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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Tiki Mugs Ain't So Great...
Tiki Mugs Ain't So Great...
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2639
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2006-03-04 07:20 am   Permalink

First off, of course I HEART TIKI MUGS. So relax and go check yer blood pressure. Still unconvinced? Read this lil poem I writed just now:

Tiki mugs is neat!
Tiki mugs is joy!
A swell ceramic treat
For grownup girls and boys!

But Tiki mugs ain't so great when it comes to drink presentation. You miss a lot when drinking out of a Tiki mug. The light play through the ice and drink. The condensation on the side of the glass making an Impressionism like "Portrait Of A Drink" for your gaze to get lost in. The way a cherry or submerged slice of fruit looks when it's down in the ice and drink half pressed up against the glass. The transformation of the real world when viewed through the bottom of a glass filled with ice and drink as you tilt one back. And the color of something like a Blue Hawaiian is completely pointless confined within the opaque walls of a Tiki mug. Maybe worst of all, with a Tiki mug you miss one of the most beautiful drink visions anyone can serve anywhere: A dark rum float filling the top of the glass and transforming the color of the drink as the dark rum slowly descends to the bottom.

And Tiki mugs can be a pain when trying to garbage up a drink with fruit and doo-dads...The thick walls of the mug can split a fruit slice and you need a long skewer in order to get a nice spear of fruits to rise above the top of the glass in order to be seen. You sometimes need longer straws than usual due to the height of the mug.

Cleaning 'em can be difficult. Some might chip easily. It's hard to get the bottoms of the mug cleaned out sometimes without a longer scrubbing device. You can't stack 'em in the dish rack as easily as glasses. (I just remembered that a lot of the world uses dishwashers, so maybe it's an easier task.)

So, Tiki mugs ain't so great for a lot of drinking situations. But please, before you despair and decide to trash your collection contact me first to see if I can lighten your burden by taking a few off your hands.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 04, 2005
Posts: 556
From: La Mesa, California
Posted: 2006-03-04 07:34 am   Permalink


But please, before you despair and decide to trash your collection contact me first to see if I can lighten your burden by taking a few off your hands.

They can have my tiki mug when they pry it from my unconscious, drunken fingers.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 15, 2004
Posts: 590
From: The Land of Pleasant Living
Posted: 2006-03-04 08:38 am   Permalink

Hey Woofmutt, that is something that I had been considering as of late. I notice TV's new 60th Anniversary Mai Tai glasses are, well... glasses. And I think I like'em. You bring up the very good point that a lot of cocktails are visually appealing (for some, that's the only thing they've got going for them) and a mug hides that. And yes, I do like looking at the ice cubes and the colors of garnishes, etc. Cut crystal can be a lot of fun as well, facets with light playing through the cubes and the liquor. There's all that, and I, just speaking for myself, really like a thin lip on a martini or wine glass. Rolled glass lips are fine, I just don't like 'em. I prefer a beer glass to a beer mug (Dad would roll over in his grave if he read that).

On the other hand, tiki mugs bring a bit of excitement to the table. They're just plain (well, not so plain), old-fashioned fun. I like it all! Long live cocktails!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2004
Posts: 2061
From: Wisconsin
Posted: 2006-03-04 09:08 am   Permalink

I don't have very many tiki mugs (yet!), but even so, I love serving drinks in glasses. The complex and mesmerizing combination of color and texture topped with a picturesque garnish is always impressive even with a simple recipe.
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Leeward Lounge Ukuleles

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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1329
From: Calgary
Posted: 2006-03-04 09:22 am   Permalink

I agree with much of yr sentiment. I prefer to serve cocktails in the proper glass. For me, the tiki mug is a great, fun vessel to use if the drink has a drab appearance, but I'd (more often than not) rather collect them and display them than drink from them.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2006-03-04 09:31 am   Permalink

I usually serve my mai-tais at home in glasses, most usually in what many here will call a mai-tai, and what my parents might call an 'old-fashioned' type glass. Often these will be glasses from former restaurants, which can add to the vintage feel - it is fun offering a drink in a glass which has a red portrait of Don Ho, or Beach-Bum Burts on the side!

