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Unpopular Tiki Opinions
Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 2028
From: San Diego
Posted: 2018-06-19 07:15 am   Permalink

Kind of like science fiction; there’s the sort of well read, semi-well known Isaac Asimov and then there’s ...
well...
STAR WARS.


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5316
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2018-06-19 07:25 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-06-18 12:13, tikitube wrote:
Quote:

On 2018-06-18 08:20, Swanky wrote:
The "DIY Tiki Era" is dead.



I dunno. From where I'm standing (Arkansas), DIY Tiki is all we've got.




I'm in TN, so...

Plenty of people are still making and doing themselves, more than ever, I'm just saying there are now people whose profession is whatever "craft" you and I do as a hobby in our spare time. And those people doing it for a living every day are the experts at whatever it is now, not people like you and I who do it as a hobby, whether it's carving, or making syrups.

Not too long ago TC was your best source for info on these "hobbies". Now the professionals are the experts. That's the paradigm change I see.

And there was a time when the Tiki cocktail bloggers were really on the forefront. Their old posts are still great resources. But there are now many books by professionals and many bars run by professionals, designed and decorated by professionals, buying their supplies from professionals... It used to be just us hobbists.
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EnchantedTikiGoth
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Posts: 322
From: Calgary, Canada
Posted: 2018-06-19 07:45 am   Permalink

Unpopular opinion: I could really care less about the drinks... The concept of alcohol even being palatable to me is fairly new. It's all about the decor and vibe. My favourite "Tiki bar" in the entire world is the Enchanted Tiki Room in Disneyland, into which one can only bring some variation on pineapple juice, with or without Dole Whip. A non-Tiki bar with Tiki drinks have an interesting addition to the menu if coworkers take me to one, but it does not a Tiki bar make.

Now that said, they're perfectly entitled to do that. Tiki doesn't belong to anyone, and while we should respect the work of those who came before us in recovering these recipes and keeping the Tiki torch burning, elitism is an ugly thing. It goes back to something I said somewhere on this forum before, that cultures thrive by having a well-defined core rather than well-defined borders. The core keeps the culture centred while the fuzzy edges allow people to explore, innovate, have fun with it, and ease into it. Those people having a crappy Mai Tai at some normie bar might eventually find their way on here, building a home Tiki bar, or whatever.

Now THAT said, I'm not a Tiki purist and I don't feel unwelcome here. I don't know if that's just because I'm confident in what I like and Tiki isn't my all-consuming passion and "just walk away from the screen like...close your eyes haha" or what.


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5316
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2018-06-19 09:43 am   Permalink

TIki Purists Go Home

Nice example. Tiki Purists are Trolls and he uses quotes from Martin Cate and Jeff Berry to try to make the point that we Tiki purists should get lost.

Actually his point is all over the place. Is he saying slushies are cool with Tiki or not? I know few who think Tiki is in a glass case and we should not embrace new cocktails as also Tiki if they fit the genre. It's just who decides what fits the genre??? Apparently those of us who have been making and sharing our mixing results here for a long while are just trolls. Troll or keeper of the faith? What are TC members?

This is getting messy.
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tikitube
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Apr 25, 2017
Posts: 260
From: Ozark Underwater Cliffs
Posted: 2018-06-19 11:01 am   Permalink

From a tiki purists' point of view, you could probably cite tiki as another victim of disruptive technology and subculture commodification, but then some of those same purists (or original hobbyists) would also be guilty of spreading the word of tiki and helping to nudge it back into the spotlight of mainstream media, via their art, writing, and social engagements.

Swanky, at what point does a hobbyist become a "professional"? When he/she makes a living from it? I would guess that most hobbyists here wouldn't be too averse to their books or art becoming hot sellers.

Honestly, I always thought of you as a tiki professional.


 
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Cammo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2006
Posts: 2028
From: San Diego
Posted: 2018-06-19 11:47 am   Permalink

DIY Tiki is alive and well and living here in Groovetown.

I just made this Portable iPhone Radio Tiki Boombox Thing to listen to Exotica Podcasts on; it's FREAKING AMAZING listening to all the great Lounge - Exotica - Tiki - Hawaiian music broadcasting out of this. I've also got 6 different stations on Pandora I dial up, one for each style. You can pick it up and set it down anywhere and people just flip out and ask all about the music.



The back hinges open and then thumbscrews shut.



I custom made the whole thing from scratch to fit my Nixon powered/rechargable speaker and my iPhone pressed together inside. The inside is lined with GREEN FELT. Yup.



