Tiki Culture: You want to escape the grey but, for known reasons, are constrained to stay put in your hood? All that’s in the cards right now is a virtual trip to the Caribbean? Escape the dull, one tiki cocktail at a time!
Some like to drink them, some like to make them, and some even like to show off their skills! If the spirit of tiki is strong with you and you want to share your talent with the world, the Tiki Match by Old Judge Spirits Edition 2021 is where you want to be!
Since 2018, the Tiki Match, initiated by Old Judge Spirits founders Markus Altrichter and Julia Kub, is an annual highlight. Launched with the intention to allow bar professionals to embrace tiki and showcase their skills, the competition runs over several rounds and culminates in a grand finale. The application process for this year’s competition is in full swing! Preliminary rounds are taking place in Nuremberg, Berlin, Graz and Vienna in August. The winners proceed to the Final, which is held in Vienna on September 1. If you are interested to participate, there are a few days left to subscribe: www.tikimatch.com
01.09. – Wake_Up Beach Bar, Am Schleusenbrücke Wehr 1, 1220 Vienna, Austria
22.08. – European Bar School Vienna, Cottagegasse 2/1, 1180 Vienna, Austria
15.08. – Kalte Ente Tagesbar, Sparbersbachgasse 22, 8010 Graz, Austria
03.08. – FABELEI Cocktailbar, Kyffhäuserstraße 21 , 10781 Berlin ,Germany
01.08. – Die Blume von Hawaii, Weinmarkt 16, 90403 Nürnberg, Germany
For 2021, the organisers have again come up with unusual and tropical features, among them a “Hurricane Speed Challenge”, a “Punch Pola Challenge”, and a “West Indies Creative Challenge”. The challenges are accompanied and explained by a moderator and evaluated by an international, top-class jury. The winners from Germany will be announced at Liquid Market Berlin. In Austria, the preliminary rounds are held in Graz and Vienna. As is customary, all 4 finalists will then compete in Vienna for the main prize.
The award ceremony will be held in the Tiki Village at Liquid Market Vienna on 2 September. We can all look forward to a spectacular event with a unique atmosphere, great entertainment, fabulous tiki drinks and food as well as calypso tunes! Below some impressions from last year with Fabdrinx partner Erhard Ruthner, aka Raise-your-Spirits, moderating the event. Participants can still register directly with Old Judge Spirits via social media or by email.
Tiki Culture: vibe of the South Pacific and Caribbean
Tiki is a Maori word and refers to a stone or wooden carving. Tiki decor is inspired by the Pacific cultures. It takes various influences and elements, blends them together and creates a mythical place, an imaginary Isle of Tiki. There is island music, thatch and bamboo, rum drinks with elaborate fruity decorations…
Tiki bars, once all the rage in the 60s, were making a major come back in recent years. The first tiki bar, called Don the Beachcomber, opened in 1934 in Los Angeles. But it was only after WWII, when soldiers that were deployed to the Caribbean and the South Pacific returned to the homeland that Tiki became trendy.
They brought with them a taste for the tropical and exotic, laden with escapism and a yearning for the islands… something that reverberates with many these days. The Tiki lifestyle is becoming more and more popular and tiki culture has seen a real revival in recent years. Now with the pandemic, even more of us are turning to tropical cocktails for a virtual escape to the sun.
Some say that “tiki” is offensive because of the nostalgia people express forgetting the colonialism involved; others speak of cultural misappropriation and commodifying the concept. After all, the colourful ceramic tiki mugs, for example, are shaped after the carvings that, for Hawaiians, Maori and Samoans, represent Gods and ancestors. Seeing them used like they are, far away from their countries of origin and out of their authentic context, is likely to hurt some sensibilities.
And, not everything with a hint of rum and fruit can actually be called a tiki cocktail! Bartenders around the world are working hard to rectify the wrong. From tacky tiki to classy tiki, that is the credo! Few select, high-quality ingredients, elegantly presented in order to honour the lifestyle of the local populations, to validate their real life concerns and contributions, to help preserve their culture, and to celebrate the true spirit of the islands.
The key to a good tiki cocktail: the right barware!
Meet Mario Nestlehner from Austria, creator of Bambam. An experienced bartender himself, the idea for a cocktail shaker made of bamboo came to him when he was traveling South Asia back in 2007. There, bamboo grows abundantly and is used for many purposes like furniture, house facades, appliances, table ware, and many other everyday objects. Why not bar tools? And so, he set out to create the world’s first bamboo cocktail shaker…
Since then, more and more items of sustainable bamboo and coconut barware were added to the portfolio, as well as Bamboo Bitters. We met Mario at the Tiki Match in Vienna last summer where he mixed some pretty cool cocktails!
