“Smuggler’s Cove” — the book: The new must-have for lovers of tiki and craft cocktails alike

Order today via Amazon Prime,
and I think you’ll get it in time for Father’s Day this Sunday!

9781607747321A first report from my trip last weekend to The Hukilau: A recommendation to tiki lovers — and to anyone entranced by craft cocktails and cocktail culture — to get this FANTASTIC new book, “Smuggler’s Cove” by Martin Cate with Rebecca Cate (affiliate link) tout suit. My copy just came from Amazon yesterday, and I am LOVING it — a hefty 352 hardcover pages jam-packed with great information on this history of tiki and rum… beautiful photos of tiki bars… tips to build one of your own… and get this: 100 tiki cocktails curated by one of the world’s most highly lauded bar owners. Martin Cate is a rum and exotic cocktail expert and owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. Smuggler’s Cove opened in 2009 and has been names one of the World’s Best Bars (Drinks International, 2011-2015), 50 Best Bars on Earth (The Sunday Times, London) 13 Most Influential Bars of the 21st Century (Liquor.com), and more. Martin and Rebecca are tiki royalty — and you can share in their secrets for just $17.85.

From the book jacket:

Cast aside your cares and worries. Make yourself a Mai Tai, put your favorite exotica record on the hi-fi, and prepare to lose yourself in the fantastical world of tiki, one of the most alluring—and often misunderstood—movements in American cultural history. Martin and Rebecca Cate, founders and owners of Smuggler’s Cove (the most acclaimed tiki bar of the modern era) take you on a colorful journey into the lore and legend of tiki: its birth as an escapist fantasy for Depression-era Americans; how exotic cocktails were invented, stolen, and re-invented; Hollywood starlets and scandals; and tiki’s modern-day revival.

Featuring more than 100 delicious recipes (original and historic), plus a groundbreaking new approach to understanding rum, Smuggler’s Cove is the magnum opus of the contemporary tiki renaissance. Whether you’re looking for a new favorite cocktail, tips on how to trick out your home tiki grotto, help stocking your bar with great rums, or inspiration for your next tiki party, Smuggler’s Cove has everything you need to transform your world into a Polynesian Pop fantasia.

Reviews — including from other tiki royalty:

“Martin and Rebecca Cate are alchemists—Reyn Spooner–wearing, volcano-bowl-igniting, Polynesian-popping, double-straining, Aku-Aku swilling alchemists. Which is to say, they are the finest kind of alchemists known to walk the earth. Buy this book. It will bring you a little bit closer to paradise.”
—Wayne Curtis, author, And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails

“With Smuggler’s Cove, Martin Cate did the impossible, folding up a whole rum-soaked sailing ship so that it would fit into a not-very-large San Francisco storefront. Now he’s done it again, and taken that tiki bar–one of the very finest bars I know—and folded it up so it fits between the pages of a book. Just add rum, and watch Smuggler’s Cove—and the whole vibrant, geeky, just a little bit unhinged world of tiki it so perfectly exemplifies— unfold in your lap.”
—David Wondrich, author of Imbibe! and Punch

“Tiki is simultaneously whimsical and sincere, simple and shockingly complex, which means understanding it can be challenging. This indispensable book explains it all—and is the definitive volume on one of the cocktail world’s most fascinating and complex genres. But in the end, tiki’s essence is based on captivating stories and exotic drinks, and Martin Cate’s Smuggler’s Cove is a tour de force in both.”
—Jordan Mackay, wine and spirits writer, and coauthor of Secrets of the Sommeliers

“Martin Cate understands tiki like few others do. He not only knows how to ask the right questions; in this book, he also answers many questions that I didn’t know I had. The old guard of Donn, Vic, and Steve can rest easy now that they have this champion of their tradition bringing tiki into the new millennium.”
—Sven Kirsten, author of The Book of Tiki, Tiki Modern, and Tiki Pop

“Here at last are the secrets behind one of the world’s best bars. The Cates have written an engaging, knowing, and personal book that is sure to please tiki lovers, cocktail lovers, and especially tiki-cocktail lovers. Abandon angst, all ye who enter here: like Smuggler’s Cove itself, these pages take leisure time very seriously.”
—Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, author of Potions of the Caribbean

“Martin Cate is an authority on rum, and this book will take your level of understanding of this noble yet complex spirit to a new level. Martin offers his own illuminating rum classification system, and also tackles controversial topics head-on, such as sweetening and the use of nebulous age statements. An absolute must-have for rum enthusiasts.”
—Richard Seale, master distiller, Foursquare Rum Distillery, Barbados

“The twenty-first-century revival of tiki cocktails was spearheaded by a handful of passionate tiki-geeks, Martin Cate among them. With Smuggler’s Cove, Martin and Rebecca teach you everything you need to know to become a tiki-geek in your own right—and to see the world with their Polynesian passion.”
–Gaz Regan, author of The Joy of Mixology and The Negron

“Tiki culture is enmeshed with rum, and the authors offer a master class on it, covering its history and many varieties, as well as digressions on coring pineapples for cocktails and where to score cocktail umbrellas. It’s a terrifically fun and informative read, and the definitive resource on the topic.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 

“The book walks readers through the history of tiki, as well as 100 recipes for cocktails. Not sure where to start with rum? There’s a beginners’ guide. There are also party tips, garnishing guides, and much more. In other words, all you need are some paper umbrellas and your summer is made.”

