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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Tiki Cocktail Party
Tiki Cocktail Party
Suburban Beachbum
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 27, 2008
Posts: 33
Posted: 2009-07-07 06:44 am   Permalink

Hey, folks.

I'm thinking of throwing a Tiki Cocktail party at my apartment in a few weeks-- just about three cocktails, a non-alcoholic option, and some "horse doovers."

Any suggestions for drink and food options?


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Chief Bartender
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 04, 2006
Posts: 128
From: Sacramento, CA
Posted: 2009-07-08 09:19 am   Permalink


On 2009-07-07 06:44, Suburban Beachbum wrote:
Hey, folks.

I'm thinking of throwing a Tiki Cocktail party at my apartment in a few weeks-- just about three cocktails, a non-alcoholic option, and some "horse doovers."

Any suggestions for drink and food options?


My recommendations:

You're correct to pre-select two or three cocktails. Most people wouldn't know a Painkiller from a pincushion. Select drinks that are distinct, like a Painkiller (fruity) and a Mai Tai (rum/lime) to give people variety. Premix the morning of or the night before the non-alcoholic ingredients. I use either empty bottles or tupperware I can put in the fridge. If you have or can get a big ice-tea server, use that to dispense the juice portion of the drink. We got two at a restaurant supply store fairly cheap. They will make your life easier: fill glass with ice, dispense juice, add rum, add straw, stir, add garnish. You can get lots of drinks out quick for the initial rush at the bar.

Buy more ice than you think you'll need. Like 50% more. The worst thing you can do is run out of ice.

For non-alcoholic drinks, which are a must, a punch bowl on a table works well. I also recommend flavored sodas. Coke and Pepsi are nice, but not terribly tiki. Orange,cherry, grape, etc. soda works better with the theme and they are popular with everyone, not only teatotalers and kids. And speaking of kids, give them a Shirley Temple in a small Tiki mug and they will love you until something else shiny catches their eye.)

For food: if you serve warm stuff, buy or borrow a chafing dish. You can get them now at Costco. You don't want to be serving drinks AND tending to the oven. Keep some nibbley-type food in the bar area. Nuts are good, but for modern tastes, edamame is better. After a few hours of drinking, I'd rather eat that than nuts anyway. Try to have a good mix of sweet and savory snacks. And remember that conscientous guests will proably bring stuff. Reserve some space. (Conscientous and well-meaning guests will bring you cheap rum. Smile, say "thank you" then put it away someplace until you need to clean your plumbing.)

Hope this all helps. Remember to have fun. The night will fly by.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2006
Posts: 1441
From: San Diego
Posted: 2009-07-08 10:49 am   Permalink

We recently had a big party and I premade two large cocktail batches: Mai Tai and Blue Hawaiian. Unexpectedly, it turned into an interesting sociology experiment. Almost all the guys wanted mai tais, and almost all the ladies wanted Blue Hawaiiwans.
"I am Lono!" -- Hunter S. Thompson

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 22, 2008
Posts: 211
From: Boston-ish
Posted: 2009-07-09 06:21 am   Permalink

From experience, I can say that sticking with food that doesn't require utensils is the best way to go. If it can be eaten on a skewer, a toothpick, or as finger food, it's a lot easier for everyone.

Things I've had good luck with:

teriyaki steak (or chicken) skewers
mini fresh fruit kebab on a toothpick, with or without a lime/honey/yogurt dip
chicken wings
ham and pineapple picks
mini kalua pork sandwich rolls

Consider making some stuff ahead of time that you can microwave when you need it. Also maybe consider some nice frozen appetizers from Trader Joe's or wherever. Some folks like to serve things that are more classic retro than strictly tiki, like pigs-in-blankets, Swedish meatballs and the like.

I also supplement with some Chinese take out, so I'm not spending my whole party in the kitchen...chicken fingers, wontons, and scallion pancakes, garnished on a platter with a fresh orchid or slices of starfruit, suddenly look a whole lot more festive.

And yeah...pitcher drinks are the way to go, for sure. Otherwise you spend the whole night with a cocktail shaker in your hands and not hanging with your guests (which is exactly what happened at my first tiki party).

Have fun!

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