Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tonight - it's Black Orchid Live!

Tonight is week 8 of the Black Orchid Club, and starting at 5pm Pacific, we'll be broadcasting live from Forbidden Island! Experience the mystery of the Black Orchid Club, the majesty of Forbidden Island, and the killer surf tunes of The Deadlies. Come in and be live on our broadcast!

Black Orchid Live!

I'll see YOU at 5pm sharp at the Island! And you'll see me too! Live!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Week 6 - Bavarian Yule and Video!

Alooooooooha! Wow, it has really been crazy these past few weeks. I've been dividing my time between Forbidden Island and the Christmas Revels, a show I'm performing in at the Scottish Rite Theatre in Oakland. Between rehearsals, performances, and my days at FI, sleep has been at a premium, but at least I've had a few good cocktails along the way!

Last week I was in a dress rehearsal for Revels on Wednesday, so I missed many of you who came in for your cocktails. If you were in the bar, then you got the chance to see this video in person. Very special thanks go out to Gabriel Hurley-Ramstad and Paul McMillan of Zero Coordinate, Inc. for this glorious Hi-Def video!

You can also check out Gabriel's blog at

As I mention in the video, the cards from the first 6 weeks fit together and give you the name of the first wild card, the 3am Atlantic. If you've got all 6, flip them over and fit them together, and they should look like this:

And there you have it. If you don't already have your 3am Atlantic wild card, you now have the solution to the first puzzle... come on in to FI and ask for the 3am Atlantic Wild Card and cocktail.

Lots more coming up, including details about week 7, lots more photos, and details about a second wild card... stay tuned!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Black Orchid Club Rules - one more time

We're halfway through week 6 and I just wanted to post the rules once more, just in case anyone wants a quick review.

Beginning Wednesday, November 4, 2009, you will be treated to a unique experience... you will be initiated into the Black Orchid Club, exclusively at Forbidden Island. On that Wednesday and for 13 consecutive Wednesdays, you have the opportunity to taste an all unique, all original, all new, and totally exclusive cocktail. Each cocktail will only be available on that specific Wednesday, and will never again be available at Forbidden Island. When you come in and order the special cocktail of the day, you will also be presented with a collectible card, specific to the cocktail. At the end of the 13 weeks, if you have been present for 9 of the thirteen weeks in a row (or at least have cards to prove it) then you will win a prize!

These are the details:

One card, per person, per evening.
Cards may be traded! So, if you can't make it in, send a friend! Also, remember that you only need 9 in a row to win, not all 13. However, if you do collect all 13 cards, you will win an even more exciting prize!

Placeholder Cards: We have a magic (and secret) number of first run cards each evening specific to that evening's cocktail. Once we have exceeded that number, the next person who orders the cocktail and all subsequent players will receive a placeholder card. The placeholder card has two known functions (and perhaps more). First, it shows that you were indeed present that evening, and if you present it the following week you will be given a second run edition of the cocktail card you missed. In addition, the placeholder cards may serve as additional trading cards. Their value is not yet known (but there is certainly a value to them). Hold on to them or trade them for cards you'd rather have; they are important either way.

Wild Cards:
Should you miss an opportunity to come in on a Wednesday evening, there are several chances to earn Wild Cards. Wild Cards may be used to fill in any holes in your 9 consecutive weeks, at no penalty. Clues about how to earn the Wild Cards will come from the bar, the cards themselves, and from clues on the new blog, Shakin' Rum and Pineapples... Tales from behind the bamboo stick at Forbidden Island:, as well as the Twitter feed for the Black Orchid Club: Be sure to follow them! Once you have solved the Wild Card riddles, you will be able to come in and claim your Wild Cards, and you'll be able to then order the Wild Card cocktails... which you can only try by knowing the answers to the riddles.

Dates: The contest begins on Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009 and runs each consecutive Wednesday through Jan 27, 2010.

Prizes: Anyone who presents cards that represent 9 consecutive weeks out of the 13 in the game period at the Reckoning Party will automatically win. Wild cards may hold up to three places in the 9 with no penalty. Persons having all 13 cards (with no wild card replacements) will win an even better prize, and those retaining all 13 named game cards and all wild cards, even more so! Persons with less than 9 consecutive cards, and or persons with interesting combinations of cards may also be considered for prizes.

Reckoning Party: Prizes will be awarded at the Reckoning Party, Feb 3, 2010.

Good luck!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wild Cards! Wild Cards! Wild Night on Wednesday!

