The Hukilau 2015 Helps You Set up a Home Tiki Bar (Photos)

Monkey tiki mugs
Monkey tiki mugs
Photo by Laine Doss

This past weekend's Hukilau transformed Fort Lauderdale into an exotic tropical island with its parties, potent rum cocktails, and seminars. Arguably the best part of the event was the Tiki Marketplace at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 resort., selling everything from vintage Hawaiian shirts to hot sauces. The marketplace was also the perfect spot to finally get a start on working on that Tiki Bar you've been threatening to build.  

But how do you start your very own Tiki Bar?  What do you look for in a Tiki mug?  And how much money should you spend? Here's a good primer, courtesy of some of the friendly vendors at the Hukilau's Tiki marketplace. 

Vintage bar for your home.
Vintage bar for your home.
Photo by Laine Doss

This bar is an imitation Witco, the company that furnished Elvis' famous Jungle Room. This home bar doesn't take up too much room, so it's perfect for an apartment. At $200 for the bar and another $125 for both chairs, the price is right, too.

Tiki time
Tiki time
Photo by Laine Doss

Decor is an important part of a Tiki Bar. Freda Nichols of Aloha Art & Alligators collects and sells everything from maps of Hawaii to old Airline posters to a lighted blowfish. Carved coconut heads and totems round out the look.

Vintage mugs
Vintage mugs
Photo by Laine Doss

Vintage Tiki mugs are true collectibles, but you have to know what you're looking for. Freda Nichols says that mugs from classic bars like Trader Vic's and Harvey's in Lake Tahoe are worth snatching up. Look under the mug for the manufacturer. A true vintage mug should be made by Orchids of Hawaii or Otagiri. Expect to pay around $25-30 for a well-kept mug that's free of cracks,although rare items like the Suffering Bastard mug from Trader Vic's could command as much as $250. Nichols says to always be on the hunt for vintage Tiki items at garage sales and thrift stores.

Handmade Tikis
Handmade Tikis
Photo by Laine Doss

Hand crafted Tiki mugs are another way to go. Tiki Tony's hand made ceramic mugs include whimsical characters like Koke Parrot, Ellie the Elephant, and a tipsy pineapple ($80-100 each)

The Hukilau's official mug
The Hukilau's official mug
Photo by Laine Doss

The Hukilau also offered a collectible mug, complete with his own lit torch.

Vintage shaker and shot glasses.
Vintage shaker and shot glasses.
Photo by Laine Doss

You'll also need a vintage shaker. Most come as part of a set that includes highball or shot glasses. These are particularly clever. 

Rum from Wicked Dolphin
Rum from Wicked Dolphin
Photo by Laine Doss

All these vessels and nothing to drink? Stock up on some local rum. Wicked Dolphin's rum shine, an ode to moonshine, is a good base to your own cocktail creation.

Hot sauce from Tahiti Joe
Hot sauce from Tahiti Joe
Photo by Laine Doss

Tahiti Joe's hot sauce makes a great tropical version of a Bloody Mary. Just add white rum instead of vodka, Clamato juice, and some liberal shakes of this hot sauce for new version of a Sunday morning classic.

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