Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cactus Cocktail

Cozy December days call for revelry, good fellowship, bright cheer... and strong drink! Come to Forbidden Island tonight and join me for the delightful holiday treat the Christmas Cactus, featuring my handmade prickly pear citrus butter, a hint of ginger, and the fresh and delicious Clément Première Canne Rhum. Only tonight! Don't miss your chance to taste the wonderful handmade Prickly Pear butter, and have me craft an exclusive cocktail just for you! I'd love to... after all, on cold winter nights, I need *someone* to keep me warm. And don't forget, Happy Hour all night long!

I'll see you, tonight, at the Island! 5pm!

-- Suzanne

Monday, November 7, 2011

Festive for Fall - Suzanne's Pumpkin Eggnog

Feeling festive, or just in need of a little liquid cheer? Come on by tonight and see me in Black Orchid Sessions as I feature a delicious and rich treat fit for the season - my Pumpkin Eggnog. Dark rum, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg swirl into delectable pumpkin and egg for an amazing treat. Don't miss this one!

Also, I have brought back the wonderful pumpkin butter from last season, so come and allow me to custom create a cocktail for you on the spot!

I'll see YOU, tonight, at the Island!

Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge 1304 Lincoln Avenue, Alameda, CA

-- Suzanne

Monday, October 10, 2011

Madagascar Vanilla Smoked Cocktails tonight

Come and taste the smoky sexiness of tonight's Black Orchid Sessions cocktail, Afro-Desia, with my Mt. Gay Eclipse flambeed rum cordial, fresh lime juice, Punt e Mes and a Madagascar Vanilla bean smoked glass. And as if you needed any other reason to brave the soft evening weather, we've also got Happy Hour all night long!

I'll see YOU, TONIGHT, at the Island, 5pm!

-- Suzanne

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Debut of Autumn Specials at Forbidden Island

Autumn has arrived, and we have a beautiful little menu of custom created treats for your imbibing pleasure. Come and enjoy these lovely cocktails created by me and my excellent staff:

Tempranillo Sling (award winning cocktail by James Eggett)

In tribute to the alchemy of historic cocktails, we join Hornitos Anejo tequila with the tangy flavors of ginger, lime and grapefruit and the well-balanced sweetness of our housemade Tempranillo agave cordial.

The Old Fig and the Sea

Our delicious tribute to the last work Hemmingway published during his lifetime, this cocktail features a house-made fig and spice reduction,bright citrus, Mt. Gay Eclipse rum and fresh thyme.


Autumn swirls with the gracefulness of a dancer en pointe, in this enchanting cocktail, featuring 209 gin, fresh lime, Lillet Blanc and our house-made lemon thyme champagne reduction.

Maltwine Honey

The whisky-like triple grain distillate of Bols Genever, that the Dutch call maltwine, is partnered with the wonderfully mellow taste of Maker's Mark bourbon and a house made syrup that steeps mint, green mate, star anise, clove, pineapple in honey made right here in Alameda, CA!

Pineapple Fizz

Fresh delicious pineapple is paired with honey and peaches for a perfect fizzy autumn treat.

Biscotti Silver Flip (Pictured)

El Dorado Demerara Rum, Faretti Biscotti Liqueur and fresh nutmeg come together in a luxurious cocktail that will keep you warm through the coldest autumn nights.

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

National Rum Punch Day!

Join us today, September 20, as we celebrate National Rum Punch Day at Forbidden Island with delicious punches all night long! Our Barbados Rum Punch featuring Mt. Gay Eclipse will be discounted all evening, and enjoy two more rarely served punches, the Gallant-Yard, a liberating and delicious blend of fresh grapefruit, lime, silver rum and exotic far away spices, and the Queen's Tea Punch, with a mixture of teas, vanilla and rich rums. Both will be served in bowls for two at only $10 all evening... a fitting way to kick off your San Francisco Cocktail Week experience! Splice the Main Brace and join us tonight at 5pm!

