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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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N

was down that way today and want to give my 2 cents....

holiday isle and postcard inn...one has the rum runner bar and the other has the tiki bar which is creatively called "tiki bar" :/. the rum runner is actually a really neat structure but both bars are total crap. i asked the bartender if he had falernum and lemon hart to which he replied "whats that?". the tiki bar has tikis but they are more cartoon style and again, garbage drinks. the bars are all made for speed, not tasty cocktails.

safari lounge has a real big tiki behind the bar, dead center but thats it. crap drinks, sports on the tv. thatched roofs and animal mounts are not enough to sell me. one thing all these bars have in common is, they all serve watered down rum and juice in tiny plastic cups.

in summary...if youre in florida and you see a huge sign that says "tiki bar"...stay away

Yup - There is a theory that the traditional "Chickee" hut used by the Seminole Indians in Florida merged with the word "Tiki", and thus any palm frond beach hut in Florida became a "Tiki Hut". The Seminoles use it to this day in their tribal council logo:

"Chickee huts are Native American houses used mainly in Florida by tribes like the Seminole Indians, chickee huts, also known as tiki huts are also found in tropical destinations and hotspots such as the Hawaiian Islands, Bahamas and many other places. Chickee huts add a tropical panache to houses, backyards or poolside areas."

(quoted from: www.http://how-to-build-a-tiki-hut.com)

This stratification of terminology created the sad state of the term "Tiki Bar" in Florida that I mention in this link:

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=45592&forum=1&vpost=683095

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2013-11-17 05:20 ]

Sven, you always amaze me with your knowledge on this subject. Keep it coming!

Holiday Isle is known for it's Rumrunner, which is a terrible drink, but has tons of 151 in it, so it will kick you on your butt -- especially if you've been out in the sun all day. It gets totally crazy there during 3-day weekends. Half of Dade county is there. They also pull boats up on a sandbar about a mile offshore and get rowdy out there!

Realistically, outside of a few higher end restaurants in Key West, you aren't going to find any well made drinks between Key West and Miami. The same goes with any of what you would traditionally recognize as "tiki".

And BigBroTiki is right (as usual). Outside of the Mai Kai, every "tiki bar" in Florida should be more correctly called a "chiki bar", but man that gets some people worked up. Don't be hatin' on Jimmy Buffet either!

But the Keys are pretty wonderful. Enjoy them for what they are and just order your booze straight up.

N
nomeus posted on Sat, Dec 7, 2013 1:42 PM

the drinks literally tasted like the rum was watered down and the "juice" was water with some pulp floating in it. i took a few sips and tossed it

Was this at any one place in particular or throughout the Keys in general?

In defense of Key West (a part time home for me) . . No, you won't find much in the way of mid-century style Tiki bars there. Key West already had 200 years of Caribbean heritage when Polynesian Pop hit the scene in the US - it's just not the setting where Tiki Culture would thrive. But trust me, if you get away from the tourist bars, you'll find true cocktail culture does exist in the small city. Just step inside The Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn on Duval and you'll be a believer. Listed as one of the top 15 rum bars in the WORLD by Rum Journal, you'll find a knowledgeable bartender, samples of some of the best rums in the world, and a special concoction created by the owner (Bahama Bob) made by collecting roots from exotic trees and soaking them in 151.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGmLTTveL1o

F

On 2014-04-19 22:07, Doc Aikane wrote:
In defense of Key West (a part time home for me) . . No, you won't find much in the way of mid-century style Tiki bars there. Key West already had 200 years of Caribbean heritage when Polynesian Pop hit the scene in the US - it's just not the setting where Tiki Culture would thrive. But trust me, if you get away from the tourist bars, you'll find true cocktail culture does exist in the small city. Just step inside The Rum Bar at the Speakeasy Inn on Duval and you'll be a believer. Listed as one of the top 15 rum bars in the WORLD by Rum Journal, you'll find a knowledgeable bartender, samples of some of the best rums in the world, and a special concoction created by the owner (Bahama Bob) made by collecting roots from exotic trees and soaking them in 151.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGmLTTveL1o

Doc, glad you posted about The Rum Bar. Going to Key West in 2 weeks and had pretty much written off any good cocktail spots. I look forward to checking it out!
:drink:

Finky, don't get your hopes up too high. They do have a great rum selection so I recommend lots of neat rum.

On 2014-11-25 16:59, finky099 wrote:
Doc, glad you posted about The Rum Bar. Going to Key West in 2 weeks and had pretty much written off any good cocktail spots. I look forward to checking it out!
:drink:

Rum Bar is awesome! And, yes, great place to try rums. Not so great a place to try cocktails.

There is nothing wrong with the bars on Duval St, but they cater mostly to the tourists. There is still fun to be had, the Flying Monkey Bar has an entire row of slushy machines with interesting flavors of adult beverages. There is much entertainment value in Mixing and matching your flavors on a hot afternoon.

As far as the tourist end of the island, get a few blocks away from Front Street and you will find better bars, more local flavor. There is a nice cigar bar (that I can't remember the name of, near Amelia St) that had a great Manhattan. And there was a local watering hole at the end of the same block that had an awesome Island Style Mai Tai (the ones with pineapple juice).

You have to look around a bit but there are some great drinking places in Key West. It might take you a couple of tries to find the good ones, but the up side is you will have to stop in more bars and try more cocktails on your journey.

Awesome, thx for the tips. Sounds like a good time to experiment sipping some new-to-me rums!
Cheers!
:drink:

F

Back from Key West and just wanted to give a quick report.

Good call on The Rum Bar. Drinks were good and they did have a decent selection of sipping rums. Unfortunately, the rest of Duval and its near-environs was a wasteland for cocktails. However, I did stumble upon a place called The Other Side, which is in an old house on Duval. It's in no way a tiki joint, but focuses on "craft cocktails" so at least you know you're getting a well-made drink, as opposed to the slushie machine sweet dreck that is in alot of the other places. It shares the house with a craft beer bar called The Porch, and both have outdoor/veranda seating. Quite, dark, and chill, for those who want some Key West respite with a good drink.

429 Caroline Street
http://theothersidekw.com/

J

An interesting spot and -- IMO -- well worth the stop and the tour: http://www.keywestlegalrum.com

Jokeiii -

Thanks for the suggestion! The hubby and I driving from Miami to KW in July and spending a few days in Key West. I'm compiling a list of places to see and things to do.

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