Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove (the most acclaimed tiki bar of the modern era) take you on a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival, in this James Beard Award-winning cocktail book.
Featuring more than 100 delicious recipes (original and historic), plus a groundbreaking new approach to understanding rum, Smuggler’s Cove is the magnum opus of the contemporary tiki renaissance. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite cocktail, tips on how to trick out your home tiki grotto, help stocking your bar with great rums, or inspiration for your next tiki party, Smuggler’s Cove has everything you need to transform your world into a Polynesian Pop fantasia.
Make yourself a Mai Tai, put your favorite exotica record on the hi-fi, and prepare to lose yourself in the fantastical world of tiki, one of the most alluring—and often misunderstood—movements in American cultural history.
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MARTIN CATE is a rum and exotic cocktail expert and the owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. Smuggler’s Cove opened in 2009 and has been named one of the World’s 50 Best Bars (Drinks International, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015), 50 Best Bars on Earth (The Sunday Times, London), Top Ten Food and Beverage Concepts of the Last 25 Years (Cheers Magazine), 13 Most Influential Bars of the 21st Century (Liquor.com), and America’s Best Bars (Playboy, 2012 and Esquire, 2013). Smuggler's Cove was also awarded Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2016 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. A member of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG), Martin conducts educational seminars and adjudicates rum and cocktail competitions across the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. In 2015, along with partners Alex Smith and John Park, Martin opened Whitechapel in San Francisco to bring the same passion for history and craft to the world of gin. He is also the co-owner of Hale Pele in Portland and a partner in Lost Lake in Chicago and False Idol in San Diego.
In 1999, REBECCA CATE inadvertently fueled Martin’s madness by famously uttering words (which she thought were a joke) about making a spare bedroom a home tiki bar. Since then, however, she too has been swept up in the tiki fantasia, first as an enthusiast, then helping Martin open and run Smuggler’s Cove, while juggling a full-time career as a research psychologist “on the side.” Rebecca earned her PhD in personality and social psychology from The University of California at Berkeley in 2006, and has spent over a decade leading large-scale studies of behavioral health interventions as well as topics related to retirement and longevity. The opportunity to coauthor this book has allowed what had been just a weekend and vacation escape to turn into a full-time journey.
Part One: An Invitation to Escape
The Birth of Tiki 23
The Golden Era 47
The Tiki Revival 71
Part Two: Smuggler’s Cove: The Modern Tiki Bar
Creating the Space 101
Curating the Experience 123
Part Three: The Spirit of Rum
Rum Through the Ages 149
Understanding Rum 183
Part Four: Exotic Cocktails: Mystique and Technique
The Theater of the Exotic Cocktail 215
Eight Essential Exotic Elixirs 255
Part Five: Creating Paradise
The Tiki Look and Feel 281
The Tiki Party 295
The Heritage of Tiki 315
House-Made Ingredients 324
Bibliography and Additional Reading 340
A Few of My Favorite Tiki Spots 342
The word tiki originated in New Zealand and the Marquesas Islands, where it can refer to a carving of a first man, a god, or a symbol of procreation depending on which culture it originated from. But eventually, mainland Americans appropriated the word to describe any Polynesian carving with a largely human form, exaggerated features, and a menacing visage. What’s more, mainlanders started carving the tikis themselves, occasionally with an eye to their South Pacific origins, but more often with a “whimsical and naïve attitude toward another people’s extinct religion,” as historian Sven Kirsten puts it. These artists were inspired to add their own flair and style to the carvings. Thus was born a new kind of tiki whose provenance lay in many lands and imaginations, and would later become a tenet of Polynesian Pop.
Open the door to paradise with this 1930s treat from the famous House Without a Key on Waikiki Beach.
ORIGIN House Without a Key lounge,
Halekulani Hotel, Waikiki Beach, circa 1930s
SOURCE Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari,
adapted by Smuggler’s Cove
GLASSWARE Chilled coupe
1⁄2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 ounce fresh orange juice
1⁄2 ounce pineapple juice
1⁄4 ounce SC Demerara Syrup
1⁄2 teaspoon SC Grenadine
11⁄2 ounces bourbon
1 dash Angostura bitters
GARNISH Edible orchid
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked or cubed ice. Shake and double-strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an edible orchid on the edge of the glass.
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