Tiki in Disney

Professional bartending28 September 2017Ivar de Lange

Tiki in Disney

Who thinks that Disney is all about Mickey is mistaking. As one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world, Disney caters everybody’s needs. Orlando, Florida is the epic center of Disney’s activities in the United States. With six different theme parks and many other things, this is where Disney aficionados should go. Lucas Bols and Disney have been working together for years to supply the cocktail needs of their visitors.

Epcot food & wine festival

Every year in the months September and October, Disney hosts a food and wine festival in one of their parks, Epcot. Seminars, tastings and parties are organized and speakers from all over the world come to talk about their passion. I have been invited to talk about my passion for cocktails and Bols Genever several times now and Lucas Bols has been there from the start. This year I gave two interactive seminars about the Tiki culture and –cocktails and about the Italian aperitivo moment and drinking culture.

A bit of Tiki history

I was especially excited to share my passion for the Tiki tradition. Tiki cocktails are known all over the world and throughout the years the meaning and interpretation of Tiki has changed quite a bit. In my seminar, I took the audience back to the ‘20s and 30’s of last century. To the primitivism movement, when homes were decorated with Asian and African art from primitive tribes and architectures and painters like Picasso and Gaugain start using primitive art in their paintings. When Hawaii joined the United States as the 50th state, it triggered the interest in the Polynesian lifestyle. Hula and the Tiki symbol were introduced and Tiki bars became more popular.

Tacky Tiki

And then the ‘80s happened. Sweet drinks became increasingly popular and instead of fresh ingredients, bars started using pre-fab ingredients. The cocktail umbrella gets its introduction and more and more pineapples appear on glasses. Somewhere in the 70’s and 80’s people decided that Hawaii shirts are fashionable and the colorful shirts were soon identified with Tiki.

And so far, this is the image that a lot of people think of when talking Tiki. But is’s a bit far from the classic art form that Tiki started with and the drinks start drifting away from the first Tiki drinks. Classic Tiki drinks are booze-soaked, but in the 80’s the Tiki drinks became sweet.

Tiki revival with Bols Genever

As with many classic cocktail categories, a small Tiki revival is occurring. Bartenders pay more attention to their ingredients and start looking for the classics Tiki recipes. Often, they make tasty twists on them. Many books about Tiki have occurred in the past years and Tiki drinks are boozy once more.

Bols Genever lovers know that many classic cocktails are originally made with Genever, or Holland Gin as it was called in the golden age of the cocktail (+/- 1880-1920). The same goes for Tiki drinks. Bols Genever can be a very interesting ingredient in a Tiki cocktail. Take the Mai Tai for instance. Often seen as the first real Tiki drink and generally dated back to 1944. Together with the people attending the seminar, I made a Mai Tai in a Barrel. A very tasty twist on the classics Mai Tai.

Do you want to get inspired by more Tiki recipes? Visit the Bols website for over 500 recipes.

Do you want to know more about Epcot food & wine festival? Click here to visit their website.

Mai Tai in a Barrel:

  • 0.75 oz Bols Genever Barrel Aged
  • 0.75 oz Galliano L’authentico
  • 0.75 oz Orgeat
  • 0.75 oz Rhum Clement 4 years
  • 0.5 oz Bols Orange Curacao (or Bols Dry Orange)
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Garnish with pineapple leaves, mint sprig and orange wheel

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Ivar de Lange

Ivar de Lange

Ivar de Lange is onze Master Bartender en manager van de Bols Academy. Hij heeft meer dan 21 jaar bartending ervaring en vindt het leuk om te schrijven over alles wat met cocktails te maken heeft.

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