Updated: Jan 15
HEY THERE KRAZY KATS
Happy New Year!!!
Congratulations you made it through and if this is your first time joining us WELCOME to our blog - SCENE + SEEN suitcase series, traveling, tasting and touring tirelessly (and safely)!
Nothing says New Year like TIKI - uh, well - maybe not... but after a year like this last, an extra boozy cocktail featuring fresh juices and homemade syrups with an upward of 10 ingredients or more topped with a teeni tini umbrella - feels well deserved.
Here we are in 2021 with a new wave of industry folk reimagining 'tiki cocktail culture' and looking to shed the appropriation since its inception back in 1933. It all began with Ernest Gantt, better know as DONN BEACH when he opened Don the Beachcomber in Southern California and began serving his 'Rhum Rhapsodies'...
In an article from The New York Times - Reclaiming the Tiki Bar
by Sammi Katz & Olivia McGiff, is an overview of tiki along with some current view points from 4 industry professionals: Shannon Mustipher - beverage director & author of "Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails", Mariah Kunkel- spirits expert & co-founder of Pasifika Project, Chockie Tom- bartender & brand ambassador of DOOM TIKI, and Kelvin Uffre-spirits specialist,educator Ideal Bartender Collective.
SCENE + SEEN
Seattle tiki blogger
Q&A with Ray Wyland
Why tiki? When/How did you take an interest in tiki?
Ray- In one word, escapism! When you are in a tiki bar, you are transported. The outside world no longer exists. There is no better feeling than relaxing with a Mai Tai in a tropical escape. Once I started going to tiki bars, I stopped going to regular bars. What’s the point? There’s so much more to tiki than just drinking, there is the art, music, fashion, the environment and of course tiki mugs!
When/Why did you start your blog?
Ray- I started going to tiki bars in 2006. My first was Hula Hula in Seattle WA. Sadly, there isn’t too many tiki bars in the Pacific Northwest so I’m always searching for any new tiki bars that I can go check out. In the beginning of 2016, I discovered a tiki bar opened up in Vancouver B.C. called The Shameful Tiki Room, I had to check it out! So, I drove up to Canada (which is a three-hour drive from Seattle) to see what this place is like. Needless to say, I was blown away! The Shameful Tiki Room was so awesome and it’s still one of my favorite tiki bars, and I’ve been to quite a few!
As I was sitting at the bar drinking, I realized that I just drove to another country just to check out a tiki bar and it made me think, if I started a tiki blog, I could travel around the country checking out tiki bars and it could be considered “research” which means drinking a lot of tiki drinks! I literally went back to my hotel that night and started my blog. I called it Tiki With Ray and I’ve been blogging consistently every week since then.
What is your favorite tiki bar/why?
Ray- My favorite tiki bar is Tiki Ti, hands down! It’s located in Los Angeles, it’s tiny, has been around since the 60’s and it’s always a lot of fun when I’m there. They serve my favorite tiki drink - it’s called a Ray’s Mistake. I kind of like the name…
Best place to purchase tiki totems/mugs etc.?
Ray- There is nothing cooler than finding a tiki or a tiki mug out in the wild at a thrift or antique store. Anything you find is a little piece of tiki history and taking it home just saved it from getting thrown away. Sure, you can go on EBay & throw down a bunch of cash, but it’s much cooler to find one at a Goodwill for 4 bucks!
Who is Ray Wyland outside of tiki Blogger extraordinaire?
Ray- When I’m not at a tiki bar, I’m playing my guitar. I love music and I love getting up on stage and rocking out! Music was a big reason why I moved to Seattle. I’m originally from the East Coast.
Favorite tiki band?
Ray- Martin Denny. His music has been the soundtrack to many nights drinking Mai Tais at a tiki bar. What does tiki sound like? It’s Exotica from Martin Denny.
Tell us about any “codes to follow” for the new generation of tiki?
Ray- Understand that tiki drinks are strong, really strong! Drink slowly and savor your tiki experience one enjoyable sip at a time.
Best song and tiki drink combo?
Ray- Quiet Village by Martin Denny while drinking a Zombie.
Best tiki scene in a movie?
Ray- The Bamboo Lounge in the movie Goodfellas. If only it was a real place!
If you could have one deceased person come back in spirit to mix a tiki drink with you-who would that be & what drink would you choose?
Ray- That would have to be the godfather of tiki himself, Donn Beach! It would have to be a Zombie since Donn invented the drink.
Ray- "The only thing that’s tiki are the tikis"
UNDERGROUND TIKI BAR
Sailing the Seven Seas
We were lucky enough to catch the last boat out UNDERTOW JOURNEY before its closing for relocation. Sign up on their website to
join the club for recipes and updates to future events.
Look what we found on dry land at STOOPID TIKIS in Glendale, Arizona
Brian Prudhomme of STOOPID TIKIS recalls his first tiki memory of one he found in his parent’s shed. Born into a family of tennis professionals, he never had a driving desire to become a tiki artist and never intended it to become a business - but, has since found that it just might be his calling. The universe agrees - he tells us every time he needs to find a specific size, or type of material for his project he will simply come across it easily and effortlessly.
His wife Kimberly is his muse, supporting him from the start. "She's not attached to tiki in any specific way - so if she likes it, then I must be on the right track." Brian finds tiki mugs to be an inspiration with their color and vibrancy but he doesn't follow any rules around style. He sees tiki in everything from places like San Diego, Mexico & Jamaica to music from exotica, surfer & punk rock.
When people challenge him with a new project - he simply says YES! And then he thinks to himself, "now how am I going to do this?" He definitely doesn’t want to be mainstream and is selective about who he works with for his incredible custom pieces - "it must be cool, positive, & fun". His favorite cartoon artist sums it up for Brian - "When you think you are done, you've gone too far." Thanks Brian!
This reminds us of our friends back in Cali at Silverback Music
2019 Marymoor Park concert with SLIGHTLY STOOPID...
Paddling through the waterways of Lake Union in Seattle, you will find a fully renovated 165-foot ferry boat, ON THE HIYU - which sailed around Puget Sound for almost 20 years before officially retiring in 2016. Today a premier floating venue by owner Jeff Wilson (also a tiki aficionado) added an onboard tiki bar The Pau Hana Lounge. His reinvention of the playful style of tiki set against the beautiful vistas of the NW. Here's our favorite Silverback Music artist Ethan Tucker in the Pau Hana Lounge from a 2019 movie shoot on the HIYU.
With gusts & gales blowin' us into 2021 - stay steady, for "a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor" and we'll leave you with this music video "Crazy Tonight" from Ethan Tucker ft. Michael Franti
Socialites - we are giving away a few of our URBANSALT caps above - To enter the drawing, like urbansalt on Facebook and post a photo of you and YOUR interpretation of tiki-style. Winners' photos will be posted in a follow up blog to claim your hat(unisex one size) * Please note by sending us a photo to enter this drawing you give us permission to share your photo publicly on our Hungry Socialites blog - thank you!