Cocktail: Devil's Tiki Man

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 November, 2012, 9:39am

Hong Kong's newest tiki bar has just opened in Central. Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge is on the third floor of an office building - hardly an obvious location, but according to the owner and chief mixologist Max Traverse, "a tiki bar should be hidden. You should have to find it."

Honi Honi is worth seeking out. Now that we are getting into autumn, its terrace should be a popular spot after work.

Tiki bars - cocktail lounges with a slightly kitschy Polynesian theme - began with a Hollywood bar and restaurant called Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s.

Traverse's inspirations for the look and ambience of Honi Honi were the original Trader Vic's, founded in Oakland, California, in 1936, and the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, opened in 1945.

Traverse, formerly of the Hoxton Pony in London and Le Boudoir in Wyndham Street, also likes his American whiskeys. Another of Honi Honi's signature drinks is the Devil's Tiki Man, made with Michter's Rye, a high-priced small-batch spirit. Woodfords Reserve Bourbon, he says, would also be suitable.

The fresh ginger and Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters from the Bitter Truth range both add touches of spice to the cocktail.

Traverse rubs the orange twist around both the side and the rim of the glass. For the cherry garnish, he used Griottines, morello cherries preserved in kirschwasser, but plans to use cherries marinaded in bourbon. "You get the freshness of the orange, the spiciness of the ginger and the power of the whiskey," he says. You do, indeed.


50ml Michter's Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey

20ml fresh lemon juice

2 dashes Jerry Thomas' Bitters

1 slice of fresh ginger

1 barspoonful (5ml) of kirschwasser from the Griottines jar

¼ of an orange

Twist of orange peel

1 Griottines morello cherry or cherry marinaded in bourbon

  • Chill a martini glass with ice.
  • In a shaker, muddle the orange and the ginger, add the liquids and ice and shake.
  • Rub the rim and the sides of the martini glass with orange peel, and double strain the martini into the glass.
  • Garnish with orange peel and cherry.