The tiki genre is one of the most alluring and misunderstood movements in American cocktail history. Known for its romanticized mash-up of Pacific island cultures, tiki was invented in 1930s Hollywood by a world-traveling rumrunner named Don the Beachcomber, born Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. Tiki cocktails were a liquid vacation and an escape from the darkness of the Depression era. Eighty years later, tropical cocktails continue to deliver the miraculous ability to evoke paradise, no matter the climate.
Visit Edible Rhody for the full story & “The Wolf of Mainstreet” cocktail recipe by our pal Jason Kindness.
Photograph by the great Chip Riegel.