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Sunday
Nov132011

How To Make A Chi Chi Cocktail

Aloha,

Today, we are going to make a Chi Chi cocktail.  I don't know about you, but many of my friends are vodka drinkers, and are hesitant to try rum cocktails.  Sometimes, I just trick my friends into drinking rum, but when all else fails there are a few tasty vodka based Tiki cocktails I can serve them.  The Chi Chi is a Pina Colada that is made with vodka instead of rum.  I did some research on this cocktail, but I had a difficult time finding the history of the Chi Chi. So the origin remains a Tiki mystery! (Ooohhhoooo!)

The nice people at 360 Vodka sent me a free sample.  360 Vodka is advertised as an eco-friendly vodka.  They use the most efficient distilling equipment available, and recycled materials in the packaging.  You can even mail back the bottle cap and they will reuse it.

 To make a Chi Chi Combine in a blender:

  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Lopez Coconut Cream
  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz macadamia nut liqueur (optional)

Blend for about 5 seconds.  If you don't have crushed ice be sure to blend it long enough so the ice is in small chunks.  This great tasting cocktail starts out with a nice pineapple flavor that gives way to coconut, and has a nice macadamia nut finish.  I swear it tastes just like the ice cream from an ice cream sandwich. Enjoy!

Monday
Oct172011

The Revomatics at The Kapu Tiki Lounge

Aloha,

My Friends, Pete and Kelly, had a Halloween party, Friday night.  It was held in their basement Tiki Lounge, The Kapu Tiki Lounge.  Kelly put out a huge spread of snacks.  They were really delicious!  The cocktail of the evening was The Zombie.  That's the perfect cocktail for a Tiki Halloween. 

Pete is a member of a newer surf band; The Revomatics.  As part of the evenings entertainment The Revomatics played an excellent set in The Kapu Tiki Lounge.  The set included some surf classics, as well as a few originals.  As a Halloween treat they played the Theme from Halloween.  It isn't often you get to hear a great band play in a more intimate venue than that.   The evening was a real treat.  

The band has a vinyl LP coming out soon.  I know I'll be first in line to get a copy.  Until their record comes out you can hear their music on their MySpace Page, or live in concert.  Their next concert is on Monday, October 31st at The Milwaukee Public Market. The show starts at 6:00 pm.  

Dave Hansen a Tiki carver from Milwaukee was also in attenance, and he brought along some of his Tikis that he carved.  They were really cool.  I bought one of the little Tikis.  It was a great souvineer for the evening.

Mahalo,

Damon

Saturday
Oct152011

Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap - Part Three

Aloha!

The Tiki TerraceThis is part three in my series of recapping the Chicago Area Tiki Tour.  If you haven't read part one and two yet. You'll want to check them out too.

So, after our visit to Hala Kahiki we boarded the bus again for our final destination of the evening.  We were headed to a dinner and a show at The Tiki Terrace.  Before arriving at The Tiki Terrace we had one last bus cocktail to enjoy.  The final cocktail was the CATT Cooler, this lovely libation was named after the event.  The recipe is:

  • 1 oz Coruba dark rum
  • 1 oz Cruzan aged dark rum
  • 1.5 oz white grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz Welche's passion fruit juice
  • .25 oz lime juice
  • .25 oz cinnamon syrup (from the Grog Log)

I'll be completely honest.  I don't recall much about this cocktail.  By this point my senses were getting a little overloaded.  I'll have to get the ingredients and make it at home to give it a proper review. 

Upon arrival at The Tiki Terrace the place doesn't look like much.  It's in a white strip mall wedged in between an auto parts store and a Radio Shack.  The Tiki Terrace Virgins didn't have high hopes, but I knew what awaited us on the other side of that strip mall door.  When we walked in everyone was blown away by the decor.  It quickly became the favorite of the day.  

Tiki Terrace DancersEveryone took a seat, and had a cocktail in a pretty short amount of time.  The meal was included with the event, and we had their egg rolls and taro chips for appetizers.  The egg rolls are one of my favorite things at The Tiki Terrace.  They have a thin and crispy shell.  The filling is a step up from your standard egg roll.  For my dinner I had the kalua pork.  It was a big portion of delicious shredded pork, and was served with rice.  It was really good. You can read my full review from January.

