Category: Rule 2
Rule 2, Tiki Month 2016

Fred Yarm, and the Mainstreaming of Modern Tiki

[caption id="attachment_11080" align="aligncenter" width="2000"]Fred Yarm Source—Eater Fred Yarm
Source—Eater[/caption] I call Fred Yarm (Cocktail Virgin Slut), The Hardest Working Man in Cocktail Blogness™, and if you disagree with me that he is the absolute king of cocktail blogging, I'll fight you. (Well, I won't fight you! But that other girl... looks like I could take her!) There are other bloggers who may get more hits, when they stumble around to actually posting (cough, Morganthaler, cough) but Fred produces quality content, day after day, month after month, and has done so, steadily, for years. In addition, he has taken over guidance for Mixology Monday, which keeps the blood flowing in the cocktailosphere. He is a treasure to the sometimes struggling world of cocktail blogging, so raise a glass, will you? I admit it seems a bit odd, even to me, that I am writing about Fred during Tiki Month. From his earliest days blogging, I always cataloged him in my mind as a "brown, bitter, and stirred" kinda guy. And that was true... to an extent. What makes Fred such a valuable resource for cocktail types in general is that he doesn't really make editorial decisions about what he blogs. He, for the most part, blogs what he drinks. Now sure, he decides from drink to drink what to have and to write about, but he chooses from what is out there in the vibrant, mainstream craft cocktail scene of Boston, and as I said, he blogs a lot... in statistically significant amounts. In aggregate, Cocktail Virgin Slut is a history of where the cocktail scene has gone, and where it is going. If you see Fred increasingly blogging about something, you can be sure it is a coming thing in the national cocktail movement. And what Fred has been blogging more and more in the last few years is Tiki drinks. Just so far this young year, Fred has written up at least seven certifiable Tiki drinks (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), with at least six more that are at a minimum Tiki Compliant (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is there, can you find it?). Are there more? As I said, Fred blogs a lot. This trend in Fred's blogging kind of snuck up on me, and I didn't really twig to it until I was preparing for this year's Tiki Month. I actually gave thought to just throwing up my hands and re-blogging Cocktail Virgin as this year's theme. There were all manner of lame virgiin/volcano jokes in my mind. You are all quite welcome that I had a cup of tea and a lie down until the thought went away. But I have borrowed several of Fred's finds this month, either to blog to to serve guests. [caption id="attachment_11081" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Fred's first book, Drink & Tell. Unlike scores of other blog-inspired book authors, he's produced a mass of good content on his same blog since.[/caption] My main point to this post is that Fred is exhibit A among the evidence for what I've been talking about with the modern Tiki movement.
  1. Tiki drinks are coming back into favor with mainstream drinkers big time.
  2. Those Tiki drinks can increasingly be found happily being served in full Tiki style right alongside the Vieux Carrés and Negronis of "traditional" craft cocktails
Now, some people might lament that even a great Tiki drink is a little diminished when it is served in some Prohibition-themed speakeasy-style joint. And perhaps you do not get the full experience in that circumstance. But you still are exposed to the greatness of this style of mixed drink, and may well want to seek out one of the true modern Tiki dens that are flourishing around the country. Tiki is back. Fred Yarm is proof. Let's all make sure it stays true to what it is, and doesn't slide back into obscurity again.abc
Rule 2, Tiki Month 2016

