It’s About Time the Tiki Trend Took to the Shores of South Africa

by | Aug 29, 2018 | Events, Interesting Stuff

Americans understand the trend. They appreciate the trend – most of the time at least. It’s a love-hate relationship really. But we think it’s about time us South African’s got on board too. What are we going on about? Colourful Hawaiian shirts, tiki torches surrounding the pool and sunburnt faces drinking from elaborate cocktails in skull-head tiki mugs. Yes, we’re talking about the tiki trend! That tropical island paradise theme that will have you picturing pineapple bikinis and beach sand between your bum cheeks. This summer, we want to see the tiki trend take off in South Africa in a way it never has before. Here’s a full breakdown of what you need to know to get your tiki-themed event rolling. Sea you at the beach!

What’s a Tiki Bar and where did it come from?

The first tiki bar made its appearance in America in the 1930’s, called Don the Beachcomber. This tropical setting offered an escape from reality – which was really important to Americans during the time of the Great Depression. Bar-goers were able to step away from their financial woes and enjoy paradise by the make-believe ocean.

The trend really hit it’s peak in the 50’s and 60’s when war heroes and veterans returned from World War II with the memory of the Pacific Islands in their minds. Then Elvis released Blue Hawaii and suddenly the American Dream included a beach chair and sunglasses. The rest is history and we won’t get too Pacific on the details. Let’s rather focus on the interesting bit – planning a Tiki-themed party in today’s day and age!

The timeless Tiki Torch and other decor

Tiki torches are obvious, just make sure you’ve set up some kind of fire-prevention/ emergency procedure in case of an accident (or just get battered powered ones). Your overall theme here is tropical, so anything bright and beachy will do. Here are some things you could use as decoration:

  • Palm tree leaves
  • Shells
  • Beach sand
  • Little umbrellas
  • Floating candles
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pink flamingos
  • Coconuts

Just as important as your decor is how your guests will fit in with their tropical shirts. Your guests will also obviously need to sport a tiki mug filled with a bright and beautiful cocktail, like one of these creations:

Tiki Mug Top Cocktail Picks

Mai Tai

No this is not some form of martial arts. Mai Tai is a Tahitian phrase meaning  “the best—out of this world.” What a perfect fit for a tiki party. This is our favourite Mai Tai recipe by


  • Fresh lime juice
  • Rock candy syrup (2 parts sugar, 1 part water)
  • Orgeat almond syrup
  • Orange curaçao
  • Rum

Time for the Tiki Trend Took to the Shores of South Africa

Thirst’s Meet Rio Blu Cocktail

It might come from a different part of the world entirely, but it’s still got the tropical vibe you’re craving. Plus, anything with rum in it basically counts as Tiki anyways.


  • Light Rum
  • Spiced Rum
  • Apricot Brandy
  • Orgeat syrup
  • Lime
  • Cold pressed pineapple
  • Orange juice
  • Angostura bitters

Thirsty Mojito

We can hear the waves and smell the salty sand already. A fresh and ice cold mojito to compliment the sun – tropic like it’s hot!

Glass: Highball

Method: Muddle/Stir


  • 4-6 mint leaves
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 12.5ml coconut syrup
  • 1 shot pineapple puree
  • Dash lime juice
  • 2 shots Rhum Agricole
  • Top Cloudy Lemonade

This summer, we challenge you to throw a Tiki-themed party! You bring this fantastically fun and exciting event to South Africa, or we’ll beach you to it. We can even help you with the perfect mobile bar to match the look you’re going for. Not to mention that our Thirsty Bartenders never fail to look suave, even in their shades and flip-flops.
Does this theme make you crave a good dose of vitamin sea? Let us know!

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