Monday, March 23, 2015

Sawgrass Tiki Bar

Add this to my growing list of so-called "Tiki Bars" that most certainly are not, at least by my rigorous definition. St. Petersburg's Sawgrass Tiki Bar is, sadly, just another hipster/hippie joint dressed up with some tiki masks.

I knew something wasn't right the moment I walked in and the music they were playing was Red Hot Chili Peppers or something that sounded like it. So much for Tiki ambience.

The drink menu had only a few cocktails listed. I've belabored this point before but I'll belabor it again because that's what belaboring is about: My position is that any bar that doesn't have a specialty cocktail list is immediately suspect, and to be avoided. I've never met a bartender yet who says "we can make you anything" who really could. And that's where the specialty-cocktail drink list comes in - even if I don't order anything off it, I want to see it be there. Because it proves to me that these people are really bartenders and not just randomly-assigned pourers of liquid.

Having house-specialty mixed drinks shows me that, at least, someone was enough of an artisan to come up with these ideas. It also shows me that there are drinks that even a novice bartender there might have fixed often enough to be familiar with. Feel me? If you don't make Mai Tais very often, I don't want you fixing my Mai Tai, capish?

I ordered something called a "Missionary's Downfall" which the menu states contains rum. I didn't taste any. It came in a tiny glass that was almost entirely ice.

The bar seems less concerned about cocktails and far more focused on Kava (not my scene), Kratom (not my scene), Hookah (not my scene) and reggae/jam band performers (not my scene.) I won't be back.

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