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When The Tiki Takes Over: say 'aloha' to Captain Kahuna aka Guido Cavalini

"Aloha! Kahuna here. Cocktail shaker at the Vavoom Tiki Room the Hague for about four years, Tiki carver since 2013 and Graphic Designer since 2005.

I could tell you everything about what "Tiki" is and where it comes from, but I'm more interested in sharing with you what Tiki is for me: friendship, the laid-back lifestyle, nice drinks and awesome music.

About 15 years ago I became acquainted with my first introduction to Tiki. After growing up as a full-time metal head (and I always will be one) I found out about, Rock 'n Roll. I never got into the whole typical Rock 'n Roll lifestyle like leather jackets and greased back hair, but there was always one thing I just couldn't get out of my mind... TIKI!

It was love at first sight. I wanted to know more about this form of art. Little did I know it wasn't just cool looking wooden statues... It's a lifestyle of it's own! When I found out about that, I couldn't think about anything else.

I collected all the Tiki stuff thats imaginable: bamboo furniture, a Tiki bar, Tiki mugs, masks and much more. After a while I really needed more Tiki statues, but at that time there was just nothing Tiki in the Netherlands. So I decided to make my own Tikis, and Captain Kahuna's Woodworks was born.

After that it was one big Tiki rollercoaster. I got to travel with my booth through the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and found out there were a lot more people in love with Tiki... Finally!

I always knew this wouldn't be more than a hobby for me. After working at some terrible places, I knew it was time to shake things up as I wanted to have that 'Tiki feeling' 24-hours-a-day. After having my own home Tiki bar for years, I knew I had to do something with that. I regularly visited the Vavoom Tiki Room in The Hague and always loved the place. So I asked my wife, how's about if I work there? "Just try it!" she said. With no bar experience at all I asked them about the possibilities. I was more than welcome! We moved from Utrecht to Scheveningen and finally I could live the 24 hours Tiki lifestyle!"

Which Tiki bartenders have influenced you? - Carl Tjong-a-Tjoe, Vavoom Tiki Room, the Hague - Scotty Schuder, Dirty Dick, Paris - Timmy Falzon, Mahiki / Laki Kane, London - Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Latitude 29, New Orleans

What is your go-to cocktail?

My all time favorite drink is Trader Vic's original 1944 Mai Tai. Sweet, sour, strong and very tasteful! I even have it tattooed on me...

Share a simple yet tasty cocktail that people can make at home...

Another favourite cocktail of mine is the Mule. Fill a highball glass – or Tiki Mug if you have one – with ice, add 25 ml freshly squeezed lime juice, 50 ml of your favourite rum (I recommend Sailor Jerry) and top it off with Fentiman's ginger beer. Stir it up a bit and you're done. Easy, cheap and delicious!

Follow Captain Kahuna on instagram


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