There are certain things you want from a tiki bar. The first is that it be dimly lit, subterranean, and evoke a certain suburban creepiness; the subtle menace of the reddish basement your friend's soft-spoken dad has spent far too much time decorating. Then you want said dad to be gone for the weekend, leaving you and your buddies free reign to make all the mistakes you've been prevented from making. The first of these will be a giant, shameless Scorpion Bowl which you'll share together out of absurdly elongated straws. No one remembers what's in it, but it goes down so smoothly an argument ensues about whether it even contains enough booze to get you properly fucked up. Then the room tilts sideways until the shag carpeting caresses your cheek.
This atmosphere of dark and geeky decadence is well-cultivated at the Lower East Side's 151 Bar, a reddish den of iniquity where the proprietors recently introduced an amped up tiki menu. Maybe don't start with the Scorpion Bowl—here it's a Scorpion TOWER which serves 8-10 tiki achievers for $130. Save that for later when you've made enough friends/lowered enough inhibitions to justify the expense. The big winner here is the Stone Cold Stunna, their take on a Floradora, but with an upturned Miller High Life pony bottle instead of soda water. Mezcal, gin, lime, ginger, and raspberry, served in a chilled glass boot with the aforementioned pony bottle as a crown.
Peruse the full menu below; it's the work of the talented Death & Co. team, so you really can't go wrong with any of it. Some, like the Parrothead, are sweeter than others, so you may want to rotate in less sweet cocktails and pound seltzer to avoid the dreaded tiki sugar hangover. But if you notice that any members of your party are falling behind, order the "Inebriation Equality Tray," which the bar describes as a test tube tray "full of TOOTERS... in a myriad of rainbow colors that might look more like a Lisa Frank trapper keeper than the offerings at a bar, but f*ck that; taste the rainbow." This is a fun place.
151 Rivington Street // Open nightly, 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.