This year marks the 45th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, which opened on June 23rd 1963. This was the first attraction to use audio-animatronics1. The Tiki room’s imagineering would become the seed that would later flower into the magic behind the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion.
As a child (and still as an adult), I would spend most of my time in Adventureland and New Orleans Square; these locations drove my imagination more than any other aspect of the park. I often joke that Disneyland ruined me for my sense of decoration; I feel the over-fantastical theme and attention to detail to be the norm. You can see a basic example of this phenomenon the Monkey Hut and the Buccaneer’s Bathroom at the old house.2
But enough about that, we were talking tiki. For the 40th anniversary in 2003, artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily sculpted a number of mugs. You may remember Kevin from his “Miehana” mug (and accompanying beachbum recipe in “Grog Log”). I’m lucky enough to have a Pele mug from this run.
The interesting thing is that one mug that was designed was not produced: The Rongo Bowl. Humuhumu wrote about this back in 2006. Well, lucky us. The 45th anniversary was another chance at a run of production and 500 Rongo Bowls were produced. On Monday, June 23 of this past June, Disneyland hosted a collectable event offering a grand selection of 45th anniversary merchandise. I was heartbroken that I could not make it down for the event. My good friend Brian did, however. He was unbelievably kind enough to get me a Rongo Bowl of my very own.
For this great occasion, I felt a new bowl drink creation was in order. This would be my first attempt at a bowl drink, which is very exciting. Since Rongo is the god of agriculture, I felt a strong fruit forward flavor was necessary, as well as a floral and fresh aroma. After three attempts I decided upon the recipe.3
God of Agriculture
In Tropic Lands the Legends Tell
Astounding Pioneers Did Dwell
This Wise Fella Began All-Flight
For Rongo Flew the World’s First Kite!
This bowl is deviously deceptive – there are four ounces of 80-proof spirit within. To honor Rongo’s invention of the Kite, this Rongo Bowl will send you soaring!4
¾ oz orange blossom honey
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz fresh orange juice
¾ oz fresh white grapefruit juice
2 oz unsweetened pineapple juice
2 oz Dark Jamaican Rum (Coruba)
1 oz Demerara (Lemonhart 80)
1 oz Virgin Islands gold (Cruzan 2yr ‘dark’)
¼ oz orgeat
¼ oz passion fruit syrup
10 drops Herbsaint or other earthy absinthe (about 1/8th teaspoon)
3 dashes Fees Bros. old fashioned bitters
Heat honey to liquid and combine with all ingredients in mixing container. Fill Rongo bowl with crushed ice and pour into bowl. Stir with swizzle to cool and dilute. Garnish and serve.
photo and photodesign credit: Heather ‘Tikimama’ Gregg
- Juan the “Barker Bird”, who was Jose’s cousin was originally outside, announcing the attraction. The crowds that would stand and watch him clogged the entry into Adventureland so he was removed [↩]
- I feel these are now below what I wish to accomplish. Look soon for the plans, in-action shots, and creation stories for the new basement: “Colonel Tiki’s Cove” [↩]
- Thanks to the help of Noel Henneman and the lovely Tikimama who were helpful in constructive criticism [↩]
- Mary Poppins reference, “Let’s go Fly a Kite,” written by the Sherman Brothers who also wrote “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” as well as numerous other works of genius [↩]