I'll see YOU at the Island!

-- Suzanne

Monday, September 12, 2011

Indian Summer with Black Orchid Sessions at Forbidden Island!

The weather is warm and breezy, the sun is shining, and yet the shadows are just a little bit longer and leaves blow across the lanai... yes, the golden season of California has arrived. It is our wonderful Indian Summer. In Black Orchid sessions tonight I have some fresh flavors in tribute, and am featuring a refreshing and tantalizing new cocktail, Maize, which is made with the light flavors of organic white California corn and heirloom tomatoes, and a red wine chipotle reduction paring beautifully with the Hangar One Chipoltle Vodka. Flavorful, yet surprisingly not overly spicy, this new cocktail will seduce you in the warm evening. Come and try one! Taste the fresh heirloom tomato and corn waters, and the stunning richness of the new syrup, and let's create a brand new cocktail just for you tonight!

Sessions is waiting for you! And, as always, enjoy Happy Hour all night long on Mondays!

I'll see YOU, TONIGHT, at the Island!

-- Suzanne

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A photo interlude... Tiki Oasis 2011

Tiki Oasis was, as usual, a complete blast. Forbidden Island hosted two back to back suite parties which were both packed for three straight hours... and we had a ball. I wanted to share some of the photos. Dig it! My first cocktail of the weekend, being poured into the approved container: A Mr. Bali Hai at the Bali Hai
Loading in a teensy bit of the rum for the weekend!
Line outside the Forbidden Island suite for Friday evening's party:
View from the balcony - floors and floors of parties at the Crowne Plaza Hanalei:
It felt like New Year's Eve! Marissa of Rock-a-Hula, Michael, owner of Forbidden Island and myself right before opening the doors of Saturday night's gala, One Night in Havana:
The Havana cocktail, with fresh mint, champagne,and Mt. Gay Eclipse:
The invaluable and utterly handsome Marty, running the roulette table for the evening:
The party in full swing. We couldn't have done it without our wonderful and generous sponsor, Mt. Gay:
Not to mention the overwhelming generosity of Cruzan, who sponsored Friday night's Fun in Acapulco party:
And Appleton, who sponsored us in the Sip 'n' Shop on Friday afternoon, where I served the "So Danco Samba," made with a flambeed Appleton rum cordial, Punt e Mes, Ramazzotti Amaro, vanilla and fresh lime juice:
Some of the usual characters were present, and a few unusual ones too. Here's a mysterious masked man, who is apparently a little bit ticklish:
Behind the bar with Patrick, who looked like a million dollars and was a darling and so very helpful all evening:
With The Mayor of Exotica (Tim Mayer of the Waitiki 7, and guest soloist with Don Tiki for the weekend), and Patrick:
After hours in the suite, Tim and Alika Lyman jammed straight ahead for us:
And then, there was Sunday. The judges came around to let us know our Saturday night Havana party was the best of the weekend! Here we are with our winning plaque:
And then... DON TIKI! I have to say that this was one of the best concerts I've seen in years. Solid, awesome exotica and latin jazz. The crowd hung on every note and was just waiting for the chance to jump up for a standing ovation. Seeing them on the mainland was an amazing treat. I hope I don't have to wait another ten years!
I love this shot - they were on stage, but the lighting makes it look like Lopaka was playing on the beach at sunset:
Just because we love good rum at Forbidden Island, we got up early on Monday morning and flew back to the Bay Area, just in time for the Brugal 1888 rum launch! Make sure to come by and try this wonderful new treat!
I'll see YOU at the Island! --Suzanne

(Photos by Suzanne Long, Michael Thanos, and the Ohana of the Tiki community. Mahalo!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Manly Cocktails with Oro Pisco, Bourbon and Branch Beverage Academy, SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay, and here comes Tiki Oasis!

Someone make me a cocktail, quick - I've got so much to talk about!

