Menu

MOD Palm Springs 2016 – The End?

MOD Palm Springs 2016 was organised by Shag the Store and Tiki Caliente on October 20th-23rd 2016. This fourth annual exposition of mid-century modern and Tiki pop culture, limited to 350 tickets, was held at the cool Caliente Tropics Resort in Palm Springs. The stunning Caliente Tropics Resort was built in 1964 and has an iconic A-Frame entranceway leading through to a modernised Tiki and Polynesian styled resort.

The long-weekend event included live music, mid-century modern and Tiki vendors, original art exhibition, and specialty cocktails. Architecture and self-guided driving tours were offered to the beautiful Palm Springs mid-century modern buildings. The vendor area was open to the public from 10am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday, after 6pm MOD was an exclusive ticket only event. Ticketing was via wristbands, or pendants if staying at the Caliente Tropic Resort. The MOD 2016 pendant was 3.5” long, supplied with a leather rope necklace and is a four-colour cloisonné.

Sponsored room parties were held on Thursday to Friday during the event with parties and cocktails around the resort. These are mini events, mostly sponsored by drinks organisations, where specific hotel rooms are appropriately themed with complimentary cocktails served.

The MOD Palm Springs 2016 mug was designed by Shag based on the original Suffering Bastard Mug by Trader Vic. Shag’s Elegant Bastard was sculpted by John Mulder and manufactured in high-fired stoneware in the USA by Eekum Bookum. The pre-order price was $89 USD with pickup at the event only, and unsurprisingly the limited edition of 120 sold out quickly. The size of the Elegant Bastard mug is 6.5″ x 3.5″ (16.5cm x 8.9cm).

The Elegant Bastard mug was manufactured in white and limited to 120 pieces.

The Elegant Bastard was re-issued following the MOD Palm Springs 2016 event in a warm black colourway in a limited edition of 125 pieces. The colour is charcoal black with a soft satin finish and the mug is made in the USA by Eekum Bookum.

The Suffering Bastard cocktail, for which Trader Vic’s mug was designed was invented by bartender Joe Scialom in the 1950’s at the Shepard’s Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. Joe Scialom’s original recipe is as follows:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz brandy
  • 1/2 oz Rose’s Lime Juice Cordial
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 4 oz chilled ginger beer

Shake the gin, brandy, lime juice cordial and bitters with ice, and stir in the ginger beer. Serve in a double old-fashioned glass, or suffering bastard mug, with a garnish of an orange slice, sprig of mint and cucumber peel.


Unfortunately, there is no MOD Palm Springs in 2017 as the Shag the Store and Tiki Caliente have decided to take a hiatus for Tiki Caliente to focus on Circa-Caliente event. At least that is the official line, but is this really the end of MOD Palm Springs?

Tiki mug collector organisation site Ooga-Mooga! describes the Elegant Bastard Mug White as “This is a white mug based on the classic Suffering Bastard body design”. The site lists the average sale price as $174 USD, up in less than a year from the original cost of $89 USD. Here are some more pictures of the MOD Palm Springs 2016 mug The Elegant Bastard.

And to end, here are the four MOD Palm Springs mugs (2013-2016) in front of a 2013 ‘Tropical Hideaway’ Disneyland Enchanted Tiki Room print (photograph from Kelsi & Greg’s blog Modern Tiki Lounge).

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: