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Umbrella Drink

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"Hey, cabana boy! My drink needs more umbrellas! What kind of deserted island is this, anyway?"

A bright pink (or blue, or orange...) cocktail, garnished with big pieces of fruit (or lots of small ones on a skewer) and decorated with the all-important paper cocktail umbrella, possibly served in a coconut shell, a hollowed-out pineapple, a fancy curved glass or a tiki glass. This cocktail is associated with beaches and Pacific islands, especially Hula and Luaus vacations. A tiki-themed tourist trap is not complete without a row of colorful rum-based cocktails, which are identifiable more by their decorations than by their contents, a visual shorthand for the type of drink one usually doesn't get at the local pub.

In Real Life, Killer Rabbit will sometimes apply; despite their widespread derision as "girly drinks" they are often extremely potent, their smooth fruity taste concealing several ounces of rum. It also adds a bit more street cred when you know that many of these are the descendants of elaborate mixes popularized in speakeasies during the USA's Prohibition Era to mask the horrible flavor of poorly made and stored bootleg liquor. That being said, a good number of these cocktails are post-Prohibition, and even post-World War II, arising out of the tiki craze that arose after thousands of American servicemen came home from the Pacific Theater. The umbrellas here covered boozy, elaborate, and well-balanced combinations of various forms of rum with multiple fruit juices and weird syrups that represented a real peak in the craft of bartending (much like the classic cocktails of the period 1865-1914 and the modern classic cocktails of the 2000s through today), the kitsch aesthetic aside. In the late 2000s and 2010s, umbrella cocktails and tiki bars as a whole have gone through a bit of a renaissance, applying craft bartending techniques and high-quality ingredients to classic recipes, due in no small part to bartender and author Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, who extensively researched and recovered lost recipes.

An umbrella cocktail will be the regular order of a Cloudcuckoolander.

Finally, it is worth noting that the use of small umbrellas in drinks was popularized by legendary Hawaiian bartender Harry Yee , who passed away in late 2022 at the age of 104.


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  • A classic Bob Hope one-liner "the drinks in Hawaii all had something floating in them. Kind of like the water in LA."

    Comic Books 
  • Referenced in a Green Lantern comic where Guy Gardner asserts that he'd never serve these drinks in his bar...then adds "No offense, Lantern Swiz'zl!" to an alien Lantern who looks like a tiny skinny man with an umbrella on his head.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) issue #13, Rarity professes twice her love for "little umbrella drinks" before being seen drinking one (with three umbrellas) on the beach.
  • In the Super Mario Bros. story, "Bedtime for Drainhead", near the end of the story, after spending much of it looking for the sleepwalking Mario, Luigi and Princess Toadstool return to the Mushroom Castle to find King Koopa serving the rest of the cast these drinks as a result of being defeated by Mario.
    Princess Toadstool: Daddy, why is Koopa serving us drinks with little paper umbrellas?
    King: He's detail-oriented?

    Fan Works 
  • There is a Discworld/Sandman crossover fanfic called She Likes Umbrellas with Discworld's DEATH meeting (and sort-of flirting with) Death from The Sandman, which involves him ordering one of these for her.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Road to El Dorado Tzekel-kan insists a little umbrella be put in his potion.
  • In Turning Red, one of these can be seen in the epilogue when Grandma Wu's new talisman is revealed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Blue Iguana (2018), Katherine sips a cocktail with an umbrella and a large slice of pineapple. Paul steals the pineapple after an argument with her.
  • In Glass Onion, Birdie Jay's favorite drink is a Cuban Breeze, which is served in a glass with an umbrella and consists of vodka, amaretto, and pineapple juice.
  • In The Jerk, Navin is very partial to these. At one point during his millionaire period, he actually gets a machine that dispenses them.
  • Snatch.: Cousin Avi appears to prefer these kind of drinks when he has to leave his home country.
    Avi: "I don't like leaving my own country, Doug, and I especially don't like leaving it for anything less than warm sandy beaches and cocktails with little straw hats."
  • TRON: Legacy, of all things, manages to have this — inside the Grid, no less. The "umbrella" appears to be made out of glass and metal, fittingly enough.
  • UHF: Weird Al's character George is facing total failure with his new TV channel and goes to drown his sorrows at the bar with a big fancy umbrella drink. He didn't drink but decided it was a good time to start. In the commentary, Al says he wanted the drink to be much more ornate and practically stuffed with paper baubles and garnishments, but the prop department phoned it in.
    • His friend Bob just orders a beer but is let down when he sees George's drink and laments that his drink didn't have an umbrella.
  • Wayne's World: When meeting the network guy to discuss business over drinks, Wayne and network guy drink beer. Garth has something huge, bright blue and garnished with what looks like a whole pineapple.
  • Wrongfully Accused: Lauren gives Ryan a "real man's drink", which is served in a glass quite a bit bigger than his head with a small parasol stuck in it, requiring him to duck around the umbrella to get to the drink.
  • One of the few unambiguously funny scenes in Zodiac involves Robert Graysmith's (presumably accurate; he wrote the book) bizarre choice of drink of an aqua velva.
    Paul Avery: This... can no longer be ignored.
    Graysmith: It's an Aqua Velva. You wouldn't make fun of it if you tried it.
    (Avery tries a sip of the drink; he thinks about it)
    (cut to a table full of empty umbrella drinks and Avery being completely smashed)

  • In the Bounders novel Fractured Futures, Denver sips a fancy drink with a purple parasol. When Jasper enters the room, Denver serves him a nonalcoholic fizzy purple drink with an orange umbrella.
  • Discworld:
    • Ridcully warns people against these in Hogfather. Bilious, the (Oh) God of Hangovers, harbours a particular hatred for them. Bibulous, the god of wine, loves them (which is why Bilious hates them, as he suffers the negative side effects of everything Bibulous drinks) and is ordering a particularly elaborate one at the point the Hideous Hangover Cure hits him:
      It was one of those special cocktails where each very sticky, very strong ingredient is poured in very slowly, so that they layer on top of one another. Drinks like this tend to get called Traffic Lights or Rainbow's Revenge or, in places where truth is more highly valued, Hello and Goodbye, Mr Brain Cell. In addition, this drink had some lettuce floating in it. And a slice of lemon and a piece of pineapple hooked coquettishly on the side of the glass, which had sugar frosted round the rim. There were two paper umbrellas, one pink and one blue, and they each had a cherry on the end. And someone had taken the trouble to freeze ice cubes in the shape of little elephants. After that, there's no hope. You might as well be drinking in a place called the Cococobana.
    • In Men at Arms, Detritus orders a "molten sulphur on coke with phosphoric acid", "with umbrella in it". Nobby's "Slow Comfortable Double Entendre with lemonade and a fruit salad in it" is also an example.
    • Featured in Thud!, when Cheery, Angua and Sally go on a girls' night out. Towards the end of the evening, Sally throws up a humorous umbrella.
  • In the gamebook Suspects by Steven Thraves, you (as the detective) see that not only are two of the murder suspects drinking colourful cocktails instead of a more appropriate stiff brandy, but the cocktails are decorated with cheerful-looking paper umbrellas.
  • Although no actual umbrellas are mentioned, at the end of Memory a character ( Ivan Vorpatril's mother Alys) is reported to be planning on taking a vacation, which will include sitting in a beach chair in the sun all day and drinking "those disgusting drinks with the fruit on a stick in them" (and spending all night with Simon Illyan). Later on in the series, in the epilogue to Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Ivan can be found sharing a pitcher of "fruity girly drinks" with his wife.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • The page image is Phil Coulson having one after temporarily losing control of S.H.I.E.L.D. due to an internal uprising. Later in that scene, Lance Hunter comes in and then asks not only for two of whatever Coulson is drinking but for paper umbrellas as well.
    • Later in season 7, Enoch becomes a bartender serving these kind of drinks. At one point, he's seen toying with the umbrellas as the ramblings of a drunken patron is boring him to death.
  • In The Big Bang Theory the boys are in a bar drinking these. Howard, panicky about the future because Bernadette is pregnant, says that he bets whoever invented cocktail umbrellas doesn't have to worry about money. Raj suggests inventing bigger cocktail umbrellas.
  • A skit in Full Frontal had a squabbling married couple managing to get the umbrella up their nose while having a drink.
  • Get Smart. In a parody of the Tuxedo and Martini trope, Maxwell Smart would order a drink and inevitably end up spilling it when it came with an umbrella.
  • Marshall Eriksen from How I Met Your Mother loves fruity drinks with an umbrella ("They're delicious") but doesn't order them since they give "the wrong signal." Barney's gay brother, James, regularly orders them "because [he] can."
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! had Daniel Craig guest-starring in a skit where his James Bond character decides to change his drink order from the usual shaken (not stirred) vodka martini.
    Bond: I'll have a strawberry daiquiri served in hot coconut with a scoop of lemon sourbet and two umbrellas. Wait! (beat) Make that three umbrellas. And one of those little swords.
  • The Girl Drink Drunk from The Kids in the Hall only drinks umbrella drinks... to the point where he mixes one up while sitting with a fellow wino on a park bench.
  • The Love Boat features these in almost every episode. Exaggerated in "Gopher's Bride," when Gopher and Doc both order fancy drinks for a woman they're competing over; the surface of Gopher's drink is completely covered in fruit and umbrellas, while Doc's contains a small pineapple with two sparklers stuck in it.
  • Del Boy has a fondness for these in Only Fools and Horses, being under the erroneous impression that they make him look sophisticated.
  • Person of Interest. In "Death Benefit", Root and Sameen Shaw sit in a bar in Miami leisurely enjoying a couple of these. A Reveal Shot then shows they've knocked out everyone else in the bar.
  • Police Squad!. Drebin is served a drink with so many decorations added to it that it takes him a moment to find a way to put the glass to his lips without getting an umbrella up his nose.
  • Scrubs: JD's drink of choice is the Appletini.
  • Star Trek: Picard. In "Stardust City Rag", Rios has to pose as flamboyant Facer, so he orders a Temtibi Lagoon with two umbrellas!
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Neelix creates a holodeck program of a posh Talaxian resort for the crew to relax in. Tom Paris thinks it's a bit too sedate and changes all the drinks to 'Rekarri Starbursts' served by attractive men and women in speedos.
    Q: You, bar rodent! Another one of these fruity concoctions.
  • In an episode of The West Wing, John Larroquette's Large Ham character rants about how he's supposed to be on vacation, being brought drinks with "little UM-brellas in them."