Tiki Month Around the Web

Tik Travel I've been remiss so far this Tiki Month in sharing the great work contributed to my little crusade by friends around the web. Let's pack our bags for a tropical trip, shall we? [caption id="attachment_11037" align="aligncenter" width="652"]Guyana Banana Zombie Guyana Banana Zombie — A Mountain of Crushed Ice[/caption] The inimitable Tiare, Rational Spirits brand ambassador and Tiki blogger extraordinaire, has some very nice words about the geological formation demanding virgins in my basement. She then seriously brings it with five original recipes, and a delicious sounding syrup recipe, created by her and her friend Jason Alexander. (Not that one.) All are lavishly photographed in her distinctive style, and accompanied by a video of gratuitous Tiki fire garnish pr0n. [caption id="attachment_11038" align="aligncenter" width="467"]Cold Summer — Augustine Bar Cold Summer — Augustine Bar[/caption] Matthew, at Augustine Bar, has given us not one but two posts this February. If you aren't reading Matthew, you should. He's one of the most interesting and readable new bloggers I've come across in recent years, and this year is not his first foray into Tiki Month. Both of his Tiki Month originals illustrate my points this month about modern Tiki rather starkly. His first, Chains of Love, is a crazed concoction based on Spanish brandy, dry vermouth, and the criminally underused Tiki fruit, mango. Want some Mezcal with that? Sure, why the hell not... The second offering is Cold Summer (pictured above). It is the second Tiki drink I've run across this month to use Aquavit as the base spirit. To be honest, I haven't had a chance to whip up one of these. While Matthew's drinks tend to deliver on what he writes about them, I have my doubts how Tiki this one would be, as apple juice doesn't feel Tiki to me. Regardless, it sounds really good. [caption id="attachment_11040" align="aligncenter" width="480"]Canadian Tiki Bar Canadian Tiki Bar[/caption] Pro-Canada propagandist Dagreb, of I-Still-Can't-Figure-Out-Why-It's-Called-That Nihil Utopia, has some useful words about franken-rumming overproof Tiki rums. He puts said FrankenHart (Lemon) rum to good(?) use in a Tiki weapon cocktail he calls Z-Bomb A Nation. Dagreb literally dared me to make this thing. Follow the link to find out why I haven't screwed up the courage to do so. When I do, I'll be sure to taunt him by using some of my precious stash of genuine, non-franken LH 151. [caption id="attachment_11041" align="aligncenter" width="244"]Simple Zombie - Spirited Remix Simple Zombie - Spirited Remix[/caption] "The Shirt" rumbles into life the engine on his even-sleepier-than-mine blog for Tiki Month to share the Simple Zombie. This version has the excellent virtue of being makeable without going Full Tiki Jacket on your home bar's inventory. [caption id="attachment_11045" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Between Scylla and Charybdis — Southern Ash Between Scylla and Charybdis — Southern Ash[/caption] Cocktail blogger and news tweeter Joel DiPippa is hosting this month's Mixology Monday roundup, with the very Tiki-friendly theme of Spring Break. His own contribution is the Between Scylla and Charybdis. Joel is better than I at getting a genuine frost on his Tiki mugs. He also mentions in passing a syrup that sure seems to be a blood orange falernum to me. I hope I have time to experiment with creating such a thing myself before the month is up.... [caption id="attachment_11043" align="aligncenter" width="525"]Broken Seal — @Alamagoozlum Broken Seal — @Alamagoozlum[/caption] There is lots of great Tiki content out there right now, in the blogs, but also on Twitter (while it is still in business). Check out @Alamagoozlum's feed for cocktail mayhem of all sorts, not just Tiki. I generally don't have time for Facebook, but here's some excellent Tiki decor stuff I was twigged to... on Twitter. I think that is all the explicit Tiki Month participation I've collected thus far. If you are "in" and I've missed it, please let me know! What else you got this last week folks?abc
Rule 2

Rule 2 Roundup: Themed December as Other Cocktail Blogs

CocktailBlogging Rule 2 Link and link some more February is Tiki Month here, of course. (Get your tickets now!) But this December there is some themed blogging going on at two of my colleagues' places that you ought to check out. Rated R Cocktails Header It is always Tiki Month at Rated-R Cocktails, but this December JFL has decided to set everything on fire with a collection of thoughts and posts on Hot Tiki. I like the bit about all the different aspects of delivering warmth through Tiki drinks. Basic Civilization Meanwhile, over at Basic Civilization, Joe Garcia takes a break from blogging about pocket squares, fois gras, and traveling with relatives, to have himself a Speakeasy Month, celebrating the more restrained (and constrained) cocktail classics. Joe's always fun to read, even if he demonstrates a curious desire to put orange bitters in his Manhattans....abc
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