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TIKI: Flavor and Phenomenon with Shannon Mustipher

  • Museum of Food and Drink 62 Bayard Street Brooklyn 11222 United States (map)

No stranger to theater, Tiki was born out of 1930s Hollywood fantasy and post-WWII South Pacific nostalgia, becoming shorthand for all things exotic for American audiences. Tiki’s tacky takes on cultural phenomenons as disparate as Cantonese cuisine, Maori mythology, and Caribbean spirits, by way of British colonialism, created a distinctly American culinary phenomenon.

Tiki’s original personality, Don the Beachcomber, who used the phrase “rhum rhapsodies” to describe his unique flavor combinations, and named drinks like Missionary ‘s Downfall and Three Dots and a Dash, continues to inspire a new generation of bartenders. “With all its history and tradition, the style, nevertheless, represents freedom and fun in cocktail-building, with invention and innovation at its heart,” author, educator, and rum expert, Shannon Mustipher reminds us.

Join Shannon Mustipher, Garret Richard, Selma Slabiak, Claire Sprouse, and Julia Turshen as they celebrate the publication of TIKI, and the flavor, phenomenon, and lasting legacy of Tiki culture.



Shannon Mustipher is an author, spirits educator, and expert on the topic of rum and cane spirits. Since 2014, she has helmed the bar program at Glady’s Caribbean in Brooklyn, and has poured cocktails in settings ranging from neighborhood pubs to Michelin restaurants. In addition to working with spirits brands across a range of categories, she is one of the founders of Women Who Tiki, a roving tropical cocktail-centric pop up that features the talents of women bartenders in venues across the US. Shannon's writing, cocktail recipes, and opinions have been featured in a number of publications, including Imbibe Magazine (Imbibe 75 to Watch 2019) The LA Times,,,, and New York Magazine. Her first book, TIKI: Modern Tropical Cocktails (Rizzoli/Universe) was released in Spring 2019.



Garret Richard left a career in radio to pursue his love of exotic cocktails. He worked under Julie Reiner at Monkey Bar in 2011 before moving to Prime Meats where he built a following culminating in his Tiki Takeover series. In 2015 Garret joined the opening team of The Happiest Hour and Slowly Shirley injecting his passion for Tiki in both programs. Currently, he helms his pop up, Exotica, at Raines Law Room. Over the past three years, Exotica has grown to receive recognition as NY's "Best Tiki Experience.” Last year Garret joined the opening team at the newly opened Existing Conditions by Dave Arnold and Don Lee. 



Born and raised in Denmark, Selma Slabiak came to New York in 2007 to make a name for herself in the cocktail world. Since then, she has been been Head Bartender at acclaimed Michelin-starred Nordic restaurant, with a stints at various esteemed cocktail bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan, crafting original and exciting drink menus rooted in Nordic ingredients and techniques. She She currently shares her love of nature and storytelling through her medium of choice, the mixed drink, at Mother of Pearl and Dear Irving on Hudson.



Claire Sprouse has bartended, managed, and consulted at some of the country's most well-known and awarded cocktail institutions, from Houston to San Francisco and now New York City. In 2013, she formed Tin Roof Drink Community with Chad Arnholt. Through their 25+ years of combined hospitality experience and pursuit of unique collaborations, they tackle the issues of sustainability within the industry. Most recently, Sprouse opened her first bar, Hunky Dory, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This space allows her team to keep exploring greener bar practices, while incorporating elements from various drink movements that reflect Brooklyn's diverse eating and drinking cultures.



Julia Turshen is the bestselling author of Now & Again (named the Best Cookbook of 2018 by Amazon and an NPR ‘Great Read’), Feed the Resistance (named the Best Cookbook of 2017 by Eater), and Small Victories (named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2016 by the New York Times and NPR). She has coauthored numerous cookbooks and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Saveur, and more. She writes a monthly column for Food & Wine called ‘The Interview.‘ Epicurious has called her one of the 100 Greatest Home Cooks of All Time and The New York Times has described her “at the forefront of the new generation of authentic, approachable authors.” She is the founder of Equity At The Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women and non-binary individuals in food, and the host of Keep Calm and Cook On, a podcast. Julia lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife and pets.