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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food The Bad Drink
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The Bad Drink
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2639
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2002-09-02 10:34 pm   Permalink

Getting a good drink at a bar is swell. It's a dream to cherish forever. But it's the mediocre drinks that make the good drink stand out, and it's the bad drink that drives us to search for (or create) the good drink.

I like reading posts of members' drinking out experiences. It's good to know where the good drinks are as one travels around. But I also like to read about the bad drinks because it seems the bad drink really fuels the creative juices when retelling the experience. With that in mind I'm suggesting this thread to commemorate the bad drink and commiserate with (and warn) your fellow drinkers.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2639
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2002-09-02 10:54 pm   Permalink

So let me start with the drink that inspired this thread...

Seattle's Ohana is the closest thing we have to an actual Tiki bar. They have a happy hour with a $4 Blue Hawaiian. I finally got around to trying their version of this drink and still wish I hadn't. It was completely devoid of coconut which most every Blue Hawaiian recipe I've ever encountered has, it also seemed devoid of any flavor at all except sweet, and it seemed to be lacking any actual alcoholic content...So my sorrow over the terrible drink could not be drowned. It was like sipping a glass of somewhat chilled blue colored syrup water flavored with a rumor of rum. I finished (just in case there was any booze in it...Wasting alcohol is a terrible sin), paid, and stormed down to a not so exotic bar with a helluva $2 cheeseburger and a good selection of beer.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 10, 2002
Posts: 74
From: Bay Area, CA
Posted: 2002-09-03 12:45 am   Permalink

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine came into town and stayed at the Marriott in San Mateo. She calls me late one night to tell me the hotel bar has "those freaky-faced ceramic mug things that you like" (hey - you can't blame her for trying). So when I pick her up the next night, we go to the bar, where the bartender tells me I can have a ceramic mug if I buy a mai tai (twist my arm...) What made this a horrible experience was 1. the mug had a gold "Made in China" sticker on the bottom, and NO hotel name inscription. and 2. They made the mai tai with Malibu rum. <shudder>

I'm still recovering.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2989
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2002-09-03 10:35 am   Permalink

It wasn't a tropical drink but I had a bad drink experience recently. It was at the Mel-O-Dee bar in El Cerrito (East San Francisco Bay area). The bar is an old-timer's hang out and it was the last night they had live music (they're putting a pool table on the dance floor!) so we went to hear the band, that plays a mix of big band swing and jazz standards. I ordered a champagne cocktail, which is a drink I would only order in a place where older folks hang out. The surly bartender made a drink with champagne and 7-up on the rocks! It was basically a wine cooler. Ecch! I drank it but I should have sent it back. Needless to say, my next drink was a bourbon and soda.

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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 3070
From: Columbus, Ohiya
Posted: 2004-05-17 09:49 am   Permalink

we went to a place on friday that lulled me into a false sense of security; my martini was great and the mahine's cosmo ws pretty right on. so i asked the waiter if the bartender knew how to make a good mai tai. he returned with a emphatic affirmative, so we ordered one. it was truly vile, and didn't so much send it back as abandon it. when i explained to the waiter that we probably have too-high standards for mai tais and consider the trader vic's recipe the best (blank recognition), he took it off the table and a minute later the bartender came over and inquired that we didn't like it - ? i asked, well it wasn't what we expected, did you maybe use a mix? she said she used orange juice, pineapple juice, and sour mix (did not mention rum... guess there was some in there)... i tried to be sympathetic but she was all huffy. oh well. i googled "mai tai recipe" and didn't even come up woith that combination anywhere. i guess it might come that way in some generic coctail guide? learned my lesson well. i guess the totally swank interior and good mainstream cocktails (not to mention the bombay sapphire) affected my decision process...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 29, 2004
Posts: 184
From: Command Records International HQ
Posted: 2004-05-17 10:38 am   Permalink

I've had my share of bad drinks at Chino Latino in Minneapolis, a see-and-be-seen restaurant and night spot for the "in" crowd in Uptown. They are actually revered for their drinks, having just won the City Pages Best Cocktails award, and they price their drinks accordingly-$8-12 apiece. Unfortunately, most drinks I've ordered there have had to be sent back for one reason or another. In fairness, there are a couple of decent cocktails on their menu--the Wu Ting Cran, for one, but good luck ordering it because they are perpetually out of the Grapefruit Vodka that the recipe calls for. But for all the rave reviews the place gets it should be a helluva lot better. Food's decent, but the same price/value criticism applies, especially since these types of places are by no means upscale or gourmet in the strictest sense and the people who approach them as such are fooling themselves into a false sense of sophistication.

