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The Revomatics and The Cocktail Preachers: One Night, Two Great Bands



Saturday night I had the opportunity to see two great surf bands play at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall in Milwaukee, WI.  Kochanski's is a unique Milwaukee bar. Not only do they have the largest selection of Polish Beer in Wisconsin they have two stages, one at each end of the hall, that allows two bands to duel by playing alternating sets.

The RevomaticsFirst up were The Revomatics from Milwaukee.  Even though the The Revomatics formed in early 2010 the four members are experienced and talented musicians.  They are an instrumental band that has a great surf sound with some rock influences.  The Revomatics did some covers of some great surf music, and also performed some of their own originals.  Their balance was good and the solos stood out nicely.  Their attire, with the sweaters, and skinny ties, really helped take you back to the golden age of surf music.  The videos they played on the background where a fun touch.  A little more interaction with the audience would have been nice, but that being said they put on a great show.  I felt like I was transported to a beach where the conditions were perfect for a day of surfing. 

The Cocktail PreachersThe next set was played by The Cocktail Preachers from Chicago. The Cocktail Preachers also have a great, classic, surf sound.  Many of the songs they played were classics that most anyone would recognize.  The steel guitar really added a nice touch to their sound.

Overall, the night was a lot of fun, and it helped ease that spring fever just a little bit. The crowd seemed to really enjoy both bands.  It was a fun concept to have the two bands alternate so there wasn't a break in the music all night.  If you have the chance to see The Revomatics or The Cocktail Preaches do it. You won't be disappointed.

The Revomatics, currently, have two more concerts scheduled. The next one is Saturday, April, 16th at Chef Shangri-La, North Riverside, IL. Then, Saturday, July 23rd at Frank's Power Plant, Milwaukee, WI. Check out The Revomatic's website for the latest concert information.

The Cocktail Preachers have some upcoming concerts this summer as well.  Check out their website for date announcements.

If you are looking for more surf music in the Milwaukee area  Kochanski's will be hosting two more surf bands Saturday, April 2nd. It will be The Exotics vs. The Reluctant Aquanauts.   




Make Your Own Spiced Rum


Sunshine from the Zen Tiki Lounge Podcast inspired me to make my own spiced rum. It's really easy to do.

To spice your own rum Sunshine's recipe calls for:

  • 1 750 ml Bottle of Cruzan Gold Rum
  • 1 vanilla bean sliced down the middle
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black pepper berry
  • 2 alllspice berries
  • 3 cloves

Just drop the ingredients into the bottle.  Give the bottle a couple of turns every day; don't shake it.  After a couple of days sample the rum.  Once the flavor gets to something you like remove everything from the rum.  That's all there is to it. What is really great is you can experiment and try other spices and flavors to make a rum all of your own.

This is the first time I've tried to spice my own rum. I'm really excited to see how it turns out. Stay tuned and I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.




How to Make a Hurricane Cocktail


The HurricaneWith Mardi Gras around the corner it is time to have a Hurricane.  The Hurricane cocktail was invented by Pat O'Brien's during World War II in New Orleans. During the war many varieties of liquor were in short supply.  In order to get a case of whiskey distributors would require a bar to purchase several cases of rum.  As a result there was plenty of extra rum lying around. So, to get rid of it the Hurricane was invented.  The Hurricane is served in a glass that looks like a hurricane lamp, and that's how it got it's name.

There are numerous versions of a Hurricane, but I thought I'd share a simple one that tastes really good. After all who wants to spend Mardi Gras making complicated cocktails?

To make a Hurricane put crushed ice in your cocktail shaker and add:

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • 1.5 oz Lemon Juice

Shake it up really good.  Then, pour the drink into a Hurricane Glass, unstrained.  You can garnish with an orange slice or a cherry.

The Hurricane is on the sweeter side of the scale.  One or two of these is enough for me in a night.  It is still a great drink. It is amazing what kind of flavor comes from just three ingredients.  The passion fruit gives it a nice fruity flavor and there is a hint of the lemon juice to cut down against all the sweetness.  The dark rum comes through and adds a hint of molasses.  This is a drink I make for myself year round.

Enjoy your Hurricane and Happy Mardi Gras!





Saturday: Dueling Surf Show

This Saturday, March 5th, at 9:00 PM two surf bands will take the stage in Milwaukee at Kochanski's Concertina Beer Hall.  It will be The Cocktail Preachers Vs. The Revomatics.  The bands will be playing alternating sets in a dueling surf show.  Your's truely, Damon @ Let's Tiki, will be there so stop by, listen to some surf music and say hi!



The Start of a Tiki Adventure: Beachcomber's Gold

Beachcomber's Gold ChicagoThe other night I caught the tail end of Julie and Julia.  If you aren't familiar with the movie it is about a woman who goes through Julia Child's cookbook making each recipe and blogging about it.  I thought that might be fun to do with Beach Bum Berry Remixed, which is the ultimate guide to Tiki cocktails.  

I'm not expecting any fame like in the movie.  It will just be fun to take a walk through the history and flavors of Tiki cocktails.  I'm going share my thoughts and impressions about each cocktail, and I'd love to hear your opinions too. I'm not going to share the recipes.  Beachbum Berry spent a lot of time putting this book together, and it's not my place to give the recipes away.  If these cocktails sound good to you buy the book.  I have a link to it on your left.

The Beachcomber's Gold is a recipe from Don the Beachcomber.  Actually, there are three recipes for the Beachcomber's Gold.  The Chicago version, the Waikiki version, and the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  All three are very different from each other.  The one thing they have in common is how they are served.  All three are served in a Champaign saucer with an ice shell.  

The ice shell was unique and fun to make.  You just shave some ice and put it in the glass.  Then using a spoon press the ice against the outside of the glass.  The ice should start to rise up a bit outside of the glass.  Then, freeze the glasses with the ice overnight.  I used some wine glasses and martini glasses since I didn't have any Champaign saucers.  They worked just fine, and it was a unique way to chill a drink.

Beachcomber's Gold WaikikiThe Chicago version is made with light rum, vermouth, Pernod, and Bitters.  It had a strong anise and vermouth flavor.  I wasn't a big fan.  It really didn't feel Tiki at all to me.  I guess you can leave it to Chicago to call something tiki just because it has some rum in it.  I didn't even finish it.

The Waikiki version was better.  It called for light and gold rum, lime juice, passion fruit juice, honey, and bitters.  I used passion fruit syrup instead of juice.  I have no idea where to find passion fruit juice.  The lime, passion fruit, and honey blended well with the rum.  It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't bad.  

The Hollywood/Palm Springs version was pretty good too. It had lime juice, sugar syrup gold rum, dark rum, Pernod and almond extract.  After trying the first version I wasn't too excited about more Pernod.  However,  this cocktail had an interesting complex flavor.  The drink had a kind of daiquiri flavor with the rum and lime juice, but the Pernod and almond extract made a great addition to the cocktail.  The Pernod wasn't overpowering this time, and was a nice addition.

Beachcomber's Gold Hollywood/Palm SpringsIt was fun sampling three very different versions of the same drink.  The ice shell was a lot of fun and made for a unique experience.  If I had to pick a favorite it probably would be the Hollywood/Palm Springs version.  I love a cocktail with several flavors that combine to make something unique.  It is like an orchestra.  You could play the same song with just a piano, but the sound is amazing when you have all the different instruments playing.

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