Dress up your tropical cocktails with unique tiki mugs! From ceramic mugs with the classic eye-catching tiki face to creative renditions, there are so many ways to serve your favorite drink to make you feel like you’re at a beach bar.
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Tiki drinks are hands down one of the best parts of summer.
What better way to celebrate the season than by pretending you’re sipping a drink on the sand by a crystal-clear ocean? Or better yet, by actually doing it and not pretending.
If you like making your own tiki drinks at home, adding some tiki mugs to your barware collection only makes sense.
Tiki glasses make great gifts for tiki and cocktail lovers alike for any special occasion. Below I’ve gathered some of my favorites and some background on tiki drinks.
Why you need tiki mugs
Tiki glasses sure are a fun addition to your home tiki bar, for a few reasons.
- Tiki glasses are a great way to elevate your cocktail game.
- They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and themes — there’s bound to be one that fits your style!
- Tiki glasses make good gifts and collectibles.
If you throw a tiki party, a luau-esque cookout or tropical pool party, some tiki cocktail glasses will make your drinks stand out.
What is tiki?
A Tiki drink refers to a style of cocktail that originated in the United States during the mid-20th century, specifically in the 1930s through the 1960s.
Tiki culture was inspired by Polynesia and other tropical regions, which became popular in American pop culture during that time. Today, tiki bars as common in tropical locations as they are in big cities.
Tiki drinks are known for their elaborate and often tropical-themed presentation, especially their colorful garnishes, exotic fruit juices and fun, decorative drinkware.
Fruity drinks, tiki mixology tends to include fresh fruit juices, like pineapple and orange, and syrups like orgeat and falernum.
Types of tiki mugs
Tiki mugs can be made of glass, but many are ceramic and feature faces inspired by Polynesian masks. And yes, they’re all considered mugs — even if they don’t have a handle.
If you love tiki, you might want to add different sizes and slight variations for your home island bar and tiki bar collection.
Highball: These taller tumblers are perfect for drinks like the Zombie or the Painkiller, but they also work for mojitos or even beer. They usually have totem-like face designs.
Lowball: Shorter tumblers work well for tropical drinks like the mai tai or the tequila sunrise.
Coupe glasses: These stemmed beauties have a timeless appeal. They are perfect for mango daiquiris or any drink you want to elevate.
Use them for tiki drinks, of course, but it’s totally fine if you use them to serve iced coffee or a pineapple mango smoothie for breakfast!
Christmas tiki mugs
Mele kalikimaka! If you have stumbled across a Christmas tiki bar, you’ve likely found Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Santa pop-ups. Beachbum Berry sponsors these holiday tiki pop-ups at bars around the country, with holiday-themed drinks in unique mugs and glassware.
After attending my local Sippin’ Santa (at The Royal Tot tiki bar here in Charlotte), I’ve added a few of their holiday tiki glasses to my collection, including a tropical Santa mug and ceramic coconuts.
Many participating bars sell the holiday mugs to customers looking for souvenirs from their night out, but you can also purchase them from Beachbum Berry online.
More tiki barware
Beyond tiki mugs, there are more ways to stock your bar with tropical goodness. Even if you don’t have a tiki mug on hand, you can still make a drink feel like a tiki drink by adding a skewer of fruit, a cocktail umbrella or an edible flower.
- Ice trays: For cocktails that seem restaurant-quality, make pretty ice. These skull ice cube trays are macabre or you could spring for a clear ice mold.
- Straws: Tiki cocktails are often served with straws. Go for paper straws that can be composted or reusable glass straws or bamboo straws.
- Garnishes: Pineapple fronds, flowers and creative cocktail picks — see below — are ideal for dressing up your tiki drinks.
- Cocktail picks: These pointed swizzle sticks are great for piercing garnishes to suspend in the top of a glass. You could go for bamboo skewers or a bejeweled, metallic option like the ones below.
What to serve with tiki drinks
And if you have a Christmas tiki party, be sure to make a batch of spiced rum balls to snack on!
The first Tiki mugs were used at Trader Vic’s, a 1940s restaurant that served some of the first tiki drinks.
Some tiki mugs are ceramic and have been fired to be colorful with intricate designs. Others are made of glass or metal.
Ceramic mugs may or may not be dishwasher-safe, so scrub them gently with mild soap and water. Glass mugs can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but hand-washing them keeps them free of scratches. Metal glasses should be hand-washed as well.
Tiki drinks to try
If you love tropical cocktails, give one of these drinks a try: