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How to Make A Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini


Today we are making a Pineapple Upside Down Cake Martini.  

A few weeks ago I was at a local bar where a friend of mine bar tends.  The distributor gave him a bottle of cake flavored vodka.  So we did some experimenting to see what we could come up with. We mixed the cake vodka with a variety of things but nothing was tasting quite right.  Finally, we tried some pineapple juice.  That is when we knew we were on to something.  We added a little amaretto to the drink and it tasted just like a pineapple upside down cake.  

Later, at home, I added some dark rum and the recipe was even better.  The first time I tried cake flavored vodka I was surprise at how good it was.  It truly tastes just like cake.  Mixed with the pineapple juice, rum, and amaretto the cocktail is truly amazing.  

To make a pineapple upside down cake martini put some ice in a cocktail shaker.  Then add:

  • 2 oz cake flavored vodka
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz amaretto
  • 1/2 oz dark rum

Shake it up real good and then pour the drink, strained, into a martini glass.  Garnish the drink with a cherry, and enjoy!  

Let me know what you think about the martini by leaving a comment below.  I would love to hear your thoughts on what might make it even better.




Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap - Part One


This past weekend my friend Derek and I took part in the Chicago Area Tiki Tour (CATT).  We had an awesome time!  The event was put on by the Red Palms Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai.  The Red Palms Chapter really out did themselves.  This was the first Chicago Area Tiki Tour and it was organized perfectly.  The event was a great chance for Tiki fans from across the Midwest and beyond to get together, hop on a bus, and visit some of the best Tiki places in the Chicago area.  

Friday night everyone checked in to the Aloft O'Hare, and made it their Tiki home for the weekend.  That evening the Cocktail Preachers played a great set of surf and exotica inspired music.  Sadly, I got held up at work and only got to see them play the last two songs.  After The Cocktail Preachers, Jason Croft "Java" did a live recording of The Bachelor Pad Radio Show.  I have been a faithful listener to The Bachelor Pad pod cast for quite some time now.  Java always plays a great mix of music that is perfect for a Tiki lounge.  It was a lot of fun to see the show recorded live, and was the perfect setting for the Tiki cocktails that were on special at the Aloft bar.  This is one show that every Tiki fan should listen to religiously.

Bus DrinksSaturday morning we were up bright and early to begin our tour.  At 10:15 AM around 100 Tiki fans boarded the two busses for full day of Tiki bars.  By 11:00 AM we had our swag bags, our first cocktail in hand, and we were headed to our first stop, Malahini Terrace.  The first bus cocktail was the Derby Daiquiri.  They had talented individuals mixing and serving cocktails while we drove down the highway. The highway factor resulted in the proportions being off a bit on most of the ingredients.  Everyone still enjoyed them, and had a great time!

Tiki Lights at Malahini TerraceWhen we arrived at the Malahini Terrace they didn't know what hit them.  Don't get me wrong, the event was scheduled in advance, and arranged with the restaurant, but serving 100 people cocktails and food all at once is a big job.  Unfortunately,  I didn't get a drink.  I ordered one shortly after arriving, but we had to move on before it arrived.  I did get to sample their egg rolls, and they were pretty good.  The egg rolls were huge, and had a peanut flavor to them.  Derek tried some of the, chicken, chicken, chicken, which was also pretty good.  The Decor at Malahini Terrace was your typical Chinese restaurant, but they did have some Tiki looking lamps.  I'll have to go back sometime to sample their cocktails.

Our second bus drink was The Koval Lei.  It is made with:

  • 1.5 oz Simply Lemonade
  • 1.5 oz pineapple juice
  • .25 oz Koval Honey Chrysanthemum Liqueur
  • .25 oz Koval Orange Blossom Liqueur
  • 1.25 oz Cruzan aged light rum
  • 1 tsp honey mix (recipe from the Grog Log)

Again, the measurements were, understandably, a bit rough on the bus, but this complex little cocktail had a lot going on.  The enticing flavors of honey stood out, and a nice orange, and lemon flavor was there too.  The cocktail gets it's name from the Koval products in it.  Koval is a Chicago based distillery.

Click Here for Part Two of The Chicago Area Tiki Tour...


How to Make Cinerama Luau Punch


I needed to bring a drink to pass to a pool party recently.  One easy way to make drinks for a crowd is to make a punch.  You can make the punch in advance, and your guests can help themselves during the party.  I took a look at the Tiki+ app that I have on my IPod, and found Cinerama Luau Punch.  Cinerama Luau Punch was invented in 1958 by Don the Beachcomber for the premier of the film Cinerama South Seas Adventure.

