A big aspect of Tiki culture is the cocktails…
But what if you don’t drink alcohol?
Can you still enjoy the Tiki lifestyle and not have Mai Tais and Zombies part of the equation? That’s what I wanted to find out. I headed to Hale Pele in Portland, OR with my friends Daren, Jamie, and my photographer Dieter and we were just going to order non-alcoholic drinks.
To those who don’t know what straight edge is click here. It’s a movement that was created back the early ’80s by the band Minor Threat. They wrote a song called “Straight Edge” and it was about how they didn’t get high, drink alcohol or do drugs. It was a very positive message that many kids have adopted over the years. The straight edge movement is bigger than ever!
To show that you’re straight edge, you draw giant Xs on your hands. It’s a throwback to when doormen would mark people going into a bar that were underage. If the bartender saw Xs on your hands, you weren’t getting served. So first things first, I had to get Xed…
Ok, it was official: no more alcohol for me…
And that went for Daren and Jamie…
And especially our photographer…Dieter! Ha!
Hale Pele has some virgin cocktails listed on their menu, but Sierra (Hale Pele’s bartender) has other plans for us tonight.
Coleton brought us our first round…
The drink is called a Kiss My Kukui.
I couldn’t get over how good the drink looked. Then I tasted it.
Incredible, just incredible. Here’s what was in it: Mint, lime, ginger, falernum, and passion fruit. The drink was dense and very fulfilling.
If Sierra is behind the bar, she can make you one. Hale Pele is thinking about putting it on the menu. I hope so!
We all enjoyed our Kiss My Kukuis, but Jamie mentioned that she really likes drinks that are spicy and have more of a bite. Sierra was up for the challenge and she only asked one question: “Is it okay to use bitters?” We all laughed! Before we knew it, our second round came. “What’s the drink called?” Daren asked. “Trouble on the High Seas,” Sierra replied.
Bang! Sierra knocked it out of the park again. The drink was great. It was similar to a Jet Pilot, but without the alcohol, of course.
Grapefruit, lime, falernum, cinnamon, passion fruit, and bitters are what was inside this awesome drink. Another awesome drink.
After enjoying our non-alcoholic drinks, Daren and Jamie had to take off. They were going to see the Iggy And The Stooges documentary, Gimmie Danger. That’s a good enough reason for sure, so after we finished our second round, they had to say goodbye.
Now it was just Dieter and I. We chilled out at Hale Pele for a little while longer just relaxing at our booth taking in Hale Pele’s awesomeness. For all practical purposes, straight edge Tiki was done. We could’ve ordered some “real” Tiki drinks, but we didn’t. We were both satisfied and fulfilled with our non-alcoholic drinks. We had a fun time and we didn’t need anything else.
We left Hale Pele just as sober as we started. It was a really good feeling.
I’d like to thank Sierra…
and Laurel for taking care of us.
And I especially would like to thank Dieter for his photographs used for this post….
Interested in checking out Hale Pele? Here is my official write up.
Sierra is one of the best Tiki bartenders around. Check out my Tiki VIP spotlight on this talented woman.
Daren has an awesome home Tiki bar called The Cave Of Kungaloosh. Here’s my spotlight on Daren’s pad.