On July 31, a gorgeous, sunny Sunday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of visiting the home base of Oro Pisco, who held a cocktail competition in their beautiful creative space on Treasure Island. The theme of the contest was "Manly" cocktails - no pink drinks, no sweet, fruity, or tropical drinks - but something a man would be proud to hold in his hand and drink. A fun theme, to be certain! My entry was the Proper English, with the Oro Pisco Quebranta, Montenegro, and a bit of Peychaud's bitters in a glass smoked with a pipe tobacco blend (Latakia, Virginias and Orientals), and finished with an oak ice cube made from water barrel aged in virgin American oak for 9 months.

Here are a few photos of me in the contest, courtesy of Dg Blackburn (of the Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts):

Lighting the tobacco to smoke the glasses:

Barrel aged water, in solid form!

The well deserving winner of the contest was none other than Tony Devencenzi, who brought in Susan Eggett and myself last month to Bourbon and Branch's Beverage Academy, where we taught our Rumbellion, Rumbustion, and Flaming Cocktails - a Concise Rum Soaked History of Tiki Seminar, which was a total blast. We were honored to bring our presentation to Bourbon and Branch, and it was a pleasure to meet such wonderful people and to have the opportunity to stand behind the beautiful bar in the Wilson Room, and share a little of our aloha with others. Here are a few choice photos of the class, taken by Paul McMillan of Zero Coordinate, Inc.:

Susan and I prep for the class in the beautiful Wilson and Wilson room:

Decor from Forbidden Island, bringing a little tiki to the speakeasy:

Tony, myself and Susan:

Our communal bowl experience, presenting the Makalani bowl aflame:

Me, professing the glory of the history of Tiki, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber:

Tony and I behind the bar as class participants, including Forbidden Island owner Michael Thanos, craft their own original tropical cocktails:

It was a treat. Thank you, Tony, and Bourbon and Branch! We look forward to the next class!

This year has indeed been one of honors for Forbidden Island, and our most exciting came just recently from the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Best of the Bay edition, where we were voted "Best Overall Bar" in the entire Bay Area by the Guardian readers. We couldn't possibly be more excited or proud! Michael and I attended the VIP party for all the winners last week, and it was quite something to be in a room full of that many winners, for so many things! The San Francisco Bay Area is rich with talented and wonderful people, and being there with many of them in one room was certainly a treat. Here is a photo of Michael and I with the plaque from the Guardian, and the winning issue of the paper:

This is the official photo of all the winners, published by the Guardian in this week's paper:

In all this excitement, I nearly forgot about my birthday, which was last week. Thanks, everyone who wrote, called, said hello on Facebook, and who showed up for my little shindig on Monday night. I had a blast.

Next up on the schedule is none other than Tiki Oasis! Forbidden Island is hosting two (count 'em, TWO!) exciting room parties on Friday and Saturday night this week down in San Diego at the Crown Plaza Hanalei. We're really excited for both - Friday night is our Fun in Acapulco Beach party, sponsored by Cruzan Rum, and Saturday is One Night in Havana, sponsored by Mt Gay Rum. I will be behind the stick for both parties serving up rummy goodness! If you're at Oasis, don't miss out on the best parties of the year. Also, Friday afternoon during the Sip and Shop at Tiki Oasis, I will be featuring a new cocktail with Appleton Rum and vanilla... not to be missed, for sure.

I'll see YOU there!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Have you experienced SESSIONS lately?

Have YOU tried a SESSIONS cocktail lately?

