The Electric Bar Puts a Pinball Spin on Tiki Cocktails in Tempe

The Walking Dead tiki drink at Electric Bat Arcade.EXPAND
The Walking Dead tiki drink at Electric Bat Arcade.
Kris Vera-Phillips
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Earlier this week, we told you about Yucca Tap Room opening a second location — a Flagstaff bar, Asian-fusion eatery, and music venue that'll go by Yucca North. Lock and load: We have more Yucca news.

Connected to the original Yucca venue, as many know, is Electric Bat Arcade. Its flashing lights and random beeps invite drinkers, showgoers, and gamers to pop tokens into pinball machines and take silver balls on adventures through haunted mansions, dinosaur amusement parks, and outer space.

There's also now a tiki bar over there on the eastern end of Yucca, nestled between monster movie posters and an Elvira pinball game. It's called The Electric Bar.

“Aesthetically, to do a dark, cool horror movie tiki is something that I hadn't seen done before,” says Yucca co-owner Rachel Bess. "It seems like a really good pairing.”

Bess and bar manager Casey Hamilton are huge fans of tiki bars. Bess says Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco is one of her favorites. Hamilton says he enjoys visiting Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas.

“I have tiki drink tattoos like one from Frankie's,” Hamilton says, showing off an orange, yellow, and green cocktail piece on his leg. The cocktail tattoo also has a rat garnish and decorative dice, because, “The Fink Bomb is one of my favorite drinks ever.”

After brainstorming with Bess, Hamilton designed the tiki cocktail menu at the Electric Bar with thoughts of Trader Vic's drinks from the 1950s, but with a monster twist. "So the drinks are different takes on the classic cocktails," he says. "We changed small things about them to make them pinball-related.”

“The Walking Dead is our take on a Zombie,” Bess says. It's a citrus-forward cocktail made with white and dark rum from Cutwater Bali Hai. It’s mixed with Angostura bitters and Curaçao liqueur, along with a lemon, lime, orange, and passion fruit puree.

Electric Bar uses Cutwater Bali Hai Rum in several drinks.EXPAND
Electric Bar uses Cutwater Bali Hai Rum in several drinks.
Kris Vera-Phillips

The Pinkiller is Electric Bar’s version of a Painkiller. Hamilton had lots to share on this drink. He explained that the traditional cocktail is made with a Navy rum like Pussers. He uses Cutwater to get more depth of flavor in the Pinkiller.

“With Cutwater Bali Hai Dark Rum, you get this amazing, coconut, brown sugar flavor with a raisin undertone," he says.

Orange and pineapple juice round out the Pinkiller. Tikki bitters add baking spice flavors. The cream of coconut gives it a sweet tropical finish.

Hamilton says they're using Cutwater products because he wants to keep these specialty drinks at $10.

“I feel Cutwater does a very good, high-quality product with their rums and it’s at a price point where we don't have to charge $14 to $18 for a drink," he says. "I want to make sure everybody is able to try the tiki drinks.”

The bar serves a rotating selection of craft beer and cocktail specials, and the tiki drinks are served in special, glow-in-the-dark cups.

There's also free popcorn.

More on Electric Bat Arcade here

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