The cocktail revolution has done a lot for drinking in America. It’s given us scores of new bars across the country, from speakeasies and concept bars in metropolises like New York and San Francisco serving Negronis in lightbulbs, to whiskey-obesessed neighborhood joints in smaller towns like Oklahoma City and even Omaha, Nebraska, offering rare bottles by the ounce. But one of the most exciting side effects of the cocktail renaissance is the rebirth of one of the greatest cocktail movements of the early 20th century: tiki.
Thanks in large part to the devoted fans of tiki’s founders, Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic, tropical drinks from the Fog Cutter to the Zombie were rescued from the neon-hued horrors of the 1980s and ‘90s—we’re looking at you, pre-made Mai Tai mix—and have slowly but surely returned to their garden-to-glass roots. And with this renewed interest in tiki comes a new generation of creative mixologists who are embracing the Polynesian-inspired concoctions while putting their own, subtle twist on tiki. It’s the colorful, paper umbrella antidote to the mustachioed speakeasy movement.