Emma Campos

In 1934 Earnest Beaumant-Gantt created the world’s first tiki bar in Los Angeles, CA. At the time, America was primed and ready for a distraction to an increasingly urbanized lifestyle and a few short years later, the concept began to take off nationally. By 1937, tiki had become so popular that a man named Victor Bergeron decided to transform his already popular bar in Oakland to a tropical oasis. Before doing so he decided to visit the famous bars of New Orleans, Cuba and other Caribbean destinations so he could expand his repertoire of rum drinks and learn directly from the masters. Upon his return, his bar, Hinky Dinks, became Trader Vic’s and he became Trader Vic, who would go on to build one of the most legendary bar/restaurant chains in the world.

Donn Beach

Earnest Beaumant-Gantt, who later became Donn Beach

It is fitting, then, that on a trip to Peru in 2015, bartender, Emma Campos, had an epiphany that would change the trajectory of her career. While there she met with local bartenders, drank pisco (a type or Peruvian cognac) and cachaça (a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice similar to rum) and even visited a local cognac distillery. That’s when she realized just how deep the rabbit hole of the global cocktail world really is and her passion for craft cocktails was born. Her drive and thirst for knowledge has since taken her to Belize, Ireland, London, Hawaii and beyond.

Today she is an incredible mixologist with nearly 20 years of experience. Her love of the art, along with her commitment to hospitality, has now landed her here – as the person heading up the Coral Club cocktail program. Once you take your first sip, you’ll know she is exactly where she is supposed to be doing exactly what she is supposed to do. So, what are you waiting for? Come on down and begin your journey through a drink menu that will beckon you back again and again.

And if you’ve never had pisco or cachaça or you have and just want to learn more about it, there’s no need to go to Peru. Just belly up to the bar and ask. Who knows, perhaps it will lead you to an epiphany of your own.

Bartender mixing tiki drink at Coral Club

Connor Christeson Mixing it Old School

In many ways, the tiki drink can be considered the O.G. of craft cocktails. Most contain several ingredients and there is a lot to making them right time and time again. That’s why the bars created by the Founding Fathers of Tiki had a specific set of rules from which they did not deviate. These included:

1) Using the finest and freshest ingredients including only freshly-squeezed juices.

2) Using the proper kind of ice. These drinks are highly-concentrated and require a kind of ice that melts fairly quickly to bring out the flavors.

3) Measuring ingredients – using a speed pourer works fine for a normal highball, but not for complex drinks with this many components, some of which are measured in drops.

4) Using a proper shaking/stirring technique – too much and you’ll dilute the drink. Too little and it will be too strong. It’s a tightrope, but we walk it with pride.

Does all this take a little more time, attention to detail and effort? It does. Is it worth it? Yes. We are honored to be able to keep these traditions alive.

This does not, however, mean there is no room to innovate. Many of the drinks on our menu are originals. Many others are our takes on the classics. And, while Coral Club does have a lot of great rum on hand, we don’t play favorites when it comes to spirits. So be sure to peruse the menu carefully and see if something new catches your eye.