Tropical Tiki Party Inspiration

Tiki Party

We are always looking for fun entertaining ideas – wedding related or not – so today’s fun feature (with just enough lead time to get us in the mood for happy hour) is right up our alley! The Whaling Club recently threw a tiki-themed cocktail party that was all about taking classic tiki-style cocktails and re-introducing them to people with fresh, quality ingredients. We can definitely get on board + think you’ll find lots of inspiration for summer soirées, or just a weekend get together, below!

Dan from TWC shares, Rum is such a versatile spirit with so many different expressions. The tiki cocktails and the culture have a way of transporting you to another time and place. It’s also hard to not feel good while drinking out of a pink flamingo straw. Finally, well made tiki drinks pose an interesting challenge for a bartender which is to balance a large number ingredients in one cocktail, with the goals of serving a drink that’s tropical, but not too sweet, while not losing sight of the rum.

Thanks so much to Dan’s talented wife – photographer + co-founder of The Whaling Club – Marie Buck for sharing these gorgeous images with us today!

Tiki Party

Tiki Party

Tiki Party

Tiki Party

The inspiration for our Tiki Party stems from the birthplace of Tiki itself, 1930’s Hollywood. Don Beachcomber’s Cafe opened in 1933 which served Polynesian food and exotic rum cocktails. It was an instant hit, especially with celebrities. Trader Vic’s opened in Oakland just a few years later and soon tiki restaurants and bars were opening all over the country. By the 1940’s “tiki” was both a culture and a craze.

Tropical blooms by Inessa Nichols Design + patterned pieces from Found Rentals helped set the right tone for the event.

Tiki Party

Tiki Party

Tiki Bar

We wanted to capture the vintage charm and spirit of the early tiki movement in Los Angeles. The drinks, although inspired by classic tiki flavors, were updated to feature quality rums along with fresh seasonal fruits, herbs, & spices. We served Polynesian inspired bites including served fresh shucked oysters, salmon poke, and house-made “spam” musubi. Music from the golden age of Hollywood Tiki played in the background.

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Tiki Party

Need some advice for what to buy for or what to wear to your tiki party?! We’ve got you covered in our fun guide below!

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Tiki Party

tiki drinks

Tiki Party

A few tips for throwing a great tiki party: There is a fine line you’ll reach before you’ve gone too far over the top. We wanted the night to feel festive without feeling or looking artificial. Sourcing vintage furniture from Found Rentals helped to keep the space looking authentic. Inessa Nichols incorporated natural foliage, flowers, and fresh fruits for expansive but realistic styling. Finally when putting together your menu, find garnishes and glassware that will make an impression. Contrasting colors, textures, and materials on top of your drink make for an unforgettable guest experience.

tiki drinks

tiki drinks

key largo drink recipe

Key Largo Cocktail

1/4 oz blue curacao
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz orgeat
1 oz pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz white rum

Directions: Combine ingredients in a rocks glass. Add crushed ice, swizzle, and top with crushed ice. Garnish with an orchid and a wedge of pineapple.

Happy Friday + may your happy hour be half as pretty as this amazing tiki party!

photography: Marie Buck Photography // florals: Inessa Nichols Design // furniture rentals: Found Rentals // cocktails: The Whaling Club // food: Nick Haider for The Whaling Club // wooden tokens: Venice Kraftworks

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