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The Suffering Bastard Makes Us Glad for Resurgence of Tiki Cocktails

The Suffering Bastard Makes Us Glad for Resurgence of Tiki Cocktails

A week ago, at the booze and bar industry’s version of the Oscars, San Francisco Tiki spot Smuggler’s Cove won the Best American Cocktail Bar award. It was a long time coming, as Smuggler’s Cove has been doing great things since opening in 2009. But more importantly than finally recognizing the West Coast for having more than one great cocktail bar, the award unveiled something many of us have been saying for years: We are living in the Second Golden Age of Tiki. Tiki, that romanticized version of Polynesian culture appropriated for cocktail bars predominantly in the post-World War II era, enjoyed a heyday from the mid-1930s thanks to Tiki pioneers Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic before finally falling out of fashion sometime in the 1970s. But because of bars like Smuggler’s Cove there has been a renewed interest—and dare I say better facsimile than the original—in classic Tiki culture. Some of the great Tiki classics, however, aren’t even from the original age of Tiki,…