Food News

Tiki Time!

Keep summer going with these tropical drinks


Summer isn’t endless in Rhode Island, but you can keep fall at bay for a few weeks longer by soaking up some island vibes with tropical drinks at these local tiki bars.

Kai Bar is the rare tiki bar that lacks outdoor seating, but it more than makes up for it in ambiance and the quality of their drinks, each handcrafted by owner Jason Kindness and his bar staff. Their logo is a tiki idol, so you know they’re serious about their tropical drinks – so much so that Kai Bar hosts monthly mixology classes.

Most authentic tropical drink: The Singapore Sling, a gin (not rum) drink that’s nonetheless a tiki classic, shaken with cherry brandy, Benedictine, and fresh citrus juice.

Most interesting drink: The Wolf of Main Street, a mix of aged rum, coconut milk, mint and a dash of miso.

The perfect pair: Build-your-own poke bowl on a base of rice or quinoa, adding protein (tuna, shrimp, chicken, or tofu), sauces like soy ginger or ponzu, and a choice of three veggie, fruit, or almond toppings. 

You don’t have to go to the Caribbean to find a bar serving poolside rum drinks: just set your GPS for the Harbor Lights country club and marina off Warwick Neck Avenue, where you can sip tiki drinks poolside by a fire pit, or under the shelter of the bar while marinating in the views of Narragansett Bay.

Most authentic tropical drink: West Bay Mai Tai made with Bacardi white rum and Cointreau liqueur.
Most interesting cocktail: Frozen mudslides with the option of top or bottom “bumps”: banana, coconut, amaretto, vanilla, or a shot of your preferred spirit.
The perfect pair: A toss-up between the Tiki Truck’s blackened fish tacos with chipotle aioli or the “Tot-Chos” – tater tots lavished with sour cream, pico de gallo, and bacon.