San Francisco Bay Area’s Renowned Tiki Mixologist Daniel “Doc” Parks Collaborates with Tanduay Rum

Daniel “Doc” Parks, tiki cocktail specialist and 2017 San Francisco Chronicle “Bar Star”, partners with Tanduay Rum for a much-awaited cocktail book project.

The collaboration between Daniel “Doc” Parks with Tanduay, a brand with a legacy spanning over a century, was sparked in 2016 and has since flourished into a dynamic partnership.

Tanduay was really dynamic. It plays well on its own and with other spirits and flavor profiles. So it was really easy to work with their entire line.”

— Daniel “Doc” Parks, celebrated tiki mixologist

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA, June 10, 2024 / — In a novel collaboration that brings together the distinct flair of Tiki culture and the rich heritage of Filipino rum, Daniel “Doc” Parks, a celebrated tiki cocktail specialist and 2017 San Francisco Chronicle “Bar Star,” has joined forces with Tanduay Brands International, the makers of the world’s number 1 rum. This partnership celebrates a fusion of cultures and traditions, marked by the creation of a cocktail book that showcases both Parks’ innovative recipes and the versatility of Tanduay Rum.

Parks, whose passion for tiki culture began in his teenage years in San Diego, has long been fascinated by Polynesian pop and its artifacts. “I’d find things like barkcloth Hawaiian shirts and vintage exotic records… all kinds of memorabilia from the early days of the Polynesian pop movement in America,” Parks reminisces, reflecting on the origins of his interest in tiki culture.

The collaboration with Tanduay, a brand with a legacy spanning over a century, was sparked in 2016 and has since flourished into a dynamic partnership. The pinnacle of their collaboration, a nationwide pop-up tour in 2023, celebrated tiki culture through events that highlighted the compatibility of Tanduay’s rum with the tiki bar scene’s vibrant cocktail offerings.

Parks praises the versatility of Tanduay Rum, which played a significant role in the development of the cocktail book. “Tanduay was really dynamic. It plays well on its own and with other spirits and flavor profiles. So it was really easy to work with their entire line,” said Parks, underscoring the ease of integrating Tanduay Rum into both classic and new tiki cocktails.

The upcoming cocktail book is poised to be a testament to Parks’ creativity and deep understanding of tiki culture, featuring a mix of visually stunning and flavor-rich recipes. Among the highlights are the Kape Mahika, a coffee cocktail that perfectly pairs with Tanduay, and the Chi Pono, a savory concoction that showcases the innovative breadth of Parks’ mixology skills.

Beyond cocktails, Parks is passionate about the immersive experience of tiki culture, emphasizing the importance of ambiance, music, and community in creating a genuine tiki bar environment. “The magic of a tiki bar… it’s also escapism. So the environment is very important,” Parks explained, highlighting the essence of tiki culture that goes beyond the drinks.

Looking ahead, Parks envisions a bright future for tiki culture, with plans for an encore tour and the ambitious goal of opening a new bar. He is also keen on introducing tiki culture to the Philippines, potentially bringing a piece of this unique American cocktail culture to new shores.

Parks is not just a mixologist or entrepreneur; he is a visionary who bridges cultures through his love for tiki. His collaboration with Tanduay not only highlights the global appeal of Filipino rum but also solidifies his status as an influential figure in the world of tiki culture.

It could also be remembered that Filipinos played a pivotal role in establishing the vibrant tiki culture in America, particularly through their contributions as bartenders in iconic establishments like Don the Beachcomber. Led by legends like Ray Buhen, Filipino bartenders brought their expertise to crafting tropical cocktails, elevating these drinks to cult status among Hollywood stars and patrons alike. Their influence extended beyond the bar, with Buhen himself rumored to have inspired the beloved character Yoda and the iconic Mos Eisley Cantina in “Star Wars.” As tiki bars flourished in the mid-20th century, Filipinos remained central figures in this exotic culinary and cocktail movement, leaving an indelible mark on American drinking culture. 

Tanduay, on the other hand, crafts its esteemed rums in the Philippines, utilizing high-quality sugarcane harvested from the island nation’s sugarlandia. The extracted Grade A molasses from these crops is refined, fermented, and then distilled, turning it into a pristine liquid gold.

The brand boasts a vast collection of oak barrels for aging its rums, a critical process that significantly enhances their flavor and complexity. This transformation is further amplified by the Philippines’ tropical climate, which plays a pivotal role in enriching the rums’ characteristics.

This year marks Tanduay’s 170th anniversary, a significant milestone that underscores its commitment to expanding its footprint globally. Currently, Tanduay’s rums are enjoyed in a wide array of countries including China, the U.S., Singapore, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Austria, Poland, Georgia, Armenia, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Canada, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Taiwan, showcasing its growing international presence.

Joseph Chiong
Tanduay Brand International
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