If you haven't - today is certainly the day to do so. If you HAVE - well, then today is one not to miss, since I have something spectacular for you to try. My special ingredient is a flambeed rum cordial, which you simply have to taste to believe. It came about as an 11th hour fix while creating the Mystery Bowl at Ohana, Luau at the Lake this year - we needed something to fix the flavor of the cocktail, and in a moment of MacGyver inspiration, I decided to flambe the Appleton Estate Reserve with the only sugar we had on hand... about 300 single serving C&H sugar packets. Here are a few photos of me playing with fire in Lake George:

The result was fantastic, and I love it so much that I've created a special cocktail featuring it, which I'll be serving tonight (with a smoked glass, punt e mes, and fresh lime juice), and I feel it is fully worthy of a few sessions cocktails too! C'mon over and try the cordial for yourself, and let's create some spectacular Black Orchid Sessions cocktails together!

As always, it's also HAPPY HOUR all night long, so come and see me!

I'll see YOU, TONIGHT, at 5pm at the Island!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A little Maurin Quina in the Ides of March

Wanted to post today about a wonderful little cocktail I've got on the menu here at Forbidden Island for only a short time longer. It is called the Ides of March, and features a wonderful, little known spirit called Maurin Quina. You are likely familiar with the image seen here, painted in 1906. The liqueur has recently become available again in the US and I was thrilled to get the chance to feature it in a cocktail, as I am madly in love with it! The cherry and almond notes of the liqueur make me swoon, and the addition of Black Maple Hill Small Batch Bourbon and the Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters just knock me over. The cocktail will disappear soon, though, as we're rolling out our summer specials in just two weeks.

Come and try one - no need to fear the Ides of March any longer. Especially when it tastes this good.

Also, I'm so thrilled to announce that Forbidden Island is featured on the cover of the San Francisco Bay Guardian today! Mahalo to the great folks on Mississippi Street for the nod!

I'll see YOU at the Island!


(Cocktail Photo by Gabriel Hurley of Zero Coordinate, Inc.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

SHATFEST - More William Shatner than you can stand

Tonight. Will Not. Be. Your Average Night. At. Forbidden. Island.

At all, actually. Tonight is off the hook! It's SHATFEST,Will the Thrill at Forbidden Thrills monthly movie night at Forbidden Island. We're showing disgustingly fabulous William Shatner movies tonight, and it will be a complete blast! Come and join us for great cocktails full of dramatic pauses!

(Also, I am painted green. Yes, yes, really. Come and see for yourself.)

I'll see YOU at the Island!


Will the Thrill's SHATFEST

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Forbidden Island's Flight to Japan: Humanitarian Aid Benefit

Just had to take a quick moment and tell everyone about the amazing evening Forbidden Island is shaping up to have tonight. We've just finished assembling all of the gift baskets and beautiful donations for our "Flight to Japan" a Humanitarian Aid benefit raising money for the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan. We are deeply in dept to all of the businesses that stepped up to sponsor our event and donate: St. George Spirits/Hangar One Vodka, Mt. Gay Distilleries Barbados, Effen Vodka, Southern Wine and Spirits, Young's Market Company, The Alameda Cineplex, The Devil-Ettes and Baby Doe, Tiki Oasis and Otto Von Stroheim, Takara Sake, Barceluna, artist MP, Trader Vic's, The Fraternal Order of Moai, and many, many more.

I do have to say, with the silent auction and raffle table spilling over with donations, there isn't a single thing I wouldn't be pleased as punch to take home with me... such gorgeous stuff!

Effen Vodka has made a special event out of our fundrasier and is sending their Effen Flight Girls in 1960s stewardess costumes to mingle with the guests. We're serving Susan Eggett's award winning Sakura Daiquiri all evening long, and 100% of the proceeds are donated directly to Japan Disaster relief.

Well, time to put on my kimono and head back to it! Come over and raise a drink with us, dance to awesome 60s Japanese pop with DJ Sid Presley aka David Greenfield and the Pacific reverb sounds of the Japanese Surf Coasters cover band THE SURF FAUX-STERS, featuring Ferenc from Pollo del Mar, Danny from The TomorrowMen, and Zanti, Abraham and Jonathon from The Deadbeats playing the music of Japan's The Surf Coasters and Eleki (Japanese instrumental) style hits!

I'll see YOU there!