One particularly memorable occasion was when I ordered a Mai Tai. What showed up was a warm, syrupy nearly boozeless concoction that could best be described as drinking Trader Vic's Mai Tai Mix straight from the bottle. What they had right was that it was almondy and seemed to contain orange curacao. What was wrong was that it had very little rum--and it was probably light rum by the way, but there's no way to be sure because I could barely taste it. It also had WAY too much sweet and absolutely NO lime juice. I coerced the self-absorbed metrosexual waiter into bringing me more ice and some lime wedges several times until finally, about 9 lime wedges and half a pound of ice later, I had something that tasted pretty much like a Mai Tai.

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Unga Bunga
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 06, 2003
Posts: 5859
From: CaliTikifornia
Posted: 2004-05-17 2:46 pm   Permalink


On 2004-05-17 09:49, Johnny Dollar wrote:
when i explained to the waiter that we probably have too-high standards for mai tais and consider the trader vic's recipe the best.

Yes we are an elite group that the mainstreamers don't get, when it comes to making a Mai Tai.

I guess it might come that way in some generic coctail guide?

I have one that has that exact recipe. (?)
The manual now resides under my birdcage.

Oh It Looks Good On You Though!

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Velvet Ruby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 22, 2003
Posts: 117
From: Vancouver
Posted: 2004-05-22 2:00 pm   Permalink

This isn't quite the same as getting a bad tropical drink, but I once had the misfortune of ordering a Gin and Tonic at a pub in Montreal, and found out that not only were they out of tonic, so was the bar next door, so I ended up with a Gin and seven up. Some people may like this..
but when you want a Gin and TONIC it's not the most pleasant thing to choke down..
"Someone put the Whammy in the Gizmo and look what happened!" ~ Piano Slim


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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 30, 2004
Posts: 35
From: Columbia, SC
Posted: 2004-05-22 6:01 pm   Permalink


On 2004-05-22 14:00, Velvet Ruby wrote:
I once had the misfortune of ordering a Gin and Tonic at a pub in Montreal(...)I ended up with a Gin and seven up. Some people may like this..
but when you want a Gin and TONIC it's not the most pleasant thing to choke down.

Just remember that it could always be worse. You could have a bartender who's coked to the gills and fixes you a salty dog with orange juice and grenadine...

I'd rather be eaten by sharks.

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 29, 2003
Posts: 958
From: near Atlanta, Georgia
Posted: 2004-05-27 10:41 am   Permalink

I have been told that the cocktails at the Lava Lounge are good, having not been there in many years i went to a show. I ordered a Blue Hawaiian, which was more like a blue tang zinger. alcohol content was nill from what i could tell, and it cost more than a Blue Hawaiian at Tiki Ti. I drank the whole thing and ended up with a rope burn in my throat as if i had eaten a stack of tang sandwiches.
I do not know if this is the experience others have had, maybe this is just not the drink to order there. It pays to try though, I once again appreciate a well made Blue Hawaiian.
Tiki Ti by far is the best I have had, in balance and potency. I make one that does the duty at home, very similar to the Ti's but a tad sweeter.

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Feelin' Zombified
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1338
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2004-06-02 7:12 pm   Permalink

I went to a Chinese restaurant that I had never been to before last night hoping to find some undiscovered mugs/decor/etc. As luck would have it, there were several different styles of mugs behind the bar and, to my amazement, 2 LARGE pufferfish above the bar (!)

