I am not one to suggest drowning your sorrows in a drink. Had a bad day? Alcohol can soften the edges, but I usually recommend getting out into nature (or a nearby park), petting a dog, or going to the movies to make for a better disposition.
Then - and only then - can you imbibe with the spirit with which I believe it was intended. Joy.
There is, however, one major exception to the rule: Tiki cocktails.
Who the heck can be depressed with a big ol' drink filled with tropical juices, rum galore, finely-tuned bitters and aromatics, topped with a mini-umbrella and little plastic mermaid? No one!
Not that I was in a sad state when I took pleasure in sipping the gorgeous Tiki specimen above. I was sidled up to the bar in New Orleans' legendary Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 with a friend. Laissez les bon temps roulez!
And, thankfully, Brooklyn barkeeps have a flair for the Tiki, keeping me in a good mood when parks, petting friends' dogs, and movies fail. Though Julie Reiner's Manhattan ode to Hawaii, Lanai Kai, is no more, her Carroll Gardens spot Leyenda makes some righteous Caribbean-inspired drinks graced with sprigs of mint and the occasional orchid. Red Hook's Fort Defiance transforms into Polynesian paradise on the last Thursday of the month, becoming ground zero for all things Tiki as the Sunken Harbor Club. And, even one of my nearby Brooklyn Heights watering holes, The Binc, makes a mean Tiki cocktail called Ashes to Ashes, a potent combination of amaro di angostura, white rum, patron XOXO café, pineapple, and lemon...
...and fire. Don't forget the fire.
Tiki. It cures what ails you.