What a night at Forbidden Island! Wednesday was a blast, with Otto's turntables spinning Herb Alpert and all the best Feliz Navidad, and Black Orchid Week 5. I couldn’t stop making drinks even for a few seconds!  Quite a few people figured out the first Wild Card Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s cocktail was the Bora Bora Tea Punch.  The cocktail is based on a 1960’s Hawai’ian cookbook recipe for a non-alcoholic punch, which was very vague and called for “brewed iced tea” and various “tropical juices.” It gave a list of suggestions and basically just told you to pick a few and toss them into the punchbowl.  I took it a step further and picked some of my favorites, then added the potent part – rum, naturally (in this case Goslings Black Seal and Cruzan Aged White) - and decided on African Roobios Tea in lieu of your plain ol’ orange pekoe.  I like Roobios tea quite a bit.  It has no caffeine but retains that nice light tannin tea quality, and it’s fantastic with some vanilla and almond in it.  Apparently one Hukilau villager agrees; I served this punch as part of the first annual Room Crawl at the Hukilau in Ft, Lauderdale, FL in June, and one fellow thanked me for the cocktail, walked out of the room, then came back in two minutes later, got down on his knees, took my hand and declared that it was the very best cocktail he had tasted in his life…  and asked for another.  Life is good at the Hukilau!

Here is the card for the Bora Bora Tea Punch:


Web_Bora_Bora_Tea_Punch_frontFor those of you who didn’t make it in, be sure when you come next Wednesday that you bring all of your cards.  Quite a few Black Orchid Club members solved the first puzzle this week, and earned themselves a wild card AND the first Wild Card Cocktail!  Join the ranks of the Wild Card Cardholders! 

Special thanks to Crease Monkey, once again, for awesome photos!  Check him out on Flickr at:

I’ll see YOU at the Island!

-- Suzanne

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Remember to bring all of your cards tonight!


Remember to bring all of your cards in to Forbidden Island tonight for week 5 of the Black Orchid Club!  Tonight is the night that many of you have been waiting for… you’ll see what I mean when you get there.

I’ll see YOU at the Island!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin Delight

Pumpkin Delight
Originally uploaded by Crease Monkey
Another killer photo by Crease Monkey. Thanks for stopping in before the Sharks game, CM!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Tomorrow Marks Week 5 of the Black Orchid Club!

Thank you to all of you who are continuing to make the Black Orchid Club a success… I’m having a blast sharing these cocktails with you, and sharing my game with you.  I hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

IMG_6934 This week’s Black Orchid Club coincides with Otto’s Grotto, Otto Von Stroheim’s DJ night at Forbidden Island, and Otto is going Latin for the Holidays.  He promises to play lots of Herb Alpert (my favorite!) and get December swingin’ with only the best Mid-Century Latin grooves.  

In addition, this week is a very special week for those of you working on the puzzles, so be sure to bring in all of your cards.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

I’ll see YOU, TOMORROW, at the Island!


Pumpkin Delight – week 4 of Black Orchid Club!

pumpkin_delight Week 4 of the Black Orchid Club fell on the day before Thanksgiving.  In honor of the holiday, the featured cocktail was the Pumpkin Delight.  My inspiration for the Pumpkin Delight was simple… a trip to Trader Joe’s and a jar of pumpkin butter on the shelf, and I thought, “Hmm.  I’ll bet that would be fantastic with rum!”  I have a series of cocktails called Delights that feature creamy jams, like Lemon Curd, Lime Curd, and other fruit butters.  About a year ago back in Boston, my friend Randy Wong (of the Waitiki 7), gave me a few jars of Hawai’ian Lilikoi butters (Passion Fruit) and in Guava, Lime and Pineapple as well, and wow, were some of those cocktails amazing!  Creamy and delightful desert drinks, which is how they became known as “Delights.”  The tradition lives on with this cocktail, made with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter, Lemon Hart Demerara rum, dry sherry, and dashes of nutmeg and allspice.

The Pumpkin Delight was a smash… we ran out of everything to make the cocktail, working our way through an entire case of pumpkin butter!  The evening was a smash too – everyone was jolly with Thanksgiving coming the next day.  The bar was packed right until closing.  Here are the very few photos I managed to snap of Wednesday’s revelers:



After a busy Wednesday (we stayed open later than usual!), long time FI cocktail waitress Melissa was ready to let her hair down and rock out to a little Def Leopard (yes, even we listen to Def Leopard after hours, folks).  Rock on Melissa!


Tomorrow is Week 5 of the Black Orchid Club… and a very special one for those of you working on the puzzles.  Be sure to bring all of your cards.  You’ll be glad you did!

I’ll see YOU at the Island!