Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program is sold out.
Email to get on the Wait List.

Don’t miss out on future programs like this.
As a Smithsonian Associates member, you will receive ticket-buying priority.

Tiki Time! Exotic Cocktails and the Cult of the Tiki Bar

Evening Program with Tastings

Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1L0264

Discover the inventive and imaginative story of Polynesian Pop. The fantastical history of the tiki bar was shaped by (and inspired) a movement that included art, music, architecture, and more in mid-century America.

Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco (Spirited Awards winner, Best American Cocktail Bar 2016), lead a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival.

Learn about the building blocks of exotic cocktails and see why our primal yearning for paradise continues to resonate with a new generation of the tiki faithful, all while sipping samples of original recipes from Smuggler’s Cove, courtesy of Plantation Rum.

The Cates are authors of the James Beard Award-winning book Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki (Ten Speed Press), which is available for purchase and signing. In its pages you can find your new favorite cocktail, get help stocking your bar with great rums, and spark inspiration for your next tiki party.

Other Connections

Long before Washington had Trader Joe’s, Trader Vic’s established a local beachhead for tiki culture on 16th Street, and it was here that Martin Cate first fell in love with the tiki aesthetic. Take a look at that once-iconic restaurant in the Statler Hilton Hotel where “fabulous rum drinks, barbequed meats from Chinese ovens, and the finest Continental cuisine” were served amid South Pacific-style splendor.

Try your hand at a modern tiki-inspired cocktail from Martin Cate: Peachtree Punch.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)