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Let’s talk Tiki! No, not that old school scene, I mean today’s Tiki! Bold colors, cold cocktails, it’s popping up once again with Tiki Tolteca, the new here today gone tomorrow pop-up bar upstairs at Felipe’s in the French Quarter.

“I’m so excited, I’ve been excited about this for a long time. The Tiki movement is making a comeback in general, ” says Bar Manager Nathan Dalton.

He describes Tiki as “dark spicy flavors, something that reminds you of something exotic, drinks that are very complex, a lot of ingredients, you don’t really know what you’re tasting.”

“The drinks are about mystery. At the old Tiki bars, the drinks were fiercely guarded the recipes you know, Don the Beachcomber even wrote recipes in code, secret code,” says bartender  Richard O’Dell.

He describes the Tiki mood as ”dark brooding, kind of mysterious, kind of exotic, romantic.”

Feeling nostalgic yet? These Tiki buffs are really heating things up behind the bar while honoring Tiki tradition.

“It was actually the most popular culinary cultural movement, it spanned from the mid-thirties all the way to the early eighties. By the time the seventies and eighties rolled around, it was considered very kitsch, tacky” says O’Dell.

Showmanship is all part of the fun, the garnishes, the ingredients are all over the top as they should be.

“They would have a squeezer, fresh squeezer, garnish man, drink pourer a shaker boy… we have our ways of making things more time efficient but when it gets down to it, you’re talking about drinks with four or five pours.”

The drinks are labor intensive but the pay-off is paradise in a glass, grass skirt not required.

Tiki Tolteca is located upstairs at Felipe’s in the French Quarter and opens up every Tuesday and Thursday.

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