Any ideas for what to serve at a "Tropicana" party?

"Tropicana" being the club Ricky worked at in I Love Lucy. I think my friends have figured out decorations and what to wear, but no one has talked about the most important part: food and drinks. Any suggestions?

Kristy Mucci


SarahK June 29, 2011
Caipirinhas would be a great drink (even though they are Brazilian - I just love them with anything tropical/Latin). Daiquiris (non-blended) are also a fun retro cocktail. Plus, the bonus is that both are easy to make pitchers of and have ready on your bar.
AntoniaJames June 28, 2011
Looks like you've got a lot of great suggestions here for the food . . . but don't forget the Buena Vista Social Club for outstanding Cuban music. I never saw "I Love Lucy," (I was raised in one of those why-watch-TV-when-there are-thousands-of-Great-Books-you-haven't-read-yet households.), so I don't know what Ricky's club was like, but the BVSC seems just right for the Ricky and Lucy era. Sounds like great fun!! ;o)
susan G. June 23, 2011
Check this recent question -- I think you'll find a lot of good input.
amysarah June 23, 2011
As mcd2 said, there wasn't a whole lot of actual eating on the show. However, besides the candy and bread episodes, there was a great one where Lucy and Ethel stomped grapes for wine in Italy. They also once bought a restaurant and called it 'A Little Bit of Cuba.' (And these are the sort of factoids that clog my brain.)

Reminds me: anytime they dined with the Mertzes, whether chez Ricardo or at the club, all four of them always sat lined up on one side of the table, facing the live audience. :)
mcd2 June 23, 2011
if you're also spoofing the lucy show, can you work in some sort of round chocolate candy? remember the candy factory episode? or the huge loaf of bread that came out of the oven and pinned lucy to the wall of the kitchen... i'm not remembering many episodes about food in general on the show or food or drink at the nightclub...come to think of it.
Summer O. June 22, 2011
Oh and grilled plantains or tostones with a spicy aioli. Sounds like fun!
Kristy M. June 22, 2011
Thank you both so much! This is great!
Summer O. June 22, 2011
Salad with mangos and avocado or grilled mango bruschetta, spicy mini pork tacos (or regular sized), crudité with jicama, green peppers, cucumbers, green beans with cilantro chimmichurri and creamy jalapeno dips, grilled mole chicken skewers, ceviche. For drinks I’d make a nod to the fifties and do champagne in old school champagne glasses and a rum punch in a punch bowl.
sdebrango June 22, 2011
Here is a link that talks about Cuban food
They mention empanadas and here on food52 there are some really good recipes
sdebrango June 22, 2011
Arroz con pollo, didn't Lucy try to make that for Ricky in one of the episodes?
Kristy M. June 22, 2011
Not a sit down. And I think we're leaning toward tropical/Cuban inspired. Thanks!
Summer O. June 22, 2011
Is it a sit down event or buffet or heavy hors d'ouevres? Are you thinking tropical/Cuban inspired food or retro fifties food or both?
sdebrango June 22, 2011
Cuban sandwiches!
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