Spirit Scene: Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai

In March 2012 I went on a pilgrimage to Southern California, this is where surf music was born in the early sixties. I had the privilege of meeting and playing with some of the greats from the first wave of surf music, in particular Paul Johnson (writer of Mr Moto, Squad Car and member of the Belairs & Surfaris).  The fantastic ‘surf’ community of SoCal were incredibly welcoming of me.  I also had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar) on his ranch. Another marvelous experience. This is where the inspiration for a lot of the songs on my album “Going to Kaleponi” came from.

One of the gigs I played while I was there was at the legendary Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. where I was introduced to their Mai Tai. I haven’t found anything like it in Australia.

It was purportedly invented at the Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California, in 1944. Trader Vic’s rival, Don the Beachcomber, claimed to have created it in 1933 at his then-new bar named for himself (later a famous restaurant) in Hollywood. Don the Beachcomber’s recipe is more complex than that of Vic’s and tastes quite different.

Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai

  • Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai

    1 oz gold rum

  • 1 1/2 oz Meyers’s Plantation rum
  • 1 oz grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz falernum
  • 6 drops Pernod or Herbsaint
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Shake well with crushed ice.

Pour unstrained into a double old-fashioned glass.

Garnish with 4 mint sprigs

Recipe by Don the Beachcomber circa 1933.

Tiki Safari – 1st October 2017

It all started back in 1934, when Texas native Don the Beachcomber created Tiki Pop, combining the Polynesian jungle aesthetic with a love of rum and tropical-flavoured cocktails. Soon Tiki-themed bars were popping up all over the USA and beyond.

WWII sparked a resurgence, with returned servicemen bringing a slice of the islands back with them to create home Tiki Bars spilling over with rum.

Try not to spill yours as you do a whole lotta shaking to the wildest retro rhythms around from Rufino and the Coconuts, Martin Cilia (the Australian King of Surf Guitar from the Atlantics), The Hellcat III and Men From U.N.C.L.E., plus DJs Rod Almighty and Andy Travers and MCs Wolfman Dan and Doc Temple

Off stage at the Tiki Safari, you’ll find all things exotic and Tiki, with collectables, clothing, merch, food and celebrated tiki carver Tiki Bob plying his trade. This is Sydney’s premier Tiki event. A day of mesmerising fascination and alluring mystery.  Not to be missed!

SUN 1 OCT 2017 1PM
Price: $25 + Booking Fees
Bookings: (02) 9550 3666
Concert Mode – General Admission
Tickets On sale now @ The Factory Theatre

About Martin Cilia 30 Articles
Martin is an Australian guitarist and vintage guitar collector. Apart from his solo work he is a member of The Atlantics, Dave Warner’s From the Suburbs and is currently guitarist in Mental As Anything.

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