Aloha, y’all! March comes in this year with a glorious hangover after one final, Leap Day Tiki experimentation party. Thanks to all who came to this blog and read about what I learned this year. And thanks to all who came and visited me in real life, and experienced what I learned this year.
This year’s Tiki Month confirmed the initial thesis I formed to start things out this Tiki Month. The modern flowering of Tiki culture and mixology has moved beyond a mere rediscovery of the decades-old lifestyles of our parents and grandparents, and is producing magnificent new ideas, recipes, and entertainments that expand the breadth of What is Tiki, while remaining true to the genre’s original vibe. While remaining boutique in scale, compared to the mass appeal of the original Tiki era, the modern Tiki resurgence is growing nicely, with new bars opening all the time, and may well prove to be as durable as the overall modern cocktail renaissance.
The mainstream Craft movement has brought a lot of new ideas and ingredients to the Tiki dugout. I tried many, and blogged several, Tiki drinks that use such spirits as Rye, Aperol, and Calvados to wonderful Tiki effect. Likewise, Tiki drinks are now to be found all over the place, proudly produced in all their over-the-top glory in sleek, modern craft lounges. You can enjoy your faux-Polynesian Three Dots and a Dash in your faux-Prohibition speakeasy.
And Rum is everywhere now. The mainstream spirits world has awakened to the fact that it is a category filled with magnificent, high-end expressions, and possessing a variety and thus versatility that dwarfs that of other categories. I believe the steady resurgence of Tiki and Tiki-inspired drinks has much to do with this rise. Rum is experiencing some teething pains as it moves out of the basement and into the light, but that is further evidence of how important it is becoming to the industry.
Tiki Month gets easier and more entertaining every year. But now it is time for Gin.