When anyone says “Tiki” we all instantly think of rum, cinnamon and spices, and drinks on fire in fun glassware. It has a vast and varied history and is rich with its share of original and appropriated culture. The history of Tiki drinks can be traced back to the 1930s, when a man named Don Beachcomber opened the first Tiki bar in Hollywood, California. Don was inspired by the Polynesian culture that he had experienced while travelling in the South Pacific. To recreate the flavors that he experienced in Hawaii, Don mixed rum with fresh fruits, such as pineapple and guava.
Like any origination story of cocktails, the invention is a contested subject. Many credit the first Tiki cocktail to a bartender named Trader Vic. While working at his bar in Los Angeles, Trader Vic was visited by a group of friends from Tahiti. It is rumored that Trader Vic combined pineapple juice, liqueur, and light and dark rum to create the ultimate Tiki cocktail, the Mai Tai.
During the 1950s and 60s, Hawaiian culture became very popular in movies and magazines. Tiki bars started to appear all over the United States, signalizing the rise of this cultural trend. Since then, we have added everything we can think of to a shaker to recreate a taste that instantly transports us to a different time and place.
This Tiki cocktail uses gin instead of traditional dark spirits. We love what the gin does to the cocktail and are firm believers that we can make just about any spirit a Tiki cocktail.
3 oz Coconut water
1.5 oz London Dry gin
.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
.5 oz Orange juice
.5 oz Honey Lavender Elixir
1 oz Seltzer
Dash Aromatic or Tiki bitters
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Shake until very cold. Strain into a Tiki glass with fresh crushed ice. Garnish with lime zest grated over cocktail.