A I begin my Second Annual Tiki Month, cramming the site full of Tiki drinks and Tiki thoughts, I’d best once again remind all and sundry that I am no Tiki expert. While I find Tiki fascinating, I do not (except in February) immerse myself in the mythos and minutiae of the theme. But I do like to at least avoid saying anything completely stupid when I am pontificating. Thus I have assembled a group of my friends who are Tiki masters, in one way or another, and dubbed them The Pegu Blog Board of Tiki Idols. They helped me at times when I needed it last year, and hopefully will again this year. I say
hopefully because we all know that Tiki Idols are capricious and unreliable, and I’m not sacrificing any of my limited supply of virgins just for cocktail recipes.
In this post, I’d like to introduce Tiare, of A Mountain of Crushed Ice. A fellow CSOWG member, Tiare lives in Sweden, where I surmise her need for Tiki in the dead of Winter far exceeds mine. While not exclusively a Tikiblogger, Tiare’s mastery of garnishes and love of crushed ice, along with a darn fine knowledge of rums, makes her one of the experts on Tikidom that I most enjoy.
As I do with all the PBBoTIs, I asked Tiare, what is Tiki?
To me its first and foremost the great grand escape from reality, its escapism taken to the highest level. And it works. It’s a mix of many things and also fun and crazy humor paired with a very (heartfelt) spirit. It makes people relax and have fun. I mean, who can stay serious and big about himself if he wears a tropical shirt with flowers and drinks from a skull mug? In that attire you just have to relax and that’s the effect Tiki has on many people. It’s also very fake and that makes it fun. Pair it with some dark mysticism and drinks that – if done the right way – take you to drink nirvana.
Tiara hits the nail on the head for me here. Even before I ever had my first real (as opposed to sickeningly sweetly disgusting) Tiki drink, I somehow appreciated the pagan escapism that practically mandates you be in a silly mood for a while.
And what makes a Tiki drink a Tiki drink?
There´s a fine line between a tropical drink and a Tiki drink because a Tiki drink is a tropical drink that is Tiki.
I love it when people besides me wander down the rhetorical rabbit hole…. Then she ruins it by explaining herself.
A Zombie is a Tiki drink, a Pina Colada is not. Most Tiki drinks have an element of Tiki history, they were created during the grand old Tiki era. There are modern Tiki drinks too and what they have in common with the old Tiki drinks is that they are constructed in a certain way and they usually contain a balanced mix of specific natural ingredients like diverse flavored syrups, falernum or pimento dram. Most Tiki drinks – but not all – are made with different rums, carefully paired to create new flavors.The reason so many old Tiki drinks were made with rums is because rum was cheap at the time and rums also naturally pairs very well with all those fresh fruit juices and syrups and stuff.
Another thing many Tiki drinks have in common is some crazy silly funny names without being lame.
While most Tiki drink names aren’t lame, they do seem to teeter right on the edge. I think this is indicative of the moderate element of risk that is needed for really true Tiki.
To sum up, Tiare, what is the most important, non-liquid element of Tiki to you?
Got to be the Tiki mug, and then the shirt.
I so totally agree. I did not do enough shirt-blogging last year. I’ll be fixing that this February.