If there was one theme party that everyone loves to attend, it’s a tiki party. There’s something about the tiki culture that’s incredibly inviting and we can’t seem to get enough. Perhaps it’s all those rum filled mai tais or maybe it’s because it feels like an island vacation. Either way we love it all!
For those of you looking to host your own party with a killer tiki lounge vibe, there’s a few essentials you’ll need. From the right decorations down to the appropriate liquor, here’s everything you need to throw the ultimate tiki cocktail party.
1. Dress Up the Backyard
In order to throw a tiki cocktail party, you’ve got to invest in some decorations. Setting a tropical mood is as important as the cocktails themselves so go to town with the tiki party supplies. Dress up the outside bar with a grass skirt and a bamboo awning. You could invest in a Palm thatch umbrella cover, but be forewarned these are on the pricey side.
Speaking of palms, anything palm tree is welcome here whether it’s real or fake. Napkins, signs, centerpieces, if it’s a palm tree it’s good for tiki hour. So is anything Hawaiian or Polynesian themed like hula girls and tiki gods.
For lighting, you could use some fun string lights like these tiki heads and parrots on Amazon. But above all else, don’t forget the tiki torches! Just be sure to place them strategically out of the way in case someone near the bar has one too many mai tais.
The more decorations here the better. Tiki bars are usually over the top so cover any bare area with some fun tiki flair.
2. Cocktail Umbrellas, Garnishes, and Tiki Themed Glasses are a Must
Have you ever been served a tiki cocktail without a tropical garnish? I thought not. Those toothpick drink umbrellas are the quintessential garnish that everyone loves in their cocktail. You can also use pineapple wedges, citrus fruit slices, palm tree tips, tooth-picked cherries, tropical flowers, starfuit slices, passionfruit slices, and any other tropical fruit you can top a glass with.
Like garnishes, the proper glass is essential. Tiki mugs, coconuts, and glassware etched with palm trees are the ideal vessels for serving your cocktails. There’s something about drinking out of the appropriate glassware that seems to make the cocktail just taste better.
Want to try this cocktail? Get the recipe here.
3. Choose Your Cocktails Wisely
The tiki party is really all about one thing, the right cocktails. They’re the entire centerpiece of the event drawing folks together so you want to get them right. Opt for cocktails like mai tais, scorpion bowls, zombies, or one of our favorite eight tiki cocktails. Blogger Arsenic-Lace also offers some tasty cocktails your guests will love. Remember, the more exotic they are the better.
4. Don’t Forget the Rum
It wouldn’t be a tiki party without the rum! Look up a tiki cocktail and you’ll find almost 100 percent of the time it involves rum. And when it comes to stocking the tiki bar, you’re going to need a variety. White rum, gold rum, and flavored rums are a must.
If you’re a real tiki cocktail enthusiast though, you won’t want to stop there. Stock up Jeff Beachbum Berry style with varieties from a slew of countries like Jamaica and Panama. The tiki obsessed scholar and owner of Latitude 29 bar in New Orleans recommended his top six rums to Eater, which include Caña Brava and Samaroli Demerara 1988.
Either way you’ll need a few if you’re going to mix up Don the Beachcomber’s signature cocktail the Zombie.
Now that you’re all set, bust out the pu-pu platter. It’s tiki time!