Cocktail Experiment: Tiki Tastic

The Hula Bula Bar, Perth - the site of last month's cocktail experiment madness

By Edward Washington
Photography by Caitlyn Selkirk

Cocktails created and styled by the ‘mixed team’ in Western Australia and photographed onsite at the Hula Bula Bar, Perth.

Hula Bula Bar

12 Victoria Avenue
Perth, Western Australia

08 9225 4457

It’s not often enough that Bartender is able to make it over to Western Australia to check out what Dirk Hartog (the first European to visit the coast) saw in 1616. So when James Connolly (Defectors Bar) put his hand up for to organise this month’s Tiki Tastic Cocktail Experiment – how could we refuse?

Rather than horde the spoils James put the call out to WA’s bartending brethren, roping in a few more big names. Skipper Josh Collins, one of Australia’s leading tiki fanatics couldn’t resist such a tempting invitation and even offered to host the shoot at Hula Bula Bar, the centre of all things tiki.


Whether you’re a proponent of Trader Vic or Don ‘The beachcomber’, tiki is alive and well, and a long fresh rum based cocktail is hard to beat on a balmy day or night. The craze has been booming since the 1940s following a huge tiki fad that developed when thousands of Allied soldiers returned from the Pacific theatre following World War II.

This month’s Tiki Tastic has really set the bar for creativity within this fine and fun cocktail category. A huge thanks must go out to everyone involved, and especially to James for being Bartender’s man on the ground when it came to pulling this experiment off.

Andy ‘three words’ Mac (399 Bar)

Cocktail name: The Pink Flamingo on Stardust

  • 45 ml Inner Circle Red Dot Premium Rum 40% abv
  • 30ml Galliano L’Autentico 42.3% abv
  • 60ml Guava nectar
  • 10ml Star anise syrup
  • 5ml Pomegranate syrup
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • 30ml Lime juice
  • 10ml float of Inner Circle Black Dot Premium Rum 75.9% abv
  • Glass – original Mai Kai tiki mug
  • Garnish – pink flamingo, palm swizzle, 3xmint sprigs, half lime shell drizzled with pomegranate syrup and a pink parasol.

Method: Combine all ingredients except Inner Circle Black Dot; shake & strain over ice, cap with crushed ice, float inner circle Black and garnish like a MOFO.

What Andy Says: “On tasting Inner Circle Red Dot I picked up the ever present tropical fruit and a fair amount of spice on the back palate, so by using Galliano L’Autentico, star anise syrup & Peychaud’s, I drove the spice forward and then gave it fruit balance with the guava juice.”

James ‘crazy eyes’ Connolly (Defectors Bar)

Cocktail name: This Bastard’s Suffered Enough

  • 45ml Appleton Estate Extra (12YO) 43% abv
  • 30ml Coconut fat washed Martell VS Cognac 40% abv
  • 15ml Fresh lime juice
  • 10ml Char-grilled pineapple syrup
  • Splash of Fever Tree Ginger Ale
  • Glass – Skull mug
  • Garnish – Mint Mohawk

Method: Add all liquid ingredients except ginger ale to a cocktail shaker, shake and strain over the rocks, add ginger ale, crown with crushed ice and garnish.

What James Says: “I love using Appleton (12yo) in cocktails; it’s very robust so it carries the rum flavours through the drink. The Cognac works really well with the rum’s dark chocolate and vanilla notes. Add some of rum’s best friends (lime coconut and pineapple) and lift with ginger ale to add to the refreshment……..good times!”

Benjamin ‘Tu Fierce’ Tua (Mint nightclub)

Cocktail name: Curse of the Pirate Hooker

  • 60ml Bundaberg Red Rum 37% abv
  • 90ml Cloudy apple juice
  • 30 ml Lime juice
  • 30ml Prune juice
  • 30ml Honey water
  • Splash of Bundaberg ginger beer
  • 2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters

  • Glass – Pirate face tiki mug
  • Garnish – Half eaten apple, butt scratcher, pineapple leaves, a cigarette and lipstick.

Method: Combine all ingredients minus the ginger beer, shake and strain over ice, and top with ginger beer. Apply lipstick to yourself and the tiki mug, take a bite from the apple and garnish with all other garnishes

What Ben Says: “The Bundaberg Red Rum combines beautifully with prune juice, in turn cloudy apple and prune juice – yum yum. Put all these in a tiki mug you get fun…er fun. The taste will linger for a long time just like ‘the curse of the pirate hooker’.

Kev ‘Capt.’ Clark (Hula Bula Bar)

Cocktail name: Captain’s Gunpowder

  • 45ml Angostura (5YO) Trinidad & Tobago Caribbean Rum 40% abv
  • 20ml Campari 25% abv
  • 20ml Falernum (Paul Clarkes’ No.9 recipe)
  • 15ml Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 60ml Pineapple juice
  • 5ml Wray and Nephew OP Rum 63% abv
  • Glass– Tiki cup
  • Garnish– Toys from a tiki bar and fake gunpowder (poppy seeds)

Method: Shake all ingredients except OP rum in a boston, strain over ice, and float OP rum, garnish with love and toys found in a tiki bar and fake gunpowder.

What Kev Says: “Angostura (5YO) is a great mixing rum in which I found a little sweetness and subtle hints of caramel, spices and fruit. I chose Campari & a small amount of lime to balance with Falernum to bring out some spice. In typical tiki style a slug of OP rum and classic garnishes.”

Ben Louthean (Devilles Pad)

Cocktail name: Severin’ a Head

  • 45ml Domaine de Séverin (6YO) Old Dark Agricole Rum 45% abv
  • 45ml Star-fruit puree
  • 30ml Fresh lime juice
  • 30ml Dragon-fruit Falernum
  • 15ml Heering Cherry Liqueur 25% abv
  • 15ml OP Rum to flame
  • 5ml Bärenjäger 35% abv
  • Glass – Tiki mug
  • Garnish – Vanilla pod, star fruit slices, dragon fruit slice and flaming passionfruit shell.

Method: Add all liquid ingredients except OP rum in a boston; shake and strain over crushed ice, garnish and set it on fire (passion fruit shell containing Op rum)

What Ben Says: “Domaine de Séverin has a smoky taste and bite without the assertiveness of most agricole rhums. I used dragon-fruit and star-fruit due to their subtle flavours so as not to lose the rummyness, Heering Cherry Liqueur and Bärenjäger balance out the stronger sweet sour flavours.”

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