Despite the laid-back, Hawaiian-shirt vibe, tiki drinks are actually pretty tough to pull off. They require tons of finely crushed ice, hard-to-source mugs, and homemade syrups that would tax even the most devoted DIY cocktail geeks. But a few bars have persevered and are spreading tiki across T.O. Fynn’s of Temple Bar just introduced a rum, cassis, and sorrel-syrup concoction called Montego Bay ($12); DEQ at the Ritz-Carlton has a stellar Mai Tai ($14); and Café Belong offers a show-stopping Caribbean Queen ($11), made with cardamom and plantain milk.
Trevor Burnett, a self-proclaimed “tikiphile,” is one of the driving forces behind the city’s flood of Polynesian-themed drinks. When not training at bars and working special tiki events, he can often be found at BYOB, giving classes on tiki-cocktail techniques for classics like the Painkiller and Missionary’s Downfall. Drop in on his next class: July 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.
BYOB, 972 Queen St. W., 416-858-2932.