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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki Mai Kai - Tiki Archeology
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Mai Kai - Tiki Archeology
Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4314
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-10-07 2:28 pm   Permalink

I grabbed a postcard from the Mai Kai featuring the Derby Daiquiri and the Don Q rum bottle.




The back of the card provides the recipe and cites the $100,000 Florida derby and the 1959 Esquire Magazine article.




Swanky,

I don't remember seeing this one before. Does it count as a "new" Mai Kai postcard?

DC


 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2011-10-08 6:53 pm   Permalink

I don't recall if I've seen that postcard specifically, but a lot of similar magazine ads. The Derby Daiquiri and it's recipe got a lot of press.

 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4314
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2011-10-09 10:51 am   Permalink

Gator Rob,

As I'm sure you know, Swanky has collected images from all of the Mai Kai postcards on his Swankpad blog.

http://www.swankpad.org/postcards/maikai.htm

I'm thinking this one belongs on that list too.

As for the Derby Daiquiri, it was so popular that they made a frozen canned version to mix at home as seen in this ad!




DC

[ This Message was edited by: Dustycajun 2011-10-09 10:53 ]


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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2011-10-10 09:25 am   Permalink

I've seen this card, but to me it is a Don Q card that mentions the Mai-Kai and not really a Mai-Kai card.

It does also show the clear version of the glass which they also used at the Mai-Kai along with the more widely known amber one.

The Mai-Kai and Rums of Puerto Rico (including Bacardi) have been very closely tied for a long time.


 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4314
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-01-22 08:51 am   Permalink

I found some old Mai Kai ads from the early 1960s that featured a series of artist renderings.

The Islanders




Esky from the Esquire magazine article.


The Samoan Room.




Kings Chair.





DC



 
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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4314
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2012-01-23 11:58 am   Permalink

A 1978 article from the Mai Kai featuring mixologist Mariano Licudine.








He came over from the Don the Beachcomber in Chicago and started at the Mai Kai since opening day in 1956.

Swanky, do you know who long he stayed at the Mai Kai?

DC


 
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WestADad
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 745
From: Tornado Alley
Posted: 2012-01-23 12:24 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-01-23 11:58, Dustycajun wrote:


Swanky, do you know who long he stayed at the Mai Kai?

DC



1980?

http://beachbumberry.com/2009/01/08/2008-the-year-in-rum/

" The last of the palatial Polynesian supper clubs, the Mai-Kai is a faux-Polynesian wonderland, perfectly preserved since its opening day in 1956. From that day to 1980, the head bartender was a rum connoisseur named Mariano Licudine."


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-01-23 12:34 pm   Permalink

When it comes to the history and bios of mid-century Tiki mixologists, Jeff Berry's works really have it covered. But of course, when it comes to the Mai Kai, Swanky is the one who is digging even deeper.

 
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Swanky
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Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-01-23 1:41 pm   Permalink

He died soon after retiring. The old timers tell me the drinks went downhill fast after he left. I take that with a grain of salt. There is bias there when you grow up with Mariano in the back and you know the Thorton's well. I have Mariano's hand written recipes for a few drinks and make them and what I get at the Mai-Kai is as good or better than I make. If they took shortcuts, it would show.

 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2012-01-23 3:26 pm   Permalink

I'm really intrigued by this statement:

Quote:
What separates the good mixologist of tropical drinks from the ordinary is the blending of the juices and the weight of the syrup



Interesting that Mariano mentions the blending of the juices rather than what we might typically perceive to be of more importance, the blending of the rums. Also, the weight of the syrup IS a big factor in the overall enjoyment of the drink in my experience. The mouthfeel of the drink is so important and is highly affected by the viscosity of the syrups used.

I also find it fun to know that a 15-year-old Jamaican rum was used in the Mai-Tais. As we know, it hasn't been common for a very long time to mix standard off-the-menu drinks with extra aged spirits like that, save for today's newer bars that focus more on skilled mixology.

How I wish Mariano were still around to pick his brain! Anyway, thanks DC for the post.


 
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Hurricane Hayward
Grand Member (6 years)  

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 628
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2012-01-24 2:23 pm   Permalink

Dustycajun, thanks for posting the Rosa Tusa article. I had recently come across it but it didn't include the cool photo. FYI, that was published in The Palm Beach Post.

I too wish I had been able to sample the drinks during Mariano's heyday. I was lucky enough to recently get a tour of the back bar where he used to work. Not much has changed, including his rum collection (as Beachbum Berry also discovered) ...



Check out more photos and my full report here:

http://www.slammie.com/atomicgrog/blog/2011/12/28/behind-the-magic-a-backstage-tour-of-the-mai-kais-mysterious-bars-and-kitchen/

_______________
The official blog of The Hukilau

Featuring The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide


[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2012-01-24 14:24 ]


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-24 3:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-01-23 12:24, WestADad wrote:
Quote:

On 2012-01-23 11:58, Dustycajun wrote:


Swanky, do you know who long he stayed at the Mai Kai?

DC



1980?

http://beachbumberry.com/2009/01/08/2008-the-year-in-rum/

" The last of the palatial Polynesian supper clubs, the Mai-Kai is a faux-Polynesian wonderland, perfectly preserved since its opening day in 1956. From that day to 1980, the head bartender was a rum connoisseur named Mariano Licudine."



During Hukilau 2011, I had a chance to spend some time with Ron Licudine, Mariano's son, posting about my experience
here. According to Ron, his Dad retired from the Mai-Kai in 1979, passing away in 1980.

SSDI and related genealogical records indicate that Mariano Licudine was born in Mindanao, Philippines on August 12, 1907. He died at Pompano Beach, Florida in November of 1980 at age 73.

Excerpted from a Mai-Kai historic timeline I started while collaborating with Swanky, TC's own Mai-Kai historian extraordinaire...




-Tom

Note: Timeline edited to incorporate GatorRob feedback.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTomD 2012-01-25 06:09 ]


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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1770
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2012-01-24 5:05 pm   Permalink

Not to nitpick your very detailed timeline, but for sake of accuracy, the major expansion was actually started in 1970 and completed in 1971. And it not only included the addition of the 4 dining rooms (Tonga, Bangkok, Moorea and Tahiti), but also expansion and re-theming of the Molokai bar, expansion of the kitchen, addition of the chinese ovens, enlargement of the restrooms (!), addition of the lanai and expansion of the gardens. All for a measly $1 million. Or $5.5 million in today's money.

 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-01-24 5:52 pm   Permalink

Mahalo for that correction, plus all the additional detail, GatorRob! The timeline, such as it is, was assembled from various news archives and online articles, some of which were retrospective and apparently lacked both specificity and accuracy. Not all that surprising in my experience. It was just a fun way for me to sift through and organize the various nuggets of Mai-Kai related information from those sources. I'll use your input to make it better...

-Tom


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5047
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-01-25 09:19 am   Permalink

That 1970 renovation also removed Fiji where the Surfboard Bar was and the Dias, and replaced it with Tonga, so, Tonga wasn't technically added, just a renovation of Fiji.

Tom thanks for sharing that. I need to send you more stuff to add, although it is a bit detailed info. I will be doing research in FL in February and expect what I get to flesh out a LOT of details. I will be reporting as much as is interesting, relavent and able to be fit into my hour at Hukilau. And there will be a lot of people there that afternoon who were there for all these events that we can ask. I hope to have people there whose histories started at the Mai-Kai in 1957, and I have RSVPs from those who started in 1958 and 1959 for sure.
_________________

Announcing Swank Pad and Crazy Al's Molokai Maiden!


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