Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A Moment of Tiki: Cocktail and Mai Kai

Wow! I've really been lapse in sharing new episodes of A Moment of Tiki here. For that, I apologize. Let's right this listing ship a little with a couple of those backlogged episodes from earlier in the year.

First up is episode 23: Hot Buttered Rum. Having an outdoor tiki bar is great--except when it gets cold. Believe it or not, even though our Central Texas winters are generally mild compared to the Midwest, once that mercury dips down to the bottom half of the thermometer it's no fun sitting outside sipping icy cocktails. What's a tikiphile to do? Simple: Make hot buttered rum! All the effort goes into preparing the hot buttered rum batter ahead of time. Once that's finished, the cocktail's a snap!

Next is Episode 24: Save the Mai Kai! The Mai-Kai, that high holy place of tiki culture, is in trouble. After suffering catastrophic damage to the kitchen in October of 2020, the owners planned to repair, rebuild and reopen. But nothing is ever simple, and complications quickly escalated the price for restoring the Polynesian palace to its fully functioning glory. The situation has grown serious enough that the family has retained a firm to seek outside investors or, gasp, buyers for the property. In this episode of A MOMENT OF TIKI, I go over what is publicly known at this time about the Mai Kai's future, why this place is so special and why it needs to be saved. I also review Tim "Swanky" Glazner's book, Mai Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant, which is the best and most lavish history of that place ever published. Trust me, it's a keeper.

I wrap up with a rare bonus episode: Snow Day!? On February 15, we here in Central Texas experienced single-digit temperatures and more than 6" of snow. This was the coldest weather, and the most snowfall, experience by your humble host since 1973 (if you're doing the math, I was 3 years old at the time). Unlike most of Central Texas' rare snowfall events, it didn't immediately melt away the following day. No, temperatures stayed below 20F and the snow stuck, and stuck, and stuck some more. I ventured out to document the aberration, because who would believe stories of a tiki bar buried in the snow otherwise?

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