Here's the coolest thing; it's voice controlled.
You can yell "HEY SIRI! TURN THE VOLUME UP!" and it does it.


 
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Iakona
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 05, 2017
Posts: 20
From: Virginia
Posted: 2018-06-19 4:00 pm   Permalink

Spongebob Squarepants has played huge part in getting younger generations into Tiki Culture.

[ This Message was edited by: Iakona 2018-06-20 06:31 ]


 
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EnchantedTikiGoth
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Posts: 322
From: Calgary, Canada
Posted: 2018-06-19 9:18 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-06-19 09:43, Swanky wrote:
TIki Purists Go Home

Nice example. Tiki Purists are Trolls and he uses quotes from Martin Cate and Jeff Berry to try to make the point that we Tiki purists should get lost.




I wasn't able to read it because WaPo doesn't like my ad-blocker, which is fine because I don't like their ads. If the new EU regulations go through, nobody will even be able to post corporate media links anyways.

I think Tiki purists are great. You guys and gals are the ones keeping the strong, well-defined core and we need you. I fully admit that I'm on the fuzzy edges of Tiki, but I've never felt unwelcome here. If there is any problem, it isn't with purists, it's with elitists. There is a difference.


 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 1231
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2018-06-19 11:05 pm   Permalink

Here's the full article for those who can't read it.

The anonymous email came in a few months after Owen Thomson and Ben Wiley opened Archipelago, their tiki bar on U Street NW. “Don’t you have any Tiki drinks with more than four to five ingredients? Technically, that’s pretty anti-Tiki in my opinion,” Mr. Congeniality opened his missive. It “works great for the bottom line, but quite frankly, insults any long-standing fan of real Tiki.”

“In short,” the email concluded, “whoever created your beverage program is a mere fanboy at best — not someone who is well grounded in the traditions of the past.”

Dude, I thought, sipping my delicious, complex cocktail and reading the printout — which the bar keeps pinned up in the back for the staff’s amusement — you’re being verrrrry un-Dude.

From their origin in California in the 1930s, first with Don the Beachcomber, then Trader Vic’s and countless imitators since, tiki bars have long been a kind of tropical fantasia, a rum-soaked refuge from postwar anxieties and the daily grind.

But they clearly provide no refuge from the age of trolls. The email confirmed my belief that within every subculture — be it Star Wars buffs, vinyl aficionados or lovers of Siamese cats — there is a sub-subculture so obsessed with arguing about the subject that they’re willing to risk ruining enjoyment in the name of dogma. (Wiley referred to these tik-tators as “strict constructionists,” a Washingtonian’s tiki term if there ever was one.)

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not making a case for #FakeBooze, nor saying that tiki aficionados shouldn’t respect their mixological history. But particularly with tiki, angry accusations of violating some eternal rules seem particularly wacky.

That’s partly because tiki bars, with their fruity rum drinks and laid-back ethos, have long run blissfully counter to the bitters-forward, cocktails-you-have-to-think-about trends that have defined much of the cocktail renaissance. Tiki drinks, says Martin Cate, owner of San Francisco bar Smuggler’s Cove and author of a James Beard Award-winning book on rum and tiki, are meant to delight, not challenge. They’re “not there to pick a fight. They’re not, like, nine kinds of amaro and some Laphroaig,” he says, referring to the heavily peated Scotch whisky that, according to a drinker in one of its ads, tastes like a burning hospital.

But moreover, tiki culture — the 20th-century American style, not the Polynesian mythology it’s loosely drawn from — is by nature a pastiche, borrowed from other cultures in ways that are sometimes informed and respectful, sometimes problematic. Some argue that certain elements of tiki iconography exploit genuine elements of Polynesian and other “exotic” cultures, turning them into escapist kitsch. These days, one can slurp from a bowl bedecked with scantily clad island girls or vaguely “African” idols for only so long before sensing, beneath the pulse of rum, that these things should make you go “Hmmm” — and give you pause before launching attacks based on tiki “authenticity.”

Defining a tiki drink can be tricky business. Is it only “tiki” if it came from the recipes of Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic’s? What about imitators? Should tiki drinks incorporate only ingredients that were available in the 1930s, the dawn of tiki? What about all those blended tropical drinks that share tiki’s “come with me and escape” aesthetic? If a palm tree is standing within 50 feet of the bar, are you
automatically drinking a tiki drink?