To make Cinerama Luau Punch combine:

  • 8 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 8 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 8 oz fresh lime juice
  • 8 oz fresh orange juice
  • 2 oz orange Curacao
  • 1/2 bottle (13 oz) white wine
  • 1 and 1/2 bottles ( 38 oz) gold Jamaican rum

Mix everything in a punch bowl with ice.


Trader Vic Grog - A Tiki Adventure

Trader Vic's GrogAloha,

Trader Vic's has been in the news a lot lately.  In less than a week one location closed and another one opened.  On Thursday, July, 28th Trader Vic's Portland opened it's doors.  Then, Saturday, July, 30th Trader Vic's Scottsdale had it's last day of operation.  All of this right on the heels of Trader Vic's Chicago silently closing.  All this news leaves Tiki fans wondering, what is going on with Trader Vic's?  When debating about the future of Trader Vic's  what better cocktail to sip than Trader Vic Grog. So the next cocktail in my series of Tiki Cocktail Adventures is Trader Vic's Grog.

Trader Vic Grog is a nice little cocktail, that can be found in Beach Bum Berry Remixed.  It's made with Fresh Lemon Juice, Pineapple Juice, Passion Fruit Syrup, Dark Jamaican Rum, and Angostura Bitters.  It's a pretty simple cocktail to make.  

I would encourage you to do the mint garnish on this one.  It adds a really nice aroma to the cocktail.  When you raise the glass to your lips the wonderful aroma of lemon and mint, makes you relax and sigh with relief, because you know it is Tiki Time!  The pineapple, lemon, and passion fruit compliment the dark rum very nicely.  The first one I made I used Coruba Dark Rum.  Coruba is my favorite dark rum.  It has nice brown sugar, and molasses flavors.  It is smoother than Meyers. My second I had with Meyers, and that worked well in this cocktail too.

Trader Vic Grog isn't too sour, and it isn't too sweet.  It's a great balance of flavors.  If you are just starting out your Tiki bar this would be a great cocktail to start with, because you don't need a lot of ingredients.  All the ingredients are easy to get too.  The passion fruit syrup might be the only one you have to order online.

And what do I think about all the changes with Trader Vic's you ask?  Well,  I'm a little worried about their future.  They've had quite a few locations close recently.  All of the ones that closed were only around for a couple years.  Trader Vic's Las Vegas opened in 2007 and closed in 2010.  Trader Vic's Dallas ended their 4 year run in 2010.  Trader Vic's Chicago closed this summer after only being open 2 1/2 years in it's Gold Coast location, and the Scottsdale location closed last week after five years.  

Initial reviews of the new Portland location are good.  So I hope they can keep up the momentum for the long haul there.  I hope that there is a long term vision that is being executed. What do you think?

So, here's to you Trader Vic's I wish you long term success. Cheers! 


P.S. If you are looking for the complete Hai Karate recipe check out Beach Bum Berry Remixed, or if you are really desperate Google it.  I just don't give out the recipe since Beachbum Berry worked hard to put the book together. Who am I to give away the recipes.


Hai Karate - A Tiki Adventure

Hai Karate


It has been a while since I last posted my take on one of the cocktails from Beach Bum Berry Remixed Tiki Cocktail book.  This summer has been going by really fast!  Last night, I was out shopping for some ingredients so that I could try some of Kahuna Kevin's recipes from his book Why is the Rum Gone?.  It turns out it can be difficult tracking down some of the syrups he uses in Wisconsin.  So, I'll have to order online.  

I did pick up some maple syrup.  That opened up a few new cocktails for me.  It is so fun how you can slowly build on your bar stock over time.  If you start with just the ingredients to make one Tiki cocktail you don't have to spend a ton of money.  Then, slowly pick up new ingredients.  Before you know it you'll have a well stocked bar.  I like to pick up one new ingredient each week, but you don't even need to go that fast.  Sometimes I get a rum; other times it is a syrup. I just look through Remixed and see what looks good next, and see what I'm missing. 

After getting some maple syrup I was able to make the Hai Krate.  The Hai Karate was invented by Beachbum Berry circa 1999.  This cocktail is made with fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, maple syrup, Angostura bitters, and amber Virgin Islands rum.  I used Cruzan.

The first thing you taste are the tart citrus flavors from the orange juice and the lime juice.  The tartness melts into pineapple flavors.  The maple syrup give the drink a nice hint of sweetness, and a sweet aftertaste remains for a few moments.  

This cocktail was a little on the sour side.  I like sour drinks so I enjoyed this one.  The tartness can vary based on your citrus too.  Sometimes limes are sweeter and sometimes they are more sour.  The maple syrup gave a little twist to the normal sweet components that come from simple syrup.

 If you are looking for the complete Hai Karate recipe check out Beach Bum Berry Remixed, or if you are really desperate Google it.  I just don't give out the recipe since Beachbum Berry worked hard to put the book together. Who am I to give away the recipes.