Monday, September 01, 2008

Passionate Potions at a Tiki Oasis

I had the great pleasure of attending Tikitastic's annual tiki party at his ultra-swingin' bachelor's pad in the mountains last night.

With a tiki room designed by the grandson of the man who designed Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room, a giant cyclops sculpture by Tim Biskup greeting guests in the foyer, original animation cels from Akira, Tikitastic's home is an homage to retro, modern, pop, atomic, and tiki culture.

So of course, I'm in heaven when I visit.

I was introduced to Tikitastic (his nom de plume on the best tiki resource and community on the planet, Tiki Central, run by the very cool Hanford Lemoore) through a friend of mine who worked with him and, because I couldn't stop talking about blowfish lamps and tiki, got invited to the tiki party last year.

Tikitastic is a generous fella and knows how to celebrate (he graciously shared his rum collection and I felt like I was sneaking the Elixir of Life from the gods). I missed the band he had playing this year (The Lava Rats) but I did have the opportunity to imbibe the delicious cocktails created by the brilliant bartender, Jay Crabb, and his lovely assistant, Michelle, both of whom really made my night by sharing their passion for creative drinks and great conversation.

I loved that they introduced me to "farmer's market cocktails"--concoctions with a gourmet philosophy and including innovative use of herbs and spices (when was the last time you had a cocktail with basil, or cucumber, or rosemary?)--and am a convert. What's more, Michelle made me my first Sazerac, the official drink of New Orleans. I'm in love with the complexity of its flavor and have had to tell the mojito that we're just friends now.

Good times, good times.

I.

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