"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 www.instagram.com/captainkahuna/