This Tiki Month, I stumbled across a cool little way to power-up your garnish game for your Tiki drinks. Beyond engraved limes, orchids, dry ice, or sprays of pineapple leaves, how about garnishing your cocktail with… light? This trick finally clicked in my brain when trying to jazz up my Tiki drink photographs, as it increases contrast when using glass vessels. The next time I had guests over, I shrugged and tried it while serving. It is ridiculous how childlike a smile a glowing drink brings to people. (Disney does this at Walt Disney World with various drinks from time to time, but the product I use is both much cheaper and provides a better Tiki effect.)
Simply buy a pack of submersible tea lights. They come in different colors, but the ones linked glow a nice flame orange and flicker. They are water-proof, and wash easily for re-use. (Don’t let them go down the disposal!) You twist them to turn on and off. Place a lit one at the bottom of your glass, add ice, then the drink. Voila!
Interestingly, they also work well in many ceramic Tiki mugs. The light doesn’t shine through, of course, but the glow pouring out the mouth of the vessel is awesome in the dark. (Your Tiki party is in the dark, right?) The form of your mug may make the effect particularly effective.