alamo Drafthouse beverage director, and the cocktail team at 400 Rabbits.

Saturday, June 28
Red 7 presents V2, a special live performance by Leon Taylor and Bob Spalding of “The Ventures,” one of the most iconic surf rock bands in history. Cocktails from the Red 7 team will feature Sailor Jerry rum. Opening acts will include the Del-Vipers and King Pelican.

If you’d rather sip a tiki-inspired drink at home, Pleasant Storage Room has provided the classic Pearl Diver Punch and Jungle Bird recipes.

Pearl Diver Punch (Don the Beachcomber from the 1930s)
The Pearl Diver screams exotic: spicy, refreshing with a lovely balance of tart with a hint of sweet. The booze isn’t afraid to let you know it’s steering this sailboat. Dive in.

  • .75 ounce El Dorado 8 year Demerara Rum
  • 1.5 ounce Puerto Rican Rum
  • .5 ounce Jamacian Smith and Cross N.S. Rum
  • 1 ounce orange juice
  • .75 fresh lime juice
  • 1 dash house-made falernum
  • 1 ounce pearl diver mix – an elaborate mix of sweet butter, nutmeg, allspice and other awesome ingredients

Blended and served over pebble ice in a tiki mug, garnished with mint and lime

The screams exotic. Spicy, refreshing with a lovely balance of tart with a hint of sweet. The booze isn’t afraid to let you know its steering this sailboat. Dive in.

Jungle Bird (Aviary Bar at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton 1978)

  • 1.5 ounces Hamilton’s Jamaican  pot-still blackstrap rum
  • .75 ounces Campari
  • 3  ounces pineapple juice
  • .5 ounce lime juice
  • .5 ounce roasted pineapple juice
  • 1 pinch black salt

Shake ingredients hard over ice. Strain into a tiki mug and garnish with a pineapple frond.

This drink is no joke. While you could try to make it at home, its better to go see an expert during Tiki Week to get the full experience.

This story was originally published on CultureMap.

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Time for Texas Tiki Week

Hip swiveling fun at Texas Tiki Week

Just as we are entering the “hot as Hell” phase of summer, a cool breeze called the Texas Tiki Week blows in. Starting this Sunday, June 24, 2012, at 4pm gallons of rum will be spilled down gullets in bars around Austin. Grab your coconut bras, grass skirts and get ready to get laid, oh I mean leid.

Organized by the Austin Chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG), Texas Tiki Week gets shaking at three North Loop bars with luau-inspired cocktails, like the Toucan Sam and the Sunset Fizz. A few concoctions from Dame Jessica Sanders, the Drink.Well mixtress, caught my fancy:

Rick(e)y Martin-ique: La Vida Loca WILL be lived during Texas Tiki Week!

  • Rhum Agricole, Kaffir Lime Cordial, Fresh Lime, Club Soda

Pass the Tabu: Named for the iconic Brady Brunch episode where a discovered tiki idol wreaks havoc on the Brady family’s Hawaiian vacation.

  • Don Q Cristal Rum, Campari, Grapefruit Juice, Macadamia Nut Orgeat, Angostura Bitters, Acid Phosphate

The Snail: The Tipsy Texan’s legendary pre-batched punch with over a dozen ingredients. This bad boy will be sold in small punch cups, while supplies last and ONLY on Sunday. Beware, this one will leave you feeling hazy and moving slow as a snail the next day.

  • Don Q Anejo Rum, Calvados, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Pear Liqueur, Cachaca, Domaine de Canton, Balcones Rumble Aperol, Hum Botanical Liqueur, Lime, Lemon, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters

Dame Jessica said, “I am particularly fascinated by the fact that despite the island overtones, ‘tiki’ was (and still is) at its core an American pop-culture phenomenon, cuisine and aesthetic. The cocktail menus that folks will see at Drink.Well. and across Austin’s other USBG venues will represent the exotic, fun and perhaps even quirky aspects of the tiki cocktail renaissance. We’ve certainly got a fantastic selection of rums and rhum agricoles in each of our tool boxes to play. And, secretly, I hope I see at least one person rock coconut bra next week!”

Drink.Well will have traditional Tiki glassware, leis and Texas Tiki Week t-shirts available for sale for $10. The bar will also show various “…Goes to Hawaii” American TV shows all night, including “Save by the Bell: Hawaiian Style.”

Dead Man's Party, courtesy of drink.well

Your itinerary (courtesy of USBG)

  • Sunday, June 24th – North Loop becomes “Rum Row” with Tiki cocktails and food specials at Drink.Well., The Tigress and Workhorse Bar.
  • Monday, June 25th – USBG ‘Members Only’ Happy Hour & Boat Cruise, departs from Hula Hut.
  • Tuesday, June 26th – A special daytime educational event with Ed Hamilton (Location TBA), followed by debauchery at The Volstead Lounge converted into Justin Elliot’s Rhum Bar, from 7pm until the hulu skirts start falling off.
  • Wednesday, June 27th –  Jason Stevens will kick his infamous Tiki menu at Bar Congress into high gear for Tiki Week.
  • Thursday, June 28th Contigo Austin will host a Texas Luau featuring cocktails from Drink Local 2011 winner Houston Eaves and his team plus the always terrific food from Contigo’s chef, Andrew Wiseheart.
  • Saturday, June 30th – USBG Austin will close it out right with a Tiki Block Party at Noble Pig with polynesian sandwich specials, complimentary cocktails and one helluva good time.

What are you drinking?