Old Judge Falernum: Classic and Special Reserve
Falernum is a type of syrup from the Caribbean. It boasts notes of ginger, lime, almond, cloves or allspice, and is mellow yet spicy. Because of its unique taste, it is often used in tropical drinks. To make liqueur, rum is added. It is fantastic for mixing tropical cocktails and tiki drinks, but can also be enjoyed on the rocks.
When Markus Altrichter sailed aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean in 2009, he met James Crahill, the bartender who served him the best Corn’n’Oil he ever tasted. Over their passion, they became friends and James introduced him to his family. One day, at a traditional barbecue by the beach in Barbados, with classic Caribbean food and drink, Markus got to taste a cask fermented Corn’n’Oil, an experience that inspired him to create his own Falernum.
Upon his return to Austria, he tested and refined the recipe, and in 2011 bottled his first Falernum. Over time, he further improved the formula – et voilà – two types of Old Judge Falernum, Classic and Special Reserve, that we can all enjoy today.
For its Falernum, Old Judge Spirits sources the best ingredients from around the world. The timeless classic Old Judge Falernum is based on the combination of 10 ingredients, including 6 hand-picked spices: ginger from Indonesia, cloves from Mauritius, cinnamon from Egypt, limes from Brazil, and allspice from Jamaica… two selected rums and sugar from Barbados, and Austrian high spring water. To gain fruity aromas, a rare almond extract is used. It brings the rum flavours forward and rounds off the whole composition.
Vanilla is known for its buttery aroma and provides the smooth and lasting finish of Old Judge Falernum, which has a wonderful chocolate color, extraordinary malty taste, and a nice spiciness. Old Judge Special Reserve was created for the company’s first anniversary and is a celebration of flavour. It is characterised by 3 selected rums from Barbados and Jamaica and is a secret mix of ingredients, with strong coconut and pineapple notes.
Tiki Bars and Restaurants for an immersive experience (at home)
This is the start to a list of fabulous tiki hangouts. Some offer takeaway and delivery solutions. Leave the name of your favorite tiki bar or restaurant in the comments and we willed them!
Dan’ton-Ku Tiki-Bar, Biel/Bienne: cocktail delivery and take-away.
Casa Tiki, Geneva
Tiki Rock Bar, Geneva: located inside an American Diner, deliveries
Tiki Strandbar Goldach: seasonal, open only in summer
Mata Hari Cocktail Bar, Zurich: seasonal, open only in summer
Tiki Cocktails you just gotta love
The Corn n’ Oil is probably the best known, archetypical Tiki Cocktail. But the colour palette of tiki is vast and you are the artist. Let your creativity flow! Here some inspiration for drinks with Old Judge Spirits, there are more recipes on the website!
1. Corn n’ Oil
5cl dark aged rum
3cl Old Judge Falernum
2cl fresh lime juice
5 dash Angostura Bitters
Stir all ingredients in the mixing glass onto ice cubes and serve on ice ball in a tumbler / small tiki mug! Complete the drink with an orange zest.
4cl dark rum
3cl over proof rum
3cl Old Judge Falernum
2cl fresh lime juice
5cl Old Judge Fassionola
4 dash Angostura Bitters
Mix all ingredients on crushed ice in a shaker, strain directly in a TIKI MUG and decorate with seasonal fruits and a mint sprig.
3. Aloha Spritz
3cl Old Judge Falernum Special Reserve
1cl fresh lime juice
top up Prosecco
Serve all ingredients in a WW glass on ice cubes orange pieces as decoration.
As a bonus, and to put you right in the mood to get mixing, click on the video below to see the bambam shaker in action and to reveal one more fabulous tiki cocktail recipe by Angostura Global Brand Ambassador Daniyel Jones!
Tiki Playlist: the web is your friend!
You like what you heard there? We dropped something here for your continuous hearing pleasure: one hour of beautiful tropical sounds. There is more on Youtube, of course. Some playlists are 10 hours long! Enjoy!
We hope you liked that little escape to the Isle of Tiki and will return frequently. This article is proposed to you in collaboration with Angostura Austria. It is not extensive and shall be updated regularly! Submit your own Tiki Tales and help us update this collection of recipes and places!