7 Tips for Throwing Tiki Parties at Home

read the full article at Critiki

Tip 1: Throw more parties

Throwing a party is just like exercise: when you first get started, it hurts. The preparation, the cleanup, it takes a lot of energy. But if you persevere and throw another, hey, it doesn’t hurt so bad. You start building host muscles. Throw parties frequently enough and you won’t feel it at all, it’ll be as hard as breathing air.


Tip 2: Look for ways to make the next party easier

As soon as each party is over, I think about ways I can make preparation or cleanup easier next time. Some of the improvements I’ve made: I bought big bussing tubs to cut down on trips to the kitchen when rounding up glasses at the end of the night. I switched to all-compostable straws and picks so I don’t have to sort out little bits of plastic when cleaning up. I upgraded my juicer. Your parties will be different, so you’ll find your own little tweaks. They’ll add up over time, and before you know it, hosting is a breeze.

Tip 3: Keep a party prep checklist

It can be overwhelming when you think of everything that has to be done when preparing for a party. A tiki party has even more moving parts, with the complicated drinks and decor. Let a checklist be your brain. Every time you cross an item off your list, you’ll feel more accomplished, more confident, and more ready to play host. I use a phone app called Clear, which lets me quickly reuse the same list every time.


Tip 4: Don’t try to stock your tiki bar

The initial instinct is to want to be able to make any of a dozen great tiki drinks on demand. Resist that temptation: you’ll spend a ton of money on expensive liquors you don’t have room for, you’ll struggle to keep perishables on hand, and honestly, you probably won’t be happy with the drinks you’re making. I made that mistake, too! Instead, build your repertoire one drink at a time. Serve Mai Tais, get the right ingredients for that drink, get good at it, and then move on to the Navy Grog, master that one, move on to the next, and so on.

Tip 5: Punch

If you try to make individual drinks for your guests, you’ll probably have a hard time keeping up. Go easy on yourself by also providing a punchbowl or two to get everyone started. Keep it cold with a great big block of ice, and encourage people to put a lot of ice in their glasses. Dilution is your friend with tiki drinks, and the ice cubes will help pace your friends’ consumption. While you’re at it, be sure water is available, too!

Tip 6: Set the tone

Ideally, you’ll have your very own home tiki bar, a dedicated space just for entertaining. Odds are, you’re not there yet. Don’t let it hold you back. The best thing you can do: eliminate the white. Replace white light bulbs with colored bulbs, or put incandescent bulbs on dimmers so the glow is nice and warm. Cover your white walls with great big fishing nets. No need to buy a bunch of plastic neon junk, a few lighting touches along with some eBay or thrift store finds will get you on your way. And really, the best outfit any room can wear is the enchanting sound of Exotica and Hawaiian music.

Tip 7: Relax

You’re going to run out of time. As the party start time approaches, there will be dip you meant to make, garnishes you meant to prep. Don’t do it. At least 10 minutes before the party, stop everything you’re doing, and start relaxing. Your job as host isn’t to give dip, it is to give a fun time. If you’re harried, your guests will feel harried. The dip isn’t important. Make yourself a drink, turn on the Martin Denny, and breathe.


Margaret Vinci Heldt, hairdresser who took hair to new heights with beehive, dies at 98

Margaret Vinci Heldt, a Chicago hairdresser credited with teasing, sculpting and spraying the first beehive, the conical up do that heralded a towering new era in style when it debuted in 1960, died June 10 at a hospital in Elmhurst, Ill. She was 98.

The cause was heart ailments, said her daughter, Carlene Ziegler.


In the American beauty shops of the 20th century, styles came and went. There was the bob, the pageboy and the bouffant — and then there was the beehive, a hairstyle unrivaled by any other in the heights to which it soared, the volume of hair spray it required to stay in place and the nostalgia it inspired as the years wore on.

The beehive is widely recorded as the creation of Mrs. Heldt, a daughter of Sicilian immigrants who by 1950 had become the proprietress of Margaret Vinci Coiffures on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. A regular contributor to Modern Beauty Shop magazine, she was invited in 1960 to submit to the publication a new do for the new decade.