It’s an oversimplification, but tiki drinks are basically “Caribbean drinks with Polynesian names,” says Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, owner of Latitude 29 in New Orleans, and author of multiple books that detail the history of tiki drinks. Without Berry’s work tracking down recipes from early tiki bars in California, we would have little idea what most original tiki drinks tasted like.

Berry’s definition is based on Don the Beachcomber’s approach: A tiki drink, he says, is a Caribbean drink squared, and in some cases cubed. Don’s inspiration for almost all of the drinks he created was the Planter’s Punch — rum, lime and sugar and maybe some bitters. “And he took that very simple construct and multiplied everything by a factor of two or three. Instead of lime juice, what happens when you put lime and grapefruit together? Multiple sours, multiple citrus. Same thing with the sweetness. Instead of just sugar, what happens if we put in honey, or honey and falernum, or honey and falernum and passion fruit syrup?”

Trader Vic’s, Cate says, added to the approach by blending rum with other spirits to make more complex drinks, and substituting the base spirit in some classic templates.

This background helps make sense of some of the strange outliers in the tiki canon: the Singapore Sling and the Suffering Bastard, for example, which aren’t rum-based and are neither Polynesian nor Caribbean in origin. The gin-based Saturn, a recipe Berry found printed on the side of a cocktail glass in a vintage store, has become a regular on modern tiki menus, as has the Jungle Bird, a delicious weirdo that is rum-based but adds Campari (unusual in tiki, but that bitterness “is catnip to craft cocktail people,” Berry says).

These oddballs slid past the velvet rope by a variety of means: adventurous or boozy-sounding names that matched the aesthetic, origins in a perceived “exotic” locale (the Suffering Bastard was invented in Cairo in the ’40s). Others showed up in beach bars and got mistaken for a member of the club (as with the piña colada, which Berry says has nothing to do with tiki).

Many of these seeming interlopers, though, make sense, Cate says: They have baroque recipes that balance sweet and tart and spice appropriately. But some drinks that turn up under bars’ “tiki” headings aren’t. Cate says Smuggler’s Cove tries to separate the “welcome guests” from the “slushy Visigoths” — the Mudslides, Lava Flows and Bushwackers that may be served in tropical locations but don’t really follow the template of a real tiki drink.

Cate and Berry understand the need for some pickiness. It took a while for modern cocktailers to grasp that tiki drinks were the first truly “craft” cocktails, Berry says, and Cate says that failure to protect their quality helped lead to the disrepute tiki fell into for decades, an age of sour mix and powdered flavorings. But the notion that “as long as I put 11 ingredients into the shaker it’s an exotic cocktail” is also off-base, Cate says.

Archipelago’s recipes include ingredients not on classic tiki menus — pandan, guava, Thai iced tea — but are used in ways that bear out tradition: complex layering of booze, citrus, spice and sweeteners into delicious drinks. To paraphrase the oft-quoted line about defining obscenity, I know tiki when I taste it.

The bar also has a semi-secret “old school tiki” menu, consisting of recipes from tiki’s golden age, so purists can get there from here. But, Wiley says, while they’re aware of the history of their particular cocktail thread, “we don’t treat tiki like a museum. Things evolve.”

And given the unease many have started to feel around some elements of tiki, I’d say amen to aware evolution. The tiki school of beverages includes some damn tasty drinks, and I’d like to be able to enjoy the island reverie without worrying that I’m indulging in the cocktailing equivalent of lawn jockeys. A fan of real tiki should know the history and be clear about what’s classic and what’s new. But tiki has long taken charming strangers into its embrace, and modern tiki can afford to open its doors — to welcome new and charming guests, and throw some older aesthetic baggage (and some trolls) out in the street.

M. Carrie Allan is a Hyattsville, Md., writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter:


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5316
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2018-06-20 05:07 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-06-19 11:01, tikitube wrote:
From a tiki purists' point of view, you could probably cite tiki as another victim of disruptive technology and subculture commodification, but then some of those same purists (or original hobbyists) would also be guilty of spreading the word of tiki and helping to nudge it back into the spotlight of mainstream media, via their art, writing, and social engagements.

Swanky, at what point does a hobbyist become a "professional"? When he/she makes a living from it? I would guess that most hobbyists here wouldn't be too averse to their books or art becoming hot sellers.

Honestly, I always thought of you as a tiki professional.




I guess that's a little fuzzy too. Some folks went from hobbyists to just doing a lot more of their hobby, not making a living solely off that hobby. But there are those who are full time doing what was a sometimes hobby gig. If I was a proefessional at this I'm doing VERY BADLY.
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Hearn
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 30, 2008
Posts: 150
From: Washington DC
Posted: 2018-06-20 07:42 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-06-19 23:05, swizzle wrote:
Here's the full article for those who can't read it.