“Happily, the modern tiki era now has its own Magna Carta …. It’s a lavishly illustrated, seriously researched, 350-page tome with more than 100 recipes, along with a well-written history and sketches of some of the lesser known tiki lights . . .”
– The Daily Beast

“Martin and Rebecca Cate have managed to create an irresistible shrine to the magic of Polynesian pop culture. Beautifully designed and dripping in kitsch by way of photos by Dylan + Jeni, this is set to be the cocktail book of the summer.”
– Punch

“Your new tiki bible.”
– Eater

“With more than 100 recipes, both classic and modern (including homemade grenadine and coconut cream, of course), Smuggler’s Coveis for anyone who appreciates the beauty of tropical drinks and wants to dig in deeper. A primer on essential tiki techniques as well as a thorough, authoritative guide to rum take you further than the typical booze book.”

“Martin Cate is a scholar of tiki, and this long-anticipated cookbook is a respectful (and even academic) glimpse into that culture. . . . Smuggler’s Cove isn’t just a book of recipes—it’s a guide on how to transplant a beloved bar into your home.”
– Epicurious

“A lively exploration of our country’s drinking history (and the current tiki scene), it’s essential reading for rum lovers, offering the best categorization of the headspinning-ly diverse spirit that I’ve encountered.”
– Serious Eats

“It’s a must-have for any Mai Tai lover, Trader Vic’s devotee or Hawaiian traveler . . .  The book works equally well as a cocktail how-to, a rum guide, tiki party inspiration or must-do itinerary.”
– San Jose Mercury News

This book delivered WAY more than I expected — it’s EPIC! Nicely done, Martin and Rebecca!

Link love:

Categoriestiki and bars
  1. Dawn Frasier says:

    art inside front opposite contents page many people dont know thats my work. Im looking for the home tiki bar uploaded r and I keep finding all these other posts that inadvertently pertain to something i did, still looking for thehome tiki bar uploader Ive got some great eye candy to share.

  2. Kristi Miniello says:

    The minute I saw this book recommendation I knew I had to have it! My copy arrived yesterday afternoon, and I’m a third of the way through. I’ve always had an affinity for retro tiki (and rum, of course) and once had an amazing tiki bar in my basement three houses ago. My husband refers to all of it as “whacky,” but I feel at home in the pages of this book. Thanks for posting about it on here!

  3. Dawn Frasier says:

    Just got back from Hukilau in Ft Lauderdale where Rebecca and Martin were were officially releasing the book. One of my paintings is right inside the front. a fab book to add to the collection of tiki tomes.

  4. tammyCA says:

    Sounds like a book For me. I got beach bum Berry’s book that I love..I’ve really gotten interested in the whole real stories & history of the pirates of the Caribbean & colonial islands. And, what a great idea on that site to find nearby tiki bars!

  5. maria says:

    I’ll have to go check out Smuggler’s Cove as I’m not far from SF. I have been to the Tonga Room in SF many times. I love it because it rains in there every 30 minutes and the band sits in the middle of an indoor lake.

    I’m planning a bit of tiki oasis for myself in the backyard. I bought a full set of vintage rattan (sofa/club chairs/tables) and got barkcloth from Full Swing (thanks to a RR post!) before they went out of business to recover it.

    Thank you for posting this, sounds like it’s a must read to help get my tiki on!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Do a quick search for “tiki bar” and you will be amazed at just how many places there are and how close to you!I’m in the Lakeshore area of SE WI…and in 30 minutes, I could be sipping a mai tai at 3 different locations. If I wanted to, I could go to Milwaukee and Racine. As of 2014, TravelWI had a list of tiki destinations.
    Now, until I read this post, I thought tiki was either from the ’50’s swank or the swinging ’60’s only to find out the culture of tiki bars started in way back in the mid-’30’s here in the U.S.
    Thanks, Pam, we never know where you’re going to take us.

    1. pam kueber says:

      I’ll be writing more about this, too, as a follow up to my trip to The Hukilau, but the go-to site to find tiki bars near you, or where you may be visiting, is Critiki.com — https://critiki.com/

      I had a great talk with the site’s publisher, Humuhumu — also part of Tiki Royalty!

      1. Mary Elizabeth says:

        Ha! There were zero results for my nearest city, so I tried the next closest. According to critiki.com, the closest tiki bar to New London, Connecticut is apparently in London, UK. 🙂

        1. pam kueber says:

          Some of the tiki bars in London UK are worth the trip! Cheeky Tiki has designed some amazing space there!

    2. Kate says:

      I’m pretty sure there are three tiki bars in the greater Milwaukee area now. And I think there are at least three in downtown Chicago, too! They are everywhere! 🙂

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