“Nothing much had happened since the French twist, the page boy and the flip,” Mrs. Heldt recalled in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “They told me, ‘We want you to come up with something really different.’ ”



It’s a funny thing about how us humans are wired, for some reason we always feel that we need to be paired up like a couple of ducks and that we can’t do something if we are alone.

Some of us are wired differently and I might be one of those odd people that actually prefer my own company more often than not.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my friends but I would say that I am confident to do most things on my own. It’s probably why as a child I always hated team sports and as an adult preferred singles tennis and golf! When it comes to my social life I much prefer turning up to an event or a nightclub on my own and meeting my friends there and after traveling as a professional tennis umpire for many years I didn’t mind going out along and making new friends, many find going out alone to be terrifying. Not me, I can always make new friends!

When it comes to travelling I would say I still feel this way, I enjoy being able to choose my destination and run my own schedule.

At the age of eighteen I took off on my first trip overseas to officiate at the Pan Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea and I realized how fun travelling is when you are travelling “stag”.

Travelling solo can be exhilarating, lonely, enlightening, an adventure, and tough all at the same time. Nonetheless, it will teach you so much about yourself. Such as:

1. How to be self-sufficient

When you’re travelling with a group or a partner, it’s easy to sit back and let someone else take charge. Bad at math? Someone else can figure out the exchange rate. Lacking in language skills? Your friend will find out where “les toilettes” are.

When it’s just you, you don’t have anyone else to rely on, so you’re forced to figure out directions, get yourself to the airport on time, and calculate how much to pay. Doing all of this on your own will give you new skills and a sense of independence that will carry over to your everyday life.

2. What you really want to do

Travelling with other people means compromise — which isn’t always a bad thing. Having to take into consideration someone else’s interests and needs can open you up to discovering places you never would have gone on your own.

But when it’s just you, you can take time and decide exactly what it is you want to do, and at what pace you want to do it. Maybe you want to find an obscure museum that only people with very specific hobbies would find interesting.

Or maybe you want to toss out your schedule for the day and just sit at a cafe watching the world go by. When it’s just you, you don’t have to think about pleasing anyone besides yourself.

3. Who you are when no one’s watching

When you’re alone in a new place, no one knows who you are, so you can be anyone you want. Maybe you’re shy when you travel with your more outgoing friend. Or you’re less adventurous when you’re vacationing with a reserved companion. Being by yourself in a new place means that no one has any preconceived notions about you, so you can take on any personality you want.

4. How to be comfortable in your own company

Being happy spending time with just yourself is a very valuable skill. When you’re vacationing solo, you’ll have lots of one-on-one time with yourself. Learning how to be okay dining as a party of one, visiting museums alone, and so on will make you a much more confident and interesting person in the long run.

5. How to make friends

When you’re by yourself, you’re much more open to meeting new people. Whether it’s a brief chat with the local next to you at the coffee shop, or inviting some new friends from your hostel to go out with you at night, going independently can make you much more receptive to new people and situations.


Cocktail Nation 408 Reds under the bed


This week on the Cocktail Nation  talking about communism in the fifties and a new book that looks at the mud that was thrown about at the time and impact it had on people. We talk Monroe and why there should be a dress code when flying.Plus the best lounge and exotica from across the globe.


Roland Remington Mambo Mambo

Henry Mancini -The Village Inn

Mose Allison-Your Red Wagon

Nat King Cole-The Continental

Lionel Hampton -Vibraholiday

Codename Carter-Muhamats Vault

Combustible Edison-The Vault

Tiki Delights -Twist Of Lyman

Dean Martin-My Heart Reminds Me

Fleet And Freddy-Pad

Piero Montanari-  Charlies Bounce

Phyllis Branford-Throw It All Away

Elmer Bernstien-Thinking Of Baby

Jackie Gleason-Crazy Rhythm

Laura Ainsworth-Midnight Sun


Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse -Don’t Deny Yourself

Time to kick back on the balcony and take in the view, sipping a cocktail  and digging the cocktail jazz.


