Before there was Don the Beachcomber, there was Texas Tiki

Legend has it that back in 1934, a Texas native by the name of Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt opened a restaurant in Hollywood, California, featuring tropical décor inspired by his recent world travels. His nom-de-tiki was Donn Beach, and his Don the Beachcomber restaurants would forever change the landscape of southern California beach cuisine.  In the 1930s and 40s the glamour of the tiki palace proved irresistible to the denizens of Hollywood, and by the postwar era tiki would find a truly national audience.

In Texas, the tiki aesthetic extended to the glamorous themed restaurants—Trader Vic’s in Dallas; Don the Beachcomber in Houston; Steak Island in Austin—followed by retail and residential developments, such as Tahitian Village outside of Bastrop.

Though the old tiki bars are mostly gone, we are fortunate that the cocktail cuisine of the tiki era is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. In nouveau-tiki bars across the country, and in celebrations such as Texas Tiki Week, the classic tiki drinks and culture live on.

Sat, June 22nd – South Asian Luau Preview Party at WhipIn | 2pm-6pm »
Tiki cocktail samples courtesy of ‘Tipsy Texan’ David Alan and a one-of-a-kind tiki-style beer brewed by Namaste, the Whip In’s house brewery. Special rum tastings at WhipIn’s next door neighbor, Beverage World will available to patrons. David will also be signing copies of his debut cocktail book ‘Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State’. Featured spirits include products from the Favorite Brands portfolio.more

Sun, June 23rd – R(h)um Row on North Loop: drink.well., The Tigress and Workhorse – 3pm-12am »
Austin’s emerging North Loop district will kick off Texas Tiki Week with a roving tribute to rum and tiki cocktails at USBG-member venues. Featured spirits include r(h)ums from Blackwell, El Dorado, Rhum JM, Cruzan, Treaty Oak and more! All events/venues are open to the public.
The bar team drink.well. will go full-on ‘Goonies’ with a one-of-a-kind all-tiki tribute to the ultimate 80s adventure flick. 4pm-12am.
The lovely kittens down at The Tigress are tapping into classic tiki recipes, with delicious libations featuring Cruzan, Mt. Gay and Treaty Oak rums. Workhorse Barwill be shaking things up, tiki-la style with drinks featuring Dulce Vida…more

Sun, June 23rd – Late Night Tiki with Brooke Arthur from Aviation Gin – Whisler’s – 11pm-2am »
Mosey from North Loop to far east 6th for some late night tiki libations!Visiting bartender and Aviation Gin brand ambassador arrives in Austin and will be slingin’ oh-so-tasty tiki-style cocktails alongside Whisler’s bartender, Whitney Hobbs.
Whisler’s (1816 East 6th Street, Austin, Texas)more

Mon, June 24th – USBG Members-Only Luau on the Lagoon at Krause Springs – 3pm-9pm »
After a kick-off Happy Hour at WeatherUp Austin (1808 East Cesar Chavez) (3pm-4:00pm), USBG members from across the state will converge on the lagoons at Krause Springs for live music, a pig roast, tiki cocktails and camaraderie.
Buses to Krause Springs will leave Weather Up promptly at 4:00pm. Overnight camping opportunities also available. E-mail usbg.atx@gmail.com for more details.
Featured spirits include products from the Remy-Cointreau…more
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Mon, June 24th – Anchor Distilling Portfolio Training – Peché – 12pm-3pm »
Join us at Peché (208 West 4th) from 12-3pm for a wonderful portfolio tasting courtesy of Anchor Distilling. “Around the World with Anchor” featuring 60+ spirits and cocktails feauting Hophead Vodka, BarSol Pisco, Nikka Japanese Whiskey and King’s Ginger Liqueur. RSVP to AnchorRSVP@r-west.com. Trade Only.

More: http://texastikiweek.com/calendar

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