Shortly after eating the show began.  I've seen the show three times now.  It is exactly the same every time.  That isn't a complaint though.  Everyone really enjoyed it.  They should stick with a formula that works.  The show is a review of dance and music from different Polynesian Islands, and there is even a special guest.  It's a fun show that lasts about an hour.

After the show everyone was pretty exhausted.  We rode back to the hotel, and had a mixture of left over cocktails on the way back.  A few brave souls kept the party going all night. 

Chef Shangri-LaSunday, everyone met up at Chef Shangri-La.  We started out in the bar with cocktails.  There signature drink the Dr. Fong was on special for the day.  It was a nice cocktail.  It tasted like orange juice, sweet and sour, and a hint of almond; maybe amaretto.  It was pretty good, but a little to sour for most.  Next, I had a Mai Tai.  They made a great Mai Tai.  It was a nice balance of almond, sweet and sour.  I really enjoyed it. It was a Trader Vic's style but not quite as strong.

"Souper" BowlFor lunch I had the "Souper" Bowl.  This enormous bowl of soup had noodles, wontons, jumbo shrimp, and pork.  It was really good, and way too much food.  I barely put a dent in it.  While we ate Alewife played a great set. 

A raffel was held to raise funds for CatNap from the heart.  They raffle included one of a kind CATT mugs, Witco carvings, and even a picture that hung at Chef Shangri-La for years.  Some lucky people took home great prizes.

A HUGE thank you to the organizers of this event.  It was such a great time, and organized so well!

Mahalo!

Damon

 

Sunday
Oct092011

Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap - Part Two

Aloha!

My Tiki PrizeI'm continuing to relive the highlights from last weekend's Chicago Area Tiki Tour.  If you haven't read Part One.  Be sure to do that first. 

When we last left off we were on the bus headed for stop number two; Tong's Tiki Hut. On the bus between each Tiki stop we had cocktails, and Tiki prizes were given away.  They gave away shirts, Tikis, CDs, posters, and even romance kits (oh la la). Everyone won something.  I got a cool little Tiki statue, and Derek got a nice little Tiki mug.

Stop two was Tong's Tiki Hut.  Tong's had really great decor.  The booths were in bamboo and thatch huts.  The walls were covered with tropical murals with palm trees and ocean scenes.  Fish nets, sea gulls, and really cool Tiki lamps hung from the ceiling.  Amazingly, one little lady worked behind the bar and cranked out the Tiki cocktails like there was no tomorrow.  Everyone was served in a relatively short amount of time.  The cocktails were great!  I had a Fog Cutter that was delicious.  It was sweet, and sour with a lemon flavor.  It also had a hint of ginger.  Tong's version was maybe a little sweeter than the classic, but still a good cocktail.  

Kat and Colleen drinking The Tiki Lovers BowlWhile on the tour we met Kat and Colleen; two Tiki fans from Milwaukee.  They were kind enough to let me sample their Tiki Lovers tiki bowl.  This smooth concoction for two was a well balanced mix of pineapple, and coconut.  It tasted great, and hid the rum. 

We also had a buffet lunch at Tong's.  The buffet was your average, run of the mill, Chinese buffet.  Nothing to write home about here.  In the video I recorded about Tongs I said the buffet was good, but I must have been a little Buzzed at the time.  Looking back it was average at best.

