What’s old is new again…and tiki is back! There’s really no better way to enjoy summer outdoors and in the backyard than relaxing with a deliciously smooth tiki drink to sip. All you need are some funky tiki decorations like leis, mugs, and tiki torches, and of course, great tiki cocktails. Keep reading to learn how to create a basic home tiki bar that will last all summer long.
A Basic Tiki Bar – Rum is essential! Since rums age very quickly in heat and humidity, even a 3 year old rum is comparable to a whiskey aged 6 years, resulting in a more mellow taste at an affordable price (pictured above are El Dorado rums).Beside a dark, gold, and white rum, you’ll also need some syrups. Below are 5 that make up many classic tiki recipes. Stock up on these for a solid start onto making your own delicious drinks at home!
- Orgeat Syrup: an almond syrup
- Don’s Mix: a sugar syrup made with grapefruit & cinnamon
- Falernum: a ginger lime syrup
- Curacao: a liqueur similar to Cointreau, it is made with dried orange peels
- Authentic Grenadine*: pomegranate syrup with all natural sugar
*”Way back when, grenadine was made from freshly crushed pomegranate seeds…But over the years, this bold concoction has devolved into a cloying, artificial taste. Naturally, our version is the exception. Our Authentic Grenadine uses only pomegranate and pure cane sugar – no high fructose corn syrup – to produce the originally intended result: a pleasantly sweet pomegranate flavor as bold and potent as its distinctive red color.” – Stirrings
Why All the Syrups? Well, in tiki drinks you are using several types of rum to create a cocktail with many dimensions of flavor. The syrups bind the sometimes disparate tastes in tiki drinks together, to create a smooth and sometimes deceptively strong cocktail. Yes, you will have to invest in a few new ingredients for your bar to recreate these vintage concoctions, yet the magic and fanfare you create by serving a Mai Tai in a festive tiki mug make a little bar stockage worth the while.
Basic Bartender Tools – Having a few basic bar tools will not only make you look like a pro, but help you construct great cocktails with ease. We first recommend investing in a cocktail shaker. Good cocktails are cold cocktails! Another great investment are ounce measuring cups, like these pictured in the photo below, to the right of the tiki statue.
|Tiki statues add to the tropical party atmosphere!|
Nothing better in a cocktail than freshly squeezed juice! This handheld reamer gets every last drop out of your limes for a perfect Mai Tai.
Tiki Party Decor
Having a tiki party is pretty easy! Now that you have a basic bar, you’ll just need fun decorations to match the cocktails. Pick up variety of tiki mugs in which to serve your fabulous drinks, and choose colorful garnishes or straws. Leis can be party favors and an accessory for guests to wear.
Whether your tiki party is in the backyard, patio, or porch, luau themed decorations will set the celebratory atmosphere. Add grass luau skirts to the tables, get tiki torches for lighting, and sprinkle in fun accents like wooden tiki statues, hula girls, tropical flowers, and foliage.
Classic Tiki Recipes
Have the recipe for a Mai Tai, Zombie, and Iuka Grogg on hand! We’ve made a free printable tiki drink recipe card to make home bar-tending a little easier. Click below to download the PDF file, and then print it on your home printer. For extra vintage flair, print it on ivory card-stock!
If you are having trouble opening the recipe card, make sure you have a PDF reader such as Adobe Reader, available here for free.
A free printable tiki recipe card!
A World of Tiki Drinks
|The Tiki + App|
Though we’ve helped you out by picking classic tiki drinks to start out with, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry also has a extensive library of recipes. Download Jeff’s app, Tiki +, if you’re looking to expand your tiki drink repertoire. Take a simple backyard cocktail hour to the next level with over 150 recipes in the palm of your hand!