This post today is a Recipe Redux post, but let’s talk a little tiki first…

The annual dietetics conference that I usually go to each October is in Chicago this year.  Let’s just say that I’m WAY more excited about visiting Three Dots and a Dash tiki bar than the actual conference. I’ve even already mapped the driving distance from my hotel to the venue.  Only  5 minutes!

I LOVE TIKI BARS. Everyone who knows me knows that I love Disney theme parks and my coveted tiki time.  Tiki encompasses a culture of drinks, music, artwork and atmosphere. Not to mention really cool drinking mugs that are works of art in their own right!  Are you craving a mai tai yet?  FYI, most mai tais that you order in regular bars are disgusting sugar bombs that taste absolutely nothing like the original created in the first half of the 20th century.  The only juice in a mai tai should be lime juice!

It's tiki time with this refreshing rum, pineapple and lime cooler

Here’s my tiki trifecta of requirements that every bar has to hit to make it on my list:

  1. Tasty Cocktails:  a tiki drink is not an icky sweet drink with 5 kinds of fruit juice in a plastic cup topped with an umbrella.  Ok, so they might have umbrellas and cool garnishes, but  traditional tiki drinks are very complex creations with layers of flavor.  Multiple types of rum or other liqueurs are common.   You’ll also find that many have spice flavors such as cinnamon and falernum, which is a concoction featuring multiple ingredients including cloves, almonds and lime.
  2. Atmosphere:  theming is super important!  I want to feel transported to a tropical destination,  filled with plenty of mid-century modern touches and polynesian pop culture.  And, the darker the bar, the better.
  3. Music:  I like a combination of relaxing Hawaiian music along with a genre known as Exotica, which is almost like tropical jazz with squawking birds, drums, chimes, ocean and jungle sounds from the 1950s and 1960s!

As you can see, my tiki time is about an overall experience that takes me away from total reality.

Some of my fave tiki bars are:

  • Frankie’s Tiki Room,  Las Vegas  (this is usually our driving force for any Vegas trip)
  • Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel
  • Tonga Hut, North Hollywood
  • Tiki Ti, Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles
  • Pagan Idol, San Francisco
  • The Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar at the Fairmont San Francisco
  • Rumba, Seattle
  • Bars to visit next:  Smugglers Cove (San Francisco), Tonga Hut (Palm Springs), Bootlegger Tiki (Palm Springs), and Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago)

So, why am I writing about tiki time?  Because this month’s Recipe Redux is all about drinks!  Of course when I read the description, my mind went straight to cocktails.  I generally don’t drink at home, but wanted to create a lightened up version of a tiki-style cocktail.  Made with fresh mint, cinnamon simple syrup, POG, rum, bitters and club soda, my Westwood Wahine is a refreshing summer cocktail.  This is the type of drink that I enjoy outside or preferably next to a pool!

To lighten the drink up, I tried to keep the simple syrup to an absolute minimum and didn’t go overboard on the fruit juice. I really wanted to add multiple fruit juices, so by using the POG (pineapple-orange-guava juice), I was able to add multiple fruit flavors and only need 1 container of juice.  I added another flavor layer by throwing in just a dash of bitters.  It’s also not quite as strong in the booze department as some typical tiki drinks.  Adding fizzy water to top it off creates more of a refreshing, drinkable cooler.

The Westwood Wahine

Yield: Makes 1 drink

Light and refreshing, this cocktail is great for lounging on a beautiful sunny day!

Ingredients

    Cinnamon Simple Syrup (will make 1 cup - save for future drinks!)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
    Cocktail
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce POG (pineapple, orange guava juice)
  • 1 dash bitters
  • Enough ice to fill up a 8 ounce glass 3/4 of the way up ( a large handful)
  • 1 ounce sparkling water or club soda

Instructions

    For the simple syrup:
  1. Combine the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture up to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat and let cinnamon sticks steep for 2 hours.
  4. Remove sticks and store simple syrup in an airtight container in the fridge
    For the cocktail:
  1. Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker. Add the cinnamon simple syrup, lime juice, rum, POG, bitters and ice. Shake for 10 seconds and pour into a 8 ounce glass.
  2. Top with the sparkling water or club soda and give a light stir to combine.
http://tastybalancenutrition.com/tiki-time-2/

 

 

 

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Showing 28 comments
  • Reply

    This is such a fun post! I totally need to make this for the summer!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      thanks Emily! Super refreshing!