I was feeling like I might actually have some luck and when I saw the menu (slings, punches, grogs, etc) my mouth started watering. But hmmmm, what's this? a "frog cutter"? eeewww! the image was not a pleasant one, but I figured everyone is entitled to a typo now and then. I ordered one. The Mrs. got a mai tai (for reference sake) When they arrived at the table, I was a bit disappointed that the "frog" was not in a tiki mug, but in a wine glass-ish thing... and looked suspiciously just like the mai tai. Tasted one. tasted the other.

They were the Exact same drink!

Grenadine, OJ, Rum.


oh yeah, the food sucked too.


Thank God The Tiki Bar Is Open
Thank God The Tiki Torch Still Shines...

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2244
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2004-06-02 11:05 pm   Permalink

several years ago, my darling husband ordered a tropical drink (we think "mai tai") from Peohe's on Coronado Island ~

it was odd, we saw things floating in the drink.. and when he tasted it..it.. was gritty ~ yes, they used something similar to Tang as the fruit juice ...

he sent the drink back, and ordered a bushmills, neat.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 2639
From: Seattilite Telstar
Posted: 2004-06-28 10:38 pm   Permalink

Although I like Seattle's Islander quite a bit here's a dull tale I've sat on for a few months...

The night was dark, and it was on that dark night that I discovered if you ask for "dark rum" at the Islander you get charged a premium price since they only carry one brand...Sometimes you get charged more. Previoulsy I'd had dark rum and soda at well drink prices. During Happy Hour on that dark night it was $7.50. I expressed surprise as it was a well drink and was immediately verbally bludgeoned by the two ladies behind the bar. They politely began a chorus of "We've NEVER had a dark rum well!" this was delivered in a loud volume in front of all the other bar drinkers who turned and looked at me as if I'd asked the ladies to show me their grapefruits so I could have a squeeze. (There was a arge bowl of fruit behind the bar.) I'm not sure what set them off as I hadn't made any grand gesture of outrage, whined, snorted, rolled my eyes, sighed heavily, or any of the other annoying customer things. "Let him have it at well price," the one women I've never cared for said loudly with a weary tone. I had not been arguing for a lesser price (I'd just stated that I'd had that drink at well price before) so I paid the $7.50...While secretly vowing it would be the last drink I'd ever buy there! No longer in a drinking mood I watched the ice melt in my glass until my friends showed and I gave the drink to one of them.

I'll visit again some day (I break vows all the time), but my friends were so put off by my tale (and seeing me not drinking) that they haven't been back.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2004-06-30 8:19 pm   Permalink

I once ordered wine in Cambodia and they have me PALM WINE. I think that's what it was. It was cloudy, nasty, and sweet. I couldn't take more than one sip.

That's saying a lot, if you know me, he he

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Satan's Sin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 13, 2004
Posts: 729
From: Imperial Beach, CA
Posted: 2004-07-01 09:29 am   Permalink

Many moons ago, when I was in the Navy, we pulled into Singapore and on the top of my checklist was a visit to the famous "Raffles" hotel -- birthplace of the legendary Singapore Sling.

The long bus ride through Singapore proved singularly uninspiring. "Singapore" conjurs up such mighty images of romance and mystery, and yet the city before me was more like a squeaky-clean version of Tampa, Fla. Spitting is crime. Chewing gum is a crime (honest). Smoking dope means death. Everything else means a beating with a cane. But by god you could eat off those sidewalks.

Anyway -- Raffles. Old British imperial grandeur going a little to seed; maybe they'll fix it up, maybe not. Go to bar. Bored young Chinese bartender looks through me. I ask for a Singapore Sling. Bored bartender sighs, reaches under bar, picks up an already-made Sling from a tray of at least two dozen Slings, places it on bar.

Tasted like vodka and cherry Hawaiian punch.

Did have a slightly better time at a British "country club" near the naval station called "The Terror Club" (honest). Bunch of ex-pat Brits and those of you who are world travelers will know they are drinking fools. Drinks tend to be a full glass of whiskey with a capful of mixer and a cube or two of ice "because we know how you yanks like your ice!"

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