Friday, July 15, 2011

A Summer Tiki Party

Where the Birds Sing and the Flowers Bloom

Welcome to a tropical hideaway, you lucky people, you…or so the Enchanted Tiki Room song went, when it was written for Disney World in 1963. In Mad Men, (if you’ve never heard of the AMC television series, come out of your cave) Don Draper would definitely approve of the ambience found in a tiki room; a party with the kind of atmosphere where “Skirts” and fedoras drift by, the booze flows freely and kool kats enjoy a little intoxicating food and drink, their smokes, and music that gives Elvis’ Blue Hawaii a run for its money. To recreate such a scene, I’m recreating the Polynesian PuPu Platter and serving up my Hurricane Brew in hollow coconut shells—what a way to cool off this summer!

Tiki Time Event Menu

Purveyors of tiki culture were the proprietors of Don the Beachcomber restaurant and Trader Vic’s; both were, in the 1930s, young men who had sailed throughout the South Pacific and loved exotic rum punches, rattan furinture, tropical flowers and tiki torches—it was a way of dining and entertaining that peaked in the 50s and 60s, vanished in the 70s and has come back for an encore now. In homage, her’es my PuPu platter, defined as a tray of Chinese American/Hawaiian assorted small meats and seafood appetizers: think egg rolls, chicken wings, savory skewers and other temptables for kool kats.

Get out your best monkeywood platter and load it up with all or some of the following:

Grilled Rum Marinated Flank Steak Sandwiches with Chipotle Lime Aioli
Barbecued Pork Tenderloin Skewers with Cranberry, Corn and Avocado Relish
Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps
Mustard Coated Chicken Skewers with Grilled Veggie Salsa
Fried Calamari with Tuna Caper Dipping Sauce
Tropical Trifle for Dessert
Signature Drink:
Hurricane Brew

I can’t say enough about these tiki-rific choices. Make sure you have a jar of Maraschino cherries standing by to garnish the plate in true PuPu platter style. For the flank steak sandwiches, your everyday sammy gets a makeover with a big burst of flavor, and the chicken skewers offer an update on fast food chicken fingers that’s easy to prepare. Fried is a distinguishing factor to any PuPu platter, which is why I added the calamari, but with a dipping sauce that cuts through that salty, deep fried heaviness.

As Seen on Mad Men…Drink It, Wear it or Use it at Your Tiki Party!
And now to introduce my signature drink for the big event. My Hurricane Brew is best whipped up in a pitcher, then authenticated by pouring the concoction into hollowed pineapples. You’ll need a few tools to serve the Brews this way; first a pineapple slicer, which removes the core and gives you a neat stack of pineapple rings—and drinking glass!!—in seconds. This is a cocktail that will have you looking all over for those little paper umbrellas; it calls for rum both light and dark, grenadine, fresh citrus juices and plenty of granulated sugar. If you don’t want to trouble yourself with real pineapple glasses, check out the Tiki drinking glasses I found shopping online; you’ve probably seen this same set with lipstick stains on the rim in Mad Men. Oh, and speaking (again!) of that series, did you know Banana Republic is coming out with its own Mad Men clothing line in August 2011? That’s this summer! View the whole Retro clothes collection by clicking the link.

Here’s a hyperlink shortlist of other tiki bar supplies I found for cheap…real cheap…on Amazon:

Paper Cocktail Parasols - Pack of 144
Pineapple slicer
tiki luau drinking straws

And while you may love behaving like "Mad Men" at your tiki party this summer, don’t expect to see the show again until 2012…how many great parties will you have before then!

Happy Mai Tai Sipping, Everyone!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails