3 Great Tiki Drinks to Serve at Your Next Party

When I debuted Modern Tiki Lounge at Keystone Art Space's Open Studios this past weekend, I decided I needed to serve some legitimately good tiki drinks.  There was a whole taste-testing process (I'm talking somewhere between 12-15 drinks!) that happened at home days in advance.  Thanks to the feedback from Greg (my, thankfully, willing +1 to most things tiki) and Tamar (who has some on-point taste buds and her own blog, Tam Thyme), we were able to arrive at three solid options: Saturn, Chief Lapu Lapu, and Mr. Bali Hai.  


Either everyone who came through on Saturday night was way too nice or these recipes are really worthy of praise. All were taken from Beachbum Berry's Total Tiki app (yes, spend the money, it's worth it).  Try 'em out at home.  My personal favorite (and what seemed to be the crowd favorite as well) was the Chief Lapu Lapu.  



(for the gin drinker)

  • 1 1/4 oz. gin 
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1/4 oz. falernum
  • 1/4 oz. orgeat syrup

The recipe suggests to pour the above ingredients into a blender with a cup of ice and blend until smooth.  It also suggests serving in a pilsner or other tall glass.  For all recipes I served at the event, I mixed all ingredients in advance and had guests serve themselves over a cup of ice.    

Chief Lapu Lapu 

(for the rum drinker who likes fruity cocktails)

  • 1 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. light Puerto Rican rum 
  • 3 oz. orange juice
  • 2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 oz. simple syrup

Shake well with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a large snifter.  Add more ice to fill. 
[Note: the Total Tiki app has three Chief Lapu Lapu recipes.  This is the 1950s version.]

Mr. Bali Hai

(for the rum drinker who likes a little less sweetness)

  • 1 1/2 oz. dark Jamaican rum
  • 1 oz. light Puerto Rican rum 
  • 1 1/2 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. coffee-flavored brandy 
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake well with crushed ice.  Pour unstrained into a Mr. Bali Hai mug (if available) or a double old-fashioned glass.  


And since so many people who came through at Open Studios asked, my favorite tiki bar in LA is the Tonga Hut.  In Southern California, it's Trader Sam's