It’s time to drink booze out of a coconut adorned with an umbrella garnish: Texas Tiki Week has arrived with more events stuffed into the next several days than you can shake a swizzle stick at.
The Austin chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild devotes a week to all things related to tiki culture, a movement that started in the 1950s and ’60s when tropical-themed bars began appearing across the country. Both local bartenders and cocktail lovers alike can partake in the rum-soaked fun.
Hallmarks of the movement include exotic decor, extravagant and boozy rum cocktails, and the mini-umbrellas, bright flowers and dolphin-shaped bananas that have come to define outlandish tiki garnishes. (More is always better when it comes to tiki.)
You’ll see all of these and more during Texas Tiki Week, which kicks off today and runs through Sept. 17. Here are some events that you might want to check out to feel like you’ve escaped to an island paradise. All are listed on texastikiweek.com/events.
Texas Tiki Week Kick-Off Party, 7 p.m. Sept. 11: Get yourself into the tropical mood with this party at the Roosevelt Room. The night, which doubles as a Hurricane Harvey relief benefit, will feature a special menu collaboration between the bar and Juniper Tar from San Antonio. Tickets are $40 and include all food and drink.
How to Make a Tiki Mug, 12 p.m. Sept. 12: Tiki mug maker John Mulder will give this lunchtime seminar at the Townsend about how he makes some of the best tiki mugs in the world, including those for Texas Tiki Week. Stay afterward for an in-depth look at the tiki movement from Martin Cate, co-founder of one of the best tiki bars in America: Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. You’ll sample some classic exotic cocktails.
Grog Party Bus, 6 p.m. Sept. 13: Featuring all kinds of rum and fruit juice, the Navy Grog is a popular tiki cocktail. Try it and many others at six Austin bars, starting with East Cesar Chavez Street’s Craftsman. Each one will have a different rum awaiting you, such as Zacapa at Mattie’s and Appleton Estate at Midnight Cowboy. Tickets are $25.
Group Tiki Cocktail Treasure Hunt, 6 p.m. Sept. 15: Booze will mark the spot as you go from bar to bar, starting at the Roosevelt Room, using an actual Texas Tiki-ified map of the city. The night, completely free of cost, will include a contest with prizes.
Texas Tiki Week Tiki Village, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16: A tiki version of a flea market, this afternoon of local vendors will feature cool items like vintage Hawaiian wear, tiki art, stickers and even cookies that taste like tiki cocktails. There will also be a special menu of cocktails and food from Contigo. The full list of participating vendors is on the Texas Tiki Week site.
Sunday Brunch at Weather Up, 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Sept. 17: Close out the week with a pig roast featuring St-Germain cocktails and pineapple mimosas. The $28 tickets include food and some drinks.
For more information, you can also visit facebook.com/TexasTikiWeek.