Tiki Wave mug – Best glass to serve dark rum in

Tiki Wave mug - Best glass to serve dark rum in

With an artistic nod to greater Oceania, the birthplace of the Polynesian, Melanesian and Micronesian cultures of the South Pacific that inspired the super kitschy-fun trend known as Tiki Cocktails, we decided to enlist an independent artist to create our own Tiki glass to serve dark rum in. Introducing our Tiki Wave Mug, a Tiki glass for dark rum cocktails like the Nui Nui, Zombie, Big Bamboo and many more! What better way to lead the new generation of Tiki mug designs than with a giant wave reminiscent of big surfing, island beaches and the journey over oceans by boat, which of course is how most rums are shipped.

“Tiki culture” refers to the western adaptation of Polynesian culture as a source of escapism that grew popular during the postwar time period beginning in the 1930’s. Donn Beach, formerly Ernest Raymond Beaumont-Gantt, was an Air Force World War II veteran who was inspired by his travels during service to bring the tropics back to his stateside home. He began opening what eventually became known as “Tiki bars” and creating a slew of cocktails featuring rum, citrus, tropical ingredients and lots of fun garnishes like tiny umbrellas. Victor Bergeron, or “Trader Vic” was quickly inspired by Beach. He decided to follow the same business path and the two of them are today considered the fathers of “Tiki culture,” which in turn birthed many more tropical kitschy establishments encompassing house cocktails in addition to the new classics as well as offering Chinese-American food. Check out our write up of the Big Bamboo cocktail for some more background. Read more about some of Donn Beach’s classic recipes including the Nui Nui here.

Tiki Wave Mug history

We collaborated on the “wave” design of our mug with the good folks at Middlechild Studios, a women owned small business based in Massachusetts. At the forefront of the design, we wanted the mugs to capture the exciting journey that our rums take in order to reach your hands. Our rums travel from Barbados and Guyana in the Caribbean to Jerez, Spain to complete their maturation journey before being blended and bottled. That includes traversing an entire ocean, the Atlantic to be precise. You may already know that our name, “Dos Maderas” means “two woods” which is a nod to the two types of wood maturation our rums enjoy: ex-bourbon casks and old sherry casks. But it is also a reference to “two worlds” being a product that is both Caribbean and Spanish. The big wave mug Tiki design is yet another riff on this duality of storytelling as our rums traverse the Atlantic ocean in order to reach you in tropical cocktail form inspired by the folks from the ancient Pacific ocean. 

From Middlechild Studios: “Most importantly, I’d like to take a second to give credit where credit is due. Although “tiki culture” is now a huge part of western culture, dating back to 1930s California with Donn Beach and his famous “tiki bars”, its origins are deeply rooted in Polynesian culture starting in the Pacific Islands. As we enjoy our tropical-inspired beverages and the kitschy-fun we associate with tiki culture today, let’s not forget its legitimate and important origins in South Pacific culture, mythology and history.⁣”

How the Tiki Wave mug is made

Did you know that with the history of surfing comes an underlying spiritual practice of god worship? While neither Beach nor Bergeron truly knew much about Polynesian culture, the term “Tiki” translates to “first man” in Māori and activities like surfing waves were more than just for sport. Surfing was closely connected as an act of worship to Kanaloa, aka, the God of the Oceans and the Underworld. The Hawaiian word for surfing is he’e nalu and everyone from royalty to craftsmen, from young to old and yes, including women were all encouraged to surf. Surfing today has spread internationally as a beloved sport thanks to the Polynesian folks of pre-colonial history.

The Tiki Wave mug is made of three main parts: 

  • Ceramic wave base which holds the cocktail 
  • Garnish boat top
  • Reusable Bamboo straw with removable sail with our Dos Maderas logo


The mug can hold up to 500 ml of volume. The boat top is designed to be fitted with many types of non-liquid garnishes. It also has a built-in hole for the bamboo straw to fit through.

      1. Want to adorn the top of your wave with flowers? It becomes a flower boat.
      2. Want to add fresh mint and fruits like pineapples, oranges, kiwis or bananas? It can hold the cargo.
      3. Want to light your cocktail on fire? Remove the boat. Fill your mug with crushed ice, place an inverted lime shell atop, fill with overproof rum and set afire. Keep in mind, of course, the bamboo straw and sail are flammable.

Best cocktails to serve in the Tiki Wave Mug

The best cocktails to serve in the Tiki Wave Mug are rum forward cocktails that are served over crushed or small cracked ice. The 500 ml in volume allows for this greater space to incorporate spirits, juices, sweeteners as well as ice. Have you made a classic Mai Tai or Zombie? Try building one in our mug. Been there and done that? Need some new recipes? We have those as well. Here is a list to begin your Tiki Wave Mug journey:

        1. Nui Nui: a Donn Beach classic you may not have heard of that inspired other riffs like Three Dots and a Dash, the Test Pilot and more.
        2. The Big Bamboo: a second wave generation of Tiki cocktails that was born out of one of the most successful establishments, the Mai-Kai in the 1950’s.
        3. Navy Grog: a simple classic combination that will level up with your Tiki Wave Mug as a visual element.
        4. Jungle Bird: born out of the 70’s, this bitter tropical cocktail loves a pineapple garnish and benefits greatly from the “go big or go home” strategy towards cocktail presentation.
        5. Krakatoa: a tropical cocktail on fire inspired by a legendary volcanic explosion that rocked the world? You know what happens with a large volcanic explosion? TSUNAMIS.
        6. Rum Runner: Are you a fan of Prohibition era cocktail stories? Well, technically, most bootleggers or rum runners needed boats to move their wares.
        7. Piña Colada: Okay, don’t pretend that after your first, you don’t want another. Pro tip: make your second in our Tiki Wave Mug and no one will know.

Author:  Chantal Tseng, DC Bar-Somm

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