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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » Trader Vic Tortuga Mug
Trader Vic Tortuga Mug
moondoggie
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 16, 2009
Posts: 32
From: England
Posted: 2014-05-05 05:29 am   Permalink

Stumbled across this mug on eBay (also listed as a vase) and it struck me as unusual. If it wasn't for the Trader Vic markings, I would've assumed it wasn't even tiki at all.





Trawling Tiki Central, gave me a name for the mug, but couldn't really find many references other than
this and this.

I found a drinks menu which shows the mug down the bottom:



source (and a similar mug).

I'm really interested in knowing more about it. Any particular reason why a drink named Tortuga would be served in a (to me) non-tiki looking mug?
I definitely would have passed it by if seen in a thrift shop/boot sale.
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TikiTacky
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2010
Posts: 1305
Posted: 2014-05-05 07:49 am   Permalink

Tortuga
Recipe
1 ounce 123-proof rum
1 ounce 151-proof rum
1 ounce Italian vermouth
2 dashes curaçao
2 dashes creme de cacao
1 dash grenadine
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Shake with ice; pour over cracked ice in a 14-ounce chimney glass.


 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2014-05-05 08:30 am   Permalink

Oh so Lucky! Thats a hard one to find. It's on my want list. I love those Waikiki Trader Vic Mugs. I only have made in Hawaii/used in Hawaii stuff in my collection.

Only used in the Waikiki International Market location 1967-72ish. By Polynesian Pottery (later Daga Hawaii.) Totally fits with some of the nautical pirate theme/decor they had.


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11169
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2014-05-05 09:46 am   Permalink

An appreciation perhaps best summed up here:

http://www.artistpotters.com/artist_potters/frederick/wf_articles/primitive_pottery.htm

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moondoggie
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 16, 2009
Posts: 32
From: England
Posted: 2014-05-05 11:19 am   Permalink

Thanks for the recipe, TikiTacky.

Phillip - Thanks for the information! Unfortunately, I didn't bid on the mug as the shipping costs would be too high - not so lucky! So it was only used in the Waikiki International Marketplace Vic's? That makes it even more interesting to me.

BigBro - Thanks for the link. So you think the decision was more an artistic one rather than one of minimising production costs? (Assuming of course, production costs are lower with more simplistic designs.)

If only used in Waikiki, was there some kind of local history behind the design? Was it common for Vic's to have special mugs for various locations?
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1603
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2014-05-05 4:49 pm   Permalink

Hi. (I also did not get to bid.) As previously mentioned in Waikiki Tiki, and through information from the Daga boys,

The Honolulu location did not have access to the same mugs as the mainland Vic's. Two reasons primarily.

1/. Not an official franchise because even though it was founded by Vic and the Abbott family on Ward Avenue in 12/40, (they apparently came to blows) and the Granville "Granny" Abbott ended up buying out Vic with the provision that only one could be in the islands. Vic went on to direct the bar recipes from afar of the Royal Hawaiian hotel.

2/. Because of the cost of importing and reason 1, when the Spencecliff's bought and moved it to Waikiki, they contracted local artists to hand pour these marvelous vessels. They wanted them very primitive and different from Vic's sleek, almost modern designs.

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Fez Moai
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Dec 01, 2013
Posts: 271
From: Parts unknown
Posted: 2014-05-05 5:20 pm   Permalink

Tortuga is Spanish for "Turtle" or "Tortoise". Maybe the design on the mug is some sort of artistic rendering of one?

 
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moondoggie
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 16, 2009
Posts: 32
From: England
Posted: 2014-05-06 09:15 am   Permalink

Aaaaah of course - thank you Phillip. I had just read about the 'buying out' the other day so should've twigged it was involved somehow. I guess I'd zoomed in on the Tortuga mug at the bottom and didn't really notice that the other mugs weren't the usual Trader Vic's mugs I've seen before either. Looking at the old drinks menu, I think I prefer the more primitive style too.



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moondoggie
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 16, 2009
Posts: 32
From: England
Posted: 2014-05-06 09:30 am   Permalink

Fez Moai - good idea. I can kinda somehow see how they could be artistic renderings of tortoise shells but if asked, I'm not sure if I could explain how.

The 2nd pattern was different (and perhaps more shell like?):



Reminds me a bit of this shape:



However, at this stage, I'm thinking it's more likely the design was just easier to reproduce in large quantities.
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Fez Moai
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Dec 01, 2013
Posts: 271
From: Parts unknown
Posted: 2014-05-06 1:56 pm   Permalink

I can see a primitive shell design on that one. It would make sense.

 
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