A Mountain of Crushed Ice With an Ancient Drink in...

A Mountain of Crushed Ice With an Ancient Drink in a New Mug

One of the best pure bloggers in the entire Cocktailosphere is Tiare of A Mountain of Crushed Ice. Her blog is one of the oldest, most lavishly photographed, and continuously updated cocktail blogs out there. And she always has something for me during Tiki Month. Of course, for her, every month is Tiki Month, with a sprinkling of spirit reviews and other stuff that allow her to insist that you not call her a Tikiblogger… unless she wants you to!

Her first Tiki-related post this year is ostensibly about the Sumatra Kula, allegedly one of the first Tiki drinks created by Don the Beachcomber.

Again with Donn Beach’s stuff. It’s all about the Beachcomber this year, isn’t it?
You’d better be careful, or the Ghost of Vic Bergeron over at the Fraternal Order of the Moai will start bitching at you!

The Sumatra Kula features Rhum Agricole and several other things from Don’s recurring cast of supporting characters. As is my practice with these Rule 2 posts this year, I will not really be writing about T’s post. Go there to read the recipe and see the rest of her distinctive photos.

Instead, I just want to note that her post highlights something about the international nature of Tiki. Tiare is Swedish, and not only is she the only Tikiblogger in Sweden, she likely is the only one in Europe! (If I am wrong, please correct me quickly) Tiki seems primarily an American phenomenon. And I suppose a certain provinciality is right and proper, since the appeal of Tiki is as an exotic “escape” from the humdrum of domestic American mid-century life. Incidentally, the early James Bond books filled much this same niche for English readers in the broke and broken post-war UK, to whom a journey even to a casino (royale) in northern France was a dangerous, exotic, and near-impossible to manage ideal. I think this may be a good reason that Spy Music and themes seem to mesh so effortlessly and inevitably with Tiki.

But while Tiki is mostly American, those scraps of Tiki that do spring up in Europe, and which I’ve become aware of, seem to be very sturdy and well-constructed. Tiare’s blog (which yes, I know, isn’t just a Tiki blog) is an example. In her post, she notes that her three new mugs, all of which are unique and quite cool, are of Scottish manufacture! Who knew there was a tiki mug operation in WhiskyLand? Of course, since they are Scottish, they are not crap. Not only that, but they are made exclusively for what looks to be a helluva joint in Glasgow, the Tiki Bar and Kitsch Inn. Tiki palaces are so rare in Europe as to make them look outright common here in the US, but each that I have ever heard of over there seems to be executed with a ferocious fervor. I do have a question for my Euro readers. How successful are these outposts of American psychoses?

UPDATE: Tiare schools me on the extent of European Tiki in the comments.

And hey! This post is part of Tiki Month 2013 here at the Pegu Blog! Be sure to look around for LOTS more Tiki stuff all February!

  1. Tiare

    14 February

    Thank you for your lavish post about me…:-) but one thing needs to be clarified…

    Tiki in Europe isn`t as rare as you may think, look at the Tiki scene in London for example with several tiki bars among them Trailer Happiness, Mahiki and Kona Kai..and when it comes to drinks – they are VERY creative in London! My own fav bar there is the Trailer Happiness, it´an aweome tiki bar.

    Here is a link to some of the tiki bars in London –

    And – i`m not the only tiki blogger in Europe…

    Already submitted Tiki Websites
    France | | TIKI SHOP
    France | | Tiki Tribe France
    Germany | | Die Tiki Lounge
    Germany | Kreuzau-Boich | Bouchta Ouali – Tiki und mehr
    Germany | Frechen | 11cl
    Germany | Much |
    Germany | Pfaffenhofen | Thalys TIKI Art
    United Kingdom | |
    United Kingdom | London | CheekyTiki
    United Kingdom | Oxford | Lola Lo Oxford

    And in Sweden tiki actually isn`t a new thing..there´a very old tradition of south sea travellers the mot famous was the social antrhopologist and book author Bengt Danielson who sailed with the Kon Tiki and also travelled to every single island in the south pacific!

    He moved to Tahiti and spent years fighting against the nuclear tests and wrote the book “Moruroa Mon Amour” which told the real truth what happened behind the scenes and which had the french gov trying to deport him. They managed to suspend hi office but never to deport him because he was too internationally famous. His 13 year old daughter manuia tragically died in cancer caused by the radiation at the time.

    I have read all his books and i can really recommend Moruroa Mon Amour – it hould be an english translation available.

    Also the tiki bar in Stockholm, the Tiki Room ha been around since 2002.

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  2. Andrea

    15 February

    A quick hello fra Copenhagen,

    We have a very nice Tiki-bar in town Brass Monkey – – as far as I know, they do well. They are owned by the folks behind another well known cocktailbar in town Salon 39.

    From my visits it seems to me, at lot of the patrons are young people who have no idea what Tiki is (was) but who enjoy the ambiance of the place – and often just drink beer or even wine instead of the classics.

    Then once in a while old folks like me and my drinking buddy arrives and starts talking Tiki with the quite knowledgeable bartenders.

    They used to have a Tiki snack menu that was really interesting, but stopped as people didn’t get it.

    I just hope they manage to hang in there – and they do have a niche so I keep my fingers crossed and remeber to visit once in a while.

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  3. DJ HawaiianShirt

    18 February

    Something I’ve also always wondered about Tiare is how expensive her tiki habit is?

    Despite the fact that all of her exotic ingredients need to be imported over 5,000 miles, Sweden’s social democracy heavily taxes vices such as alcohol, if I’m not mistaken. I’ve heard of $50 bottles of Smirnoff in Norway… is it similar in Sweden, Tiare?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. Tiare

    18 February´s true that alcohol is heavily taxed here but luckily i´m sponsored most of the time and if i wasn´t i don`t think i would been able to keep it up. As for exotic ingredients for syrups they are quite readily available here and not that expensive. Passionfruit is for example available all year quite cheap. I also make all my syrups myself. What is expensive are those privately bottled demerara rums that goes for at least 130 bucks a bottle and so i buy them only occasionally.

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  5. Elana

    22 February

    I’m going to take a trip to Europe and do nothing but visit Tiki bars. Seriously. Love this post and thanks for ALL the great info!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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