I also enjoy looking at the lights shine through the drink, and being able to swirl a small pattern in the ice chips with one's swizzle stick, especially with the cherry whirling around inside looking a bit like Dorothy caught in a Kansas tornado. A transparent glass also makes it easier for a host to keep track of when to offer a guest a refill.

One advantage that tiki mugs do provide is the tactile sensation of one's fingers as it grasps, holds, and otherwise caresses the tiki mug. A good mug will not only look good, but feel good in one's hand. Which makes me wonder - are there any pictures of Ray Charles, or Helen Keller, or any other famous blind person holding a tiki mug in their hand?


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3293
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2006-03-04 09:33 am   Permalink

So, why can't we have the best of both worlds?
Clear tiki shaped glasses, such as the two faced Polynesian Village mug(readily available from Red Robin eateries)

(image from the collection of Tiki-Kate)

Great Minds Drink Alike

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2006-03-04 10:57 am   Permalink

I like my mai tai in a trader vic's mai tai transparent glass, I like my martini in a cocktail glass...I use mugs for friends to drink exotic cocktail, but the kind you make in large quantities.

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Rum Balls
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 04, 2004
Posts: 900
From: Da Big Island
Posted: 2006-03-04 6:09 pm   Permalink

I'm torn as well. I've got a growing mug collection, and love grabbing a Beachbum Berry recipe and filling 'em up.

But on the other hand, the colors of many tiki drinks are beautiful, and presentation is part of the whole "experience."

My solution: make two drinks...one in a tiki mug, and one in a clear glass. ENJOY!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1784
From: Orlando
Posted: 2006-03-05 12:33 pm   Permalink

Well, the thing is, to me the best tiki bars are very dark inside with small, well placed, low wattage bulbs that help to set the mood. With a room that dark I think the subtleties of the drink coloring and whatnot seen in a clear glass are mostly lost. So I think a tiki mug is a perfect vessel for that kind of room and it also enhances the mood. But with that said, when I make a quick Mai Tai at home, more often than not I reach for a glass. Its just a bit quicker and more convenient and I don't have to hand wash it.

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Matt Reese
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 09, 2005
Posts: 1182
From: San Diego
Posted: 2006-03-06 8:28 pm   Permalink

It seems dependant on the drink to me. Colorfull cocktails-glass. Not so colorfull-mug. Also the names of the drinks sometimes warrant a specific vessel. I like coconut drinks in coconut mugs etc. Still, when it gets right down to it I'll drink a good cocktail out of just about anything.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2003
Posts: 2158
From: www.crazedmugs.com
Posted: 2006-03-07 05:01 am   Permalink

Are you the guy who spammed-up Ooga-Mooga's front page with a bunch of pictures of Bugs Bunny drinkware?

It makes me vewy, vewy angwy.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 17, 2005
Posts: 358
From: Fort Lauderdale
Posted: 2006-03-15 12:56 pm   Permalink

If you want to serve your drinks in a clear glass rather than a tiki mug so that you can see the drink, I think a good alternative is a bamboo shaped glass. It obviously won't be as festive as a mug, but it is still somewhat festive. Here's a link to a site the sells them:


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2006-03-15 6:22 pm   Permalink


Kinda depends on the drink really. For me a certain type of tiki drink calls for a certain type of vessel, and there are really only a few hard fast rules. For instance, a mai tai should always be in a glass and not a mug.

I have all kinds of rocks glasses, highballs, hurricanes, etc. that I would be inclined to serve a tropical cocktail in just as often as a mug. I think to me the drinks that are heavy on the fruit juice tend to belong in a tiki mug. I don't know why, but it seems like that is the case. The less you can see through it, the more it feels like a mug drink. With the exception of frozen drinks and those with a lot of shaved ice. Those feel like glass to me. Unless they are brownish, then they'd go ina mug too.

I dunno.

It's a feel thing.

I need a drink.


[ This Message was edited by: KuKuAhu 2006-03-15 18:24 ]

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