The tiki revival would be nothing without the historians and bartenders who’ve supported the movement through the bad times (aka The 1980s) and the good. They’ve unearthed historic recipes, spent countless hours sourcing quality ingredients, made exotic syrups from scratch and gone all out on elaborate garnishes. Without them, we’d still be sipping saccharine, neon-hued monstrosities instead of perfectly balanced Mai Tais and Royal Hawaiians.
While we have two gentlemen (Trader Vic and Donn Beach) to thank for creating tiki, many of tiki’s modern day revivalists are women. We checked in with the ladies behind the bars of some of the best tiki haunts in America to find out why they hitched their leis to tiki in the first place and why the movement is so important.