Tiki Drinks A – Z

Although the Tiki is rightly thought of as being the figurehead of Polynesian Pop, there is something else that captures its kitsch and mystique just as colorfully :  the Tiki drink.

Tiki Drinks

No excursion into this strange and fascinating era of American pop culture would be complete without a look at it, for Tiki drinks were meant to be just as mysterious and enchanting as Tiki himself.  

Popping with strikingly vibrant colors and garnishments, each of them was a Technicolor wonder to behold, meant to be savored as much as consumed.

The exact ingredients themselves were often a mystery. Although rum was usually the most common and easily identifiable ingredient, many others remained a secret to patrons of this era, who could only wonder at the infinite variety and combinations of spirits and juices that they were imbibing, or their supposedly exotic origins.

Donn Beach added to this mystique by refusing to label his ingredients, instead using numbers and letters to identify each one so that his staff could not copy and disseminate his recipes.

Perhaps the subject of even more speculation were the off-beat monikers given to many of these creations:  Doctor Funk of Tahiti, Samoan Fog Cutter, the Suffering Bastard, the Vicious Virgin, Missionary’s Downfall and many others.

Adding to all of this cheeky exoticism, many Polynesian-themed restaurants had as their crème de la crème the “Mystery Drink.”  At the sound of a ceremonial gong, a scantily-clad island girl would bring forth a communal drinking bowl to a table of patrons, the drink often smoking with dry ice or blazing with fire . The Mai Kai in Ft. Lauderdale is one of the few that still does this.

If all of this wasn’t enough to get a mid-century American’s head spinning, there were also the elaborate mugs and bowls that Tiki drinks were served in, many jutting with figurines, monkey faces, shrunken heads, island girls or Tikis carved into them.  Some lucky patrons even got to take one home as a souvenir.

maikai illustrationTaste-wise, unlike many of the sickly sweet tropical drinks that curse our modern age, the very best Tiki drinks from this era had a carefully multilayered taste that subtly straddled the line between sweet and sour, heavy and light, fruity and dry.  No doubt about it, for true mixologists such as Trader Vic or Donn Beach, the creation of each and every Tiki drink was a labor of love.

Below are pages and recipes for some of the most popular and well-known Tiki drinks.  Are there any you don’t see here but think should be included?  Let me know and I’ll add them.

A

Acapulco

Agent Orange

Aku Aku

Aloha

Amaretto Sunset

Amberjack

Atlantic Breeze

B

Bahama Mama

Bahia

Banana Cow

Banana Daiquiri

Big Bamboo Love Song

Blue Hawaiian

Blue Marlin

Blue Shark

Boomerang

Buccaneer

Retro Tiki drink menu

C

Cactus Colada

Caicos Cooler

Caribbean Hummer

Caribbean Sunset

Castaway

Chi-Chi

Chocolada

Chocolate Black Russian

Cobra's Fang

Coconut Kiss

Colonel's Big Opu

D

Daiquiri Cocktail

Deep Pacific

Doctor Funk of Tahiti

Doctor Funk's Son

Drunken Apricot

E

Eastern Whiskey Sour

F

Fantasy Island

Frozen Bikini

Frozen Margarita

G

Going Bananas

Golden Colada

Gun Club Punch

H

Hawaiian Highball

Hawaiian Orgasm

Headhunter

Honi Honi

Honolulu

Horney Monkey

I

Iceball

Island Coffee

Island Hopper

J

Jamaican Float

Jamaican Me Crazy

 

K

Kahlua Hummer

Kamaaina

Koki'o Punch

Kona Gold

Kona Swizzle

L

Lambada

Lapu Lapu

Lava Smoothie

Lei Lani Volcano

Lokelani Cooler

drink menu

M

Mai Tai

Malaysian Dream

Martinique Swizzle

Menehune Juice

Midori Colada

Mojito

Molokai Mike

Montego Bay Cocktail

Mudslide

N

Navy Grog

O

Outrigger Tiara

P

Paradise

Paradise Lost

Passion Fruit Cocktail

Passion Punch

Pensacola Bushwacker

Pimm's Cup

Pina Colada

Pinky Gonzales

Pino Frio

Pirate Cocktail

Pirate's Cove

Pirate's Grog

Pisco Cocktail

Pi Yi

Planter's Punch

Polynesian Spell

Ponce De Leon

Potted Parrot

vintage illustrated tiki drinks

Q

Queen's Park Swizzle

R

Rangoon Ruby

Rastafarian

Rhum Cosmo

Rum Cow

Rum Jungle

S

Samoan Fog Cutter

Scorpion

Sea Breeze

Sex on the Beach

Shark's Tooth

Shingle Stain

Siboney

Singapore Sling

Slippery Monkey

Stinger

Strawberry Blonde

Suffering Bastard

exotic menu - pu pu tray

T

Tabu

Tahitian Gold

Tahitian Pearl

Tahitian Rum Punch

Tequila Sunrise

Tiki Mai Tai

T.I. Special

Tonga Punch

Tortuga

V

Vicious Virgin

Viequense

Voodoo

W

Wahine

White Shark

White Witch

Woody Woodpecker

Z

Zombie