Marc Copeland-Do It Again
Project Pimento -Quiet Village
Ray Anthony -September Song
Thelonius Monk-Round Midnight
Lena Horne-NightWind
Tiki Delights-Cosmopolitan
Tony Bennett-Lover
101 Strings-New York, New York
Jerry Mulligan-Night Lights


Cocktail Nation Evenings At The Penthouse- Visiting The Plastic Surgeon

Our weekly exploration into the world of cocktail jazz with Koop Kooper, broadcasting at the end of a hard day of lounging!


Oscar Peterson-I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Lyn Stanley -Nice And Easy

Peter Paulsen Trio Comrade Conrad

Perry Beekman-How Long Has This Been Going on

Jason Paul Curtis- You’re Something

Cocktail Inn-The Way You Look Tonight

Reg Owen -A Little Kiss Each Morning

Blossum Dearie-Lover Man

Shirley Horn-Do It Again

Bill Evans-Beautiful Love

Stolen Idols-Sumatra Mist

Diana Krall-Cry Me  A River

Happy 99th Birthday Deano

Today would have been Dean Martins 99th Birthday. Sadly he aint with us anymore, but this weekend we will spin a  rarity from Deano on the Cocktail Nation radio show.

He personified tall, dark and handsome. He was the “King of Cool.” His baritone made women swoon. And his effortless charm made men want to mimic him.
He was the wingman to “Ol’ Blue Eyes” and MVP of the Rat Pack.
Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra were more than compadres, they were brothers who found each other at a time when Hollywood was seeping with glitz and glamor and clamored for larger than life personalities to entertain.
Ask anyone who saw the two Rat Packers perform together. They had a natural chemistry that came from a deep place. They fed off each other and spun gold every time. Dean with a perpetual twinkle in his eyes and Frank with a mischievous grin.


Dean adored his friends and had fun running around with the Rat Pack, but when it came to partying, he was often the first to bail out — opting for some family time, sleep and an early morning game of golf over raucous ragers.
The “king of cool” was very much a family man. He had four children with first wife Elizabeth “Betty” McDonald — Craig, Claudia, Gail and Deana. Following their divorce, he acquired sole custody of all four, creating a blended family with his second wife Jeanne, with whom he had another three children — Dean Paul “Dino,” Ricci and Gina.


According to Deana Martin, Dean’s life changed drastically when his son “Dino” died.
“I know he was very close to all his children. And when (Dino) died. That changed him. Because family was everything to him. Dean was never ever the same. That was when he aged. Because when he’d go on stage, he was so debonair, so handsome, so solid, and after (Dino) died, he became a little hunched over and his zest for life changed at that point,”
Known during his early teenage years as “Dino,” he was the ambitious, multi-talented son who sang, acted, played professional tennis and also flew jet fighters for the California Air National Guard.

On the afternoon of March 21, 1987, Dean Paul Martin Jr., 35, a Captain in the Air National Guard, flew his F-4C Phantom fighter aircraft out of March Air Force Base on a routine training mission over desert bombing grounds. Also aboard was weapons system officer Capt. Ramon Ortiz, 39.
Their aircraft flew in the middle of a formation of three Phantoms, assigned to the 163rd Tactical Fighter Group. Ten minutes into the flight, Martin’s aircraft disappeared from radar screens in a mountainous area, shrouded by clouds.

The plane vanished from radar after the formation had been told to turn left to avoid 11,500-foot Mt. San Gorgonio, Southern California’s highest peak.
For four days, search helicopters and planes scoured the rugged mountainside, but found no sign of the missing plane. In her book, “Memories are Made of This,” Martin’s daughter, Deana Martin states, “Ronald Reagan, now the President of the United States and a family friend, rang to offer his assistance. He even sent up the military’s top spy plane to look for Dean Paul’s jet.”Dean held out hope his son would be found alive.
Deana Martin, also recalls in her book, the conversation between Sinatra and her dad the day her brother’s plane disappeared.
“If there’s anything I can do, pal,” Sinatra said, his voice shaking. “Anything at all.”