Best Retro Cocktails

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge

Forbidden Island doesn’t just serve tiki-themed drinks; it’s also dedicated to reviving authentic recipes and preparations featuring fresh-squeezed juices and house-made syrups. Its fidelity is laudable (and quite tasty), though not without a dash of incongruity, given the ersatz nature of Polynesian pop. The drink menu includes classic Mai Tais, Fog Cutters, and Zombies, as well as potions gathered from historic aloha spots stretching from the Virgin Island’s Soggy Dollar Bar to San Mateo’s much missed Lanai. Original drinks, such as the Neptune’s Garden, play upon Forbidden Island’s Alameda home, and the bar’s top shelf features locally sourced spirits from Hangar One, Junipero, and Charbay. The lounge is a friendly place, with a comfortable bar complemented by thatched-roof booths, a few open tables, and a patio. Events are coordinated by Will “The Thrill” Viharo, and include themed DJ sets, movie nights, luaus, and Monday night Black Orchid sessions with master mixologist Suzanne Long. Friday and Saturday nights draw a crowd, which makes the mid-week happy hour doubly happy for the demophobic tiki drinker.

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