This past weekend my friend Derek and I took part in the Chicago Area Tiki Tour (CATT). We had an awesome time! The event was put on by the Red Palms Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai. The Red Palms Chapter really out did themselves. This was the first Chicago Area Tiki Tour and it was organized perfectly. The event was a great chance for Tiki fans from across the Midwest and beyond to get together, hop on a bus, and visit some of the best Tiki places in the Chicago area.
Friday night everyone checked in to the Aloft O’Hare, and made it their Tiki home for the weekend. That evening the Cocktail Preachers played a great set of surf and exotica inspired music. Sadly, I got held up at work and only got to see them play the last two songs. After The Cocktail Preachers, Jason Croft “Java” did a live recording of The Bachelor Pad Radio Show. I have been a faithful listener to The Bachelor Pad pod cast for quite some time now. Java always plays a great mix of music that is perfect for a Tiki lounge. It was a lot of fun to see the show recorded live, and was the perfect setting for the Tiki cocktails that were on special at the Aloft bar. This is one show that every Tiki fan should listen to religiously.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early to begin our tour. At 10:15 AM around 100 Tiki fans boarded the two busses for full day of Tiki bars. By 11:00 AM we had our swag bags, our first cocktail in hand, and we were headed to our first stop, Malahini Terrace. The first bus cocktail was the Derby Daiquiri. They had talented individuals mixing and serving cocktails while we drove down the highway. The highway factor resulted in the proportions being off a bit on most of the ingredients. Everyone still enjoyed them, and had a great time!
When we arrived at the Malahini Terrace they didn’t know what hit them. Don’t get me wrong, the event was scheduled in advance, and arranged with the restaurant, but serving 100 people cocktails and food all at once is a big job. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a drink. I ordered one shortly after arriving, but we had to move on before it arrived. I did get to sample their egg rolls, and they were pretty good. The egg rolls were huge, and had a peanut flavor to them. Derek tried some of the, chicken, chicken, chicken, which was also pretty good. The Decor at Malahini Terrace was your typical Chinese restaurant, but they did have some Tiki looking lamps. I’ll have to go back sometime to sample their cocktails.
Our second bus drink was The Koval Lei. It is made with:
- 1.5 oz Simply Lemonade
- 1.5 oz pineapple juice
- .25 oz Koval Honey Chrysanthemum Liqueur
- .25 oz Koval Orange Blossom Liqueur
- 1.25 oz Cruzan aged light rum
- 1 tsp honey mix (recipe from the Grog Log)
Again, the measurements were, understandably, a bit rough on the bus, but this complex little cocktail had a lot going on. The enticing flavors of honey stood out, and a nice orange, and lemon flavor was there too. The cocktail gets it’s name from the Koval products in it. Koval is a Chicago based distillery.