  • A verse in Tim McGraw's "Felt Good On My Lips" describes such a drink being ordered for the narrator, who ends up liking it:
    She ordered us a drink, it was a purple kind of pink
    She said it’s got a shot of a little bit of everything
    Mellow yellow umbrella for a fella like me
    It was just a bit mellow for me to be seen with
    But I took a sip, yeah it felt good on my lips
  • 'Missionary's Downfall by Ska Punk group The Planet Smashers is essentially an ode to these and post-WWII Tiki Bar culture:
    Could this be paradise?
    Hula skirts are really nice
    Sweet and fruity drinks with ice
    If I die this would suffice

    Puppet Shows 
  • Roland Rat's trademark Rat Cocktail is generally shown as one of these, but since he's a kids' character it's not alcoholic at all (basically a strawberry and banana milkshake in a fancy glass). Similar to Del Boy, Roland is a character with a rather tasteless idea of what sophistication looks like.

    Video Games 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, the umbrella is a plot point: You have to order a fruity drink with an umbrella in it. The bartender is out of the little paper ones, so he'll give you a regular umbrella instead. It doubles as a parachute later.
  • Drink Cocktails appear all over Fortune City in Dead Rising 2. They don't restore a huge amount of health but can be mixed with other things to make more powerful drinks.
  • Fable: One of the random snippets of dialogue you can overhear in the taverns is "A drink, please. With an umbrella in it." Humorously, the only drink actually available is ale.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the " Advanced cocktailcrafting" skill allows you to summon various garnishes to improve your beverages. One of them is a little paper umbrella. Most of the drinks made with this skill are deemed "Fruity girl drinks" by the game's Lemony Narrator. The rest, which require an additional skill, are labeled "Extra-fruity girl drinks". With an evil paper umbrella, you can mix "Evil fruity girl drinks". There's even a Demon Lord dedicated to Fruity Drinks. The story goes that a local god in the game's Hawaii stand-in likes Pina Collodas and getting caught in the rain, but hates watered-down liquor. He makes tiny paper umbrellas to keep the rain out of his drinks, and his blessing is why a drink with a tiny umbrella is automatically better than one without.
  • In the Citadel DLC of Mass Effect 3, Joker suggests he may need a drink with an umbrella.
    Paragon Shepard: I'm the first human Spectre. I'll get you two umbrellas.
    Joker: Awesome use of power, boss.
  • Mentioned in Star Trek Online when the player discusses Skagaran Whiskey with Montgomery Scott.
    Scotty: Whoever heard of putting a wee paper umbrella in a glass of whiskey! It's sacrilege! If I ever go to Skagara, I'm going to give them a piece of my mind ...

    Web Animation 
  • One Rooster Teeth Animated Adventure reveals that Dan Gruchy ordered a slew of these at a dinner with Burnie and Gavin. His first was apparently just a fishbowl filled with punch, glowing ice cubes, and colored straws and each successive one has a progressively "wackier" name and appearance.
  • From the Yellow trailer for RWBY:
    "Strawberry Sunrise. No ice. Oh, and one of those little umbrellas!"
  • Strong Bad Email "disconnected" features Strong Bad's decapitated head lounging on a deserted island, wearing sunglasses and laying next to a fancy tropical drink glass with several umbrellas in it, where the page quote comes from.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • After being unfairly characterized as a coward, The Critic's Jay Sherman decides to man up and shrug off his perceived wimpiness, and he starts by pounding down an especially frilly one of these.
  • In one episode of Daria, Mr. Demartino asks Mr. O'Neill to meet him at a bar. The bar is... not a classy establishment. O'Neill orders a Mai Tai.
  • Subverted in the episode of Futurama titled War is the H-Word.
    Zap: Damnit, Kif, where's the little umbrella? That's what makes it a scotch on the rocks!
  • Wakfu:
    • Goultard manages to have such a drink, with umbrella and straw, in the desert while watching Sadlygrove dueling with Rubilax.
    • Rushu himself enjoys searing lava drinks fittingly in a skull, cup complete with drinking straw (made of someone's spine) and umbrella.