After Tongs we headed to Hala Kahiki.  This time, there was not one but two bus drinks.  A rep from Barritt's Ginger Beer mixed up The Bermuda Sunset, and the Ginger Collins for us.  These two cocktails were all alcohol with just a splash of mixers.  Someone sure had a long pour.  It made for a fun atmosphere on the bus!  I made the Ginger Collins at home this week, and it was superb.  The gin and ginger beer gave the cocktail a lot of great spice.  The lemon juice and sugar compliment the spicier ingredients, and together the ingredients are cocktail heaven. The recipes for these cocktails are:

Bermuda Sunset

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz Barritt's Ginger Beer

Ginger Collins

  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz Barritt's Ginger Beer

Hala KahikiOur third stop was Hala Kahiki.  This place is a true gem.  The decor is from top to bottom Tiki.  The walls are covered in mats, and bamboo.  The ceiling is woven thatch, and the carvings are true works of art.  It is truly perfection.  They even have a courtyard with a six foot tall Moai.  The cocktails on the other hand are average.  They are super sweet, and don't have a lot going on.  I had the Singapore Sling.  It was sweet and plastic tasting.  I didn't even finish it.  They don't serve food, but there are pretzels on every table. Every Tiki fan needs to pay this place a visit just to see the amazing atmosphere.  I would recommend having an ice cream drink.  I'm told those are pretty good.

That's the end of Part two, but not the end of The Chicago Area Tiki Tour. Click here for Part three of the CATT Recap.  Also, if you haven't read Part one, be sure to check that out.

Mahalo!

Damon

Friday
Oct072011

Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap - Part One

Aloha!

This past weekend my friend Derek and I took part in the Chicago Area Tiki Tour (CATT).  We had an awesome time!  The event was put on by the Red Palms Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai.  The Red Palms Chapter really out did themselves.  This was the first Chicago Area Tiki Tour and it was organized perfectly.  The event was a great chance for Tiki fans from across the Midwest and beyond to get together, hop on a bus, and visit some of the best Tiki places in the Chicago area.  

Friday night everyone checked in to the Aloft O'Hare, and made it their Tiki home for the weekend.  That evening the Cocktail Preachers played a great set of surf and exotica inspired music.  Sadly, I got held up at work and only got to see them play the last two songs.  After The Cocktail Preachers, Jason Croft "Java" did a live recording of The Bachelor Pad Radio Show.  I have been a faithful listener to The Bachelor Pad pod cast for quite some time now.  Java always plays a great mix of music that is perfect for a Tiki lounge.  It was a lot of fun to see the show recorded live, and was the perfect setting for the Tiki cocktails that were on special at the Aloft bar.  This is one show that every Tiki fan should listen to religiously.

Bus DrinksSaturday morning we were up bright and early to begin our tour.  At 10:15 AM around 100 Tiki fans boarded the two busses for full day of Tiki bars.  By 11:00 AM we had our swag bags, our first cocktail in hand, and we were headed to our first stop, Malahini Terrace.  The first bus cocktail was the Derby Daiquiri.  They had talented individuals mixing and serving cocktails while we drove down the highway. The highway factor resulted in the proportions being off a bit on most of the ingredients.  Everyone still enjoyed them, and had a great time!

Tiki Lights at Malahini TerraceWhen we arrived at the Malahini Terrace they didn't know what hit them.  Don't get me wrong, the event was scheduled in advance, and arranged with the restaurant, but serving 100 people cocktails and food all at once is a big job.  Unfortunately,  I didn't get a drink.  I ordered one shortly after arriving, but we had to move on before it arrived.  I did get to sample their egg rolls, and they were pretty good.  The egg rolls were huge, and had a peanut flavor to them.  Derek tried some of the, chicken, chicken, chicken, which was also pretty good.  The Decor at Malahini Terrace was your typical Chinese restaurant, but they did have some Tiki looking lamps.  I'll have to go back sometime to sample their cocktails.

Our second bus drink was The Koval Lei.  It is made with:

  • 1.5 oz Simply Lemonade
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • .25 oz Koval Honey Chrysanthemum Liqueur
  • .25 oz Koval Orange Blossom Liqueur
  • 1.25 oz Cruzan aged light rum
  • 1 tsp honey mix (recipe from the Grog Log)

Again, the measurements were, understandably, a bit rough on the bus, but this complex little cocktail had a lot going on.  The enticing flavors of honey stood out, and a nice orange, and lemon flavor was there too.  The cocktail gets it's name from the Koval products in it.  Koval is a Chicago based distillery.

Click Here for Part Two of The Chicago Area Tiki Tour...