For a great get-together on a sultry summer night, host a tiki-themed get-together. Tiki culture, with its fruity, exotic drinks, tropical Asian-fusion food, and fantasy-Polynesian décor, had a majestic mid-century moment followed by an exuberant revival in recent years. There’s really no better escape from the everyday world (and no better use of a warm, muggy late-summer night) than a celebration centered around this kitschy homage to Pacific cultures. So fire up those tiki torches and get ready for some retro fun!
• If you’re entertaining outdoors, drag any rattan furniture you’ve got out onto your patio or into your backyard, and add the brightest throw pillows you can find.
• The lighting for this big to-do? Plenty of tiki torches, of course.
• Set out large vases full of magenta Dendrobium orchids. They look great on their own, and if you provide some large sewing needles and some thread, they can also be used by your guests to make their very own leis.
• For a centerpiece that can do double-duty as dessert, pile mangoes, guavas, pineapples, and papayas onto a large tray or into a big bowl and slice them up after the meal.
• Set a lounge-y mood with our suggestions for a great tiki party soundtrack.
What to Serve
Ready to eat? Set sail for the South Pacific with this easy, exotic menu:
• Served in a cored-out pineapple, this three-ingredient Curried Polynesian Shrimp dip can’t be beat in terms of presentation. For a hot and savory appetizer, creamy, deep-fried Crab Rangoon is sure to please.
• Use your favorite fillets to make Spicy Fish with Tropical Salsa. Or if you’ve got the urge to grill, serve Hawaiian Seafood Kabobs over rice. For another entrée idea, you can use your grill or your oven to make Island Chicken with Fruit Salsa.
• Tasty, tofu-studded Hawaiian Fried Rice makes a great vegetarian entrée or a special side dish.
• Wrap the festivities up with an island-inspired dessert. Simply repurpose your centerpiece’s bounty to make Tropical Fruit with Lime and Honey Drizzle, or offer up Rum-Spiked Grilled Pineapple with Toasted Coconut alongside vanilla ice cream.
• When it comes to traditional tiki drinks, the citrusy, rum-soaked Mai Tai can’t be beat.