The anonymous email came in a few months after Owen Thomson and Ben Wiley opened Archipelago, their tiki bar on U Street NW. “Don’t you have any Tiki drinks with more than four to five ingredients? Technically, that’s pretty anti-Tiki in my opinion,” Mr. Congeniality opened his missive. It “works great for the bottom line, but quite frankly, insults any long-standing fan of real Tiki.”

“In short,” the email concluded, “whoever created your beverage program is a mere fanboy at best — not someone who is well grounded in the traditions of the past.”

Dude, I thought, sipping my delicious, complex cocktail and reading the printout — which the bar keeps pinned up in the back for the staff’s amusement — you’re being verrrrry un-Dude.

From their origin in California in the 1930s, first with Don the Beachcomber, then Trader Vic’s and countless imitators since, tiki bars have long been a kind of tropical fantasia, a rum-soaked refuge from postwar anxieties and the daily grind.

But they clearly provide no refuge from the age of trolls. The email confirmed my belief that within every subculture — be it Star Wars buffs, vinyl aficionados or lovers of Siamese cats — there is a sub-subculture so obsessed with arguing about the subject that they’re willing to risk ruining enjoyment in the name of dogma. (Wiley referred to these tik-tators as “strict constructionists,” a Washingtonian’s tiki term if there ever was one.)

Don’t misunderstand: I’m not making a case for #FakeBooze, nor saying that tiki aficionados shouldn’t respect their mixological history. But particularly with tiki, angry accusations of violating some eternal rules seem particularly wacky.

That’s partly because tiki bars, with their fruity rum drinks and laid-back ethos, have long run blissfully counter to the bitters-forward, cocktails-you-have-to-think-about trends that have defined much of the cocktail renaissance. Tiki drinks, says Martin Cate, owner of San Francisco bar Smuggler’s Cove and author of a James Beard Award-winning book on rum and tiki, are meant to delight, not challenge. They’re “not there to pick a fight. They’re not, like, nine kinds of amaro and some Laphroaig,” he says, referring to the heavily peated Scotch whisky that, according to a drinker in one of its ads, tastes like a burning hospital.

But moreover, tiki culture — the 20th-century American style, not the Polynesian mythology it’s loosely drawn from — is by nature a pastiche, borrowed from other cultures in ways that are sometimes informed and respectful, sometimes problematic. Some argue that certain elements of tiki iconography exploit genuine elements of Polynesian and other “exotic” cultures, turning them into escapist kitsch. These days, one can slurp from a bowl bedecked with scantily clad island girls or vaguely “African” idols for only so long before sensing, beneath the pulse of rum, that these things should make you go “Hmmm” — and give you pause before launching attacks based on tiki “authenticity.”

Defining a tiki drink can be tricky business. Is it only “tiki” if it came from the recipes of Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic’s? What about imitators? Should tiki drinks incorporate only ingredients that were available in the 1930s, the dawn of tiki? What about all those blended tropical drinks that share tiki’s “come with me and escape” aesthetic? If a palm tree is standing within 50 feet of the bar, are you
automatically drinking a tiki drink?

It’s an oversimplification, but tiki drinks are basically “Caribbean drinks with Polynesian names,” says Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, owner of Latitude 29 in New Orleans, and author of multiple books that detail the history of tiki drinks. Without Berry’s work tracking down recipes from early tiki bars in California, we would have little idea what most original tiki drinks tasted like.

Berry’s definition is based on Don the Beachcomber’s approach: A tiki drink, he says, is a Caribbean drink squared, and in some cases cubed. Don’s inspiration for almost all of the drinks he created was the Planter’s Punch — rum, lime and sugar and maybe some bitters. “And he took that very simple construct and multiplied everything by a factor of two or three. Instead of lime juice, what happens when you put lime and grapefruit together? Multiple sours, multiple citrus. Same thing with the sweetness. Instead of just sugar, what happens if we put in honey, or honey and falernum, or honey and falernum and passion fruit syrup?”

Trader Vic’s, Cate says, added to the approach by blending rum with other spirits to make more complex drinks, and substituting the base spirit in some classic templates.

This background helps make sense of some of the strange outliers in the tiki canon: the Singapore Sling and the Suffering Bastard, for example, which aren’t rum-based and are neither Polynesian nor Caribbean in origin. The gin-based Saturn, a recipe Berry found printed on the side of a cocktail glass in a vintage store, has become a regular on modern tiki menus, as has the Jungle Bird, a delicious weirdo that is rum-based but adds Campari (unusual in tiki, but that bitterness “is catnip to craft cocktail people,” Berry says).

These oddballs slid past the velvet rope by a variety of means: adventurous or boozy-sounding names that matched the aesthetic, origins in a perceived “exotic” locale (the Suffering Bastard was invented in Cairo in the ’40s). Others showed up in beach bars and got mistaken for a member of the club (as with the piña colada, which Berry says has nothing to do with tiki).

Many of these seeming interlopers, though, make sense, Cate says: They have baroque recipes that balance sweet and tart and spice appropriately. But some drinks that turn up under bars’ “tiki” headings aren’t. Cate says Smuggler’s Cove tries to separate the “welcome guests” from the “slushy Visigoths” — the Mudslides, Lava Flows and Bushwackers that may be served in tropical locations but don’t really follow the template of a real tiki drink.

Cate and Berry understand the need for some pickiness. It took a while for modern cocktailers to grasp that tiki drinks were the first truly “craft” cocktails, Berry says, and Cate says that failure to protect their quality helped lead to the disrepute tiki fell into for decades, an age of sour mix and powdered flavorings. But the notion that “as long as I put 11 ingredients into the shaker it’s an exotic cocktail” is also off-base, Cate says.

Archipelago’s recipes include ingredients not on classic tiki menus — pandan, guava, Thai iced tea — but are used in ways that bear out tradition: complex layering of booze, citrus, spice and sweeteners into delicious drinks. To paraphrase the oft-quoted line about defining obscenity, I know tiki when I taste it.

The bar also has a semi-secret “old school tiki” menu, consisting of recipes from tiki’s golden age, so purists can get there from here. But, Wiley says, while they’re aware of the history of their particular cocktail thread, “we don’t treat tiki like a museum. Things evolve.”

And given the unease many have started to feel around some elements of tiki, I’d say amen to aware evolution. The tiki school of beverages includes some damn tasty drinks, and I’d like to be able to enjoy the island reverie without worrying that I’m indulging in the cocktailing equivalent of lawn jockeys. A fan of real tiki should know the history and be clear about what’s classic and what’s new. But tiki has long taken charming strangers into its embrace, and modern tiki can afford to open its doors — to welcome new and charming guests, and throw some older aesthetic baggage (and some trolls) out in the street.

M. Carrie Allan is a Hyattsville, Md., writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter:



Wow. There are a LOT of "unpopular tiki opinions" bunched together in that article.

One of the MAIN points of tiki is the nostalgia-component. Evolving/Changing? Making Tiki more PC? I am sorry...that is flat WRONG.

[ This Message was edited by: Hearn 2018-06-20 07:44 ]


 
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AceExplorer
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Apr 03, 2008
Posts: 2452
From: Deep in the Jacksonville Florida jungle.
Posted: 2018-06-20 09:39 am   Permalink

Unpopular tiki opinion: "We've lost control of tiki!"

 
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ukutiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 278
From: Michigan
Posted: 2018-06-20 10:56 am   Permalink



We have never had control of Tiki. Tiki controls us.


 
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EnchantedTikiGoth
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 31, 2003
Posts: 322
From: Calgary, Canada
Posted: 2018-06-20 10:30 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2018-06-19 23:05, swizzle wrote:
Berry’s definition is based on Don the Beachcomber’s approach: A tiki drink, he says, is a Caribbean drink squared, and in some cases cubed. Don’s inspiration for almost all of the drinks he created was the Planter’s Punch — rum, lime and sugar and maybe some bitters. “And he took that very simple construct and multiplied everything by a factor of two or three. Instead of lime juice, what happens when you put lime and grapefruit together? Multiple sours, multiple citrus. Same thing with the sweetness. Instead of just sugar, what happens if we put in honey, or honey and falernum, or honey and falernum and passion fruit syrup?”



LoL, Donn Beach sounds like me. "Mmm, that Malibu and pineapple juice and macadamia nut liqueur tastes good together. What if I added vanilla syrup? Mmm, even better! Now what if I added orgeat? Mmm, better yet. Now what if I added passion fruit syrup..."


 
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santa
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 20, 2011
Posts: 47
From: North America
Posted: 2018-06-20 10:49 pm   Permalink

Unpopular opinion: rum is the best liquor and there’s any point to drinking super expensive or rare rums. I see $100 rum shots at tiki bars! And exclusive clubs if you sample 100 rums.

 
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