  • Reply

    I LOVE the Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco! I went there a few years back when I was visiting my sister and it was such a fun and memorable experience! But back to this drink.. it looks amazing! I’m obsessed with cinnamon, so that simple syrup sounds amazing!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      I want to go there so badly! Last time I was up in SF, I only had time to go to 1 place and someone in our party chose Pagan Idol. The decor is awesome! the drinks were good, but I’ve heard that the drinks at Smuggler’s Cove are better.

  • Reply

    Love this post! A good friend of mine is also very into tiki drinks and it wasn’t until I tasted his mai tai (juice free except for fresh lime) that I finally understood the importance of a great cocktail!

    Love this post and can’t wait to try the recipe.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      lol! I bet it tasted strong!

  • Erin Palinski-Wade
    Reply

    This is so fun. I cannot wait to try these!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Erin!

  • Holley Grainger
    Reply

    I love your tiki trifecta! I want to check out some of those tiki bars!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Holley! They’re so much fun and make you feel like you’re on vacation!

  • gretchen | kumquat
    Reply

    the most awesome, authentic tiki bar i’ve ever been to was la mariana in honolulu. if you get a chance to go, you’ll be in tiki heaven.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      I’m way overdue for a trip to Hawaii! Looks like a fun place!

  • Reply

    Love how festive this drink is! Definitely seems like you’d be an expert tiki drink maker! 🙂

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Not exactly….more like the expert drink taster!

  • Kathryn Pfeffer
    Reply

    This looks delicious and makes me want to wear a grass skirt!!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      lol ! Yes, definitely takes you to a tropical place in your mind!

  • Abbey Sharp
    Reply

    Looks like you are the Tiki master, so I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      I like going to tiki bars much more than making them at home! Authentic drinks have so many different types of liquer that it just gets so pricey to have a stocked liquor cabinet!

  • Christina Bauer
    Reply

    This drink looks and sounds amazing! I have most of those ingredients, too 🙂 There’s a wonder tiki bar in my town, Milwaukee, which I think you’d love! Their drinks are out of this world – I prefer going there in the dead of winter to get the full “escape from reality” experience.

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Every new city I go to, I always check to see if there’s a tiki bar in town. If I ever get out to Milwaukee, I’ll have to check it out!!

  • Sarah
    Reply

    Looks great! I’ll have to try it this weekend…

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Thanks Sarah!

  • EA The Spicy RD
    Reply

    This is such a happy post and I learned so much about Tiki culture 🙂 How have I missed the Tiki Bar at the Disneyland hotel, every time we’ve stayed there before? Oh, probably because I had little kids with me 🙂 Can’t wait to try your yummy Westwood Wahinie (love the name!), and if I end up going to FNCE this year, I’d love to join you at Three Dots and a Dash for a tiki cocktail!!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      yes please1 It’s a date!

  • Serena
    Reply

    Now what I really want to know is do you have these Star Wars Tiki Geeki Glasses: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/irvt/ My husband got them for me for Easter. They definitely make drinks taste better. But maybe not yours. Your Wahinie looks hard to beat!(: Cheers to the Three Dots and a Dash. Will you and EA save a seat for me?

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      lol ! I’ve seen those glasses! Awesome! Heck ya, there’s a seat for you too! The more the merrier!

  • Danielle Cushing
    Reply

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE TIKI BARS too! I live in Chicago and Three Dots and a Dash is a MUST. Glad you have it on your list!

    • TastyBalance
      Reply

      Glad to hear a local’s review! 🙂

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