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Chicago Area Tiki Tour Recap – Part Two

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My Tiki PrizeI’m continuing to relive the highlights from last weekend’s Chicago Area Tiki Tour.  If you haven’t read Part One.  Be sure to do that first. 

When we last left off we were on the bus headed for stop number two; Tong’s Tiki Hut. On the bus between each Tiki stop we had cocktails, and Tiki prizes were given away.  They gave away shirts, Tikis, CDs, posters, and even romance kits (oh la la). Everyone won something.  I got a cool little Tiki statue, and Derek got a nice little Tiki mug.

Stop two was Tong’s Tiki Hut.  Tong’s had really great decor.  The booths were in bamboo and thatch huts.  The walls were covered with tropical murals with palm trees and ocean scenes.  Fish nets, sea gulls, and really cool Tiki lamps hung from the ceiling.  Amazingly, one little lady worked behind the bar and cranked out the Tiki cocktails like there was no tomorrow.  Everyone was served in a relatively short amount of time.  The cocktails were great!  I had a Fog Cutter that was delicious.  It was sweet, and sour with a lemon flavor.  It also had a hint of ginger.  Tong’s version was maybe a little sweeter than the classic, but still a good cocktail.  

While on the tour we met Kat and Colleen; two Tiki fans from Milwaukee.  They were kind enough to let me sample their Tiki Lovers tiki bowl.  This smooth concoction for two was a well balanced mix of pineapple, and coconut.  It tasted great, and hid the rum. 

We also had a buffet lunch at Tong’s.  The buffet was your average, run of the mill, Chinese buffet.  Nothing to write home about here.  In the video I recorded about Tongs I said the buffet was good, but I must have been a little Buzzed at the time.  Looking back it was average at best.

After Tongs we headed to Hala Kahiki.  This time, there was not one but two bus drinks.  A rep from Barritt’s Ginger Beer mixed up The Bermuda Sunset, and the Ginger Collins for us.  These two cocktails were all alcohol with just a splash of mixers.  Someone sure had a long pour.  It made for a fun atmosphere on the bus!  I made the Ginger Collins at home this week, and it was superb.  The gin and ginger beer gave the cocktail a lot of great spice.  The lemon juice and sugar compliment the spicier ingredients, and together the ingredients are cocktail heaven. The recipes for these cocktails are:

Bermuda Sunset

  • 2 oz white rum
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Ginger Collins

  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 2 oz Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Our third stop was Hala Kahiki.  This place is a true gem.  The decor is from top to bottom Tiki.  The walls are covered in mats, and bamboo.  The ceiling is woven thatch, and the carvings are true works of art.  It is truly perfection.  They even have a courtyard with a six foot tall Moai.  The cocktails on the other hand are average.  They are super sweet, and don’t have a lot going on.  I had the Singapore Sling.  It was sweet and plastic tasting.  I didn’t even finish it.  They don’t serve food, but there are pretzels on every table. Every Tiki fan needs to pay this place a visit just to see the amazing atmosphere.  I would recommend having an ice cream drink.  I’m told those are pretty good.

That’s the end of Part two, but not the end of The Chicago Area Tiki Tour. Click here for Part three of the CATT Recap.  Also, if you haven’t read Part one, be sure to check that out.




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