If you like Pina Coladas…
And even if you don’t, take some time here and let’s revisit this often scoffed drink.
Pina Colada translates as “strained pineapple”. The biggest claim to the original Pina Colada is made by The Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico and their bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero who debuted the drink on August 15, 1954. According to the Wikipedia, the term “pina colada” first appeared in print in 1922, however. Mr. Marrero is reported to have spent 3 months perfecting his recipe for the Pina Colada, so he may have been inspired by a previous recipe. This is nothing new, and we have seen many times in mixology history. Just look at the evolution of the martini!!
So, on to the recipe. The “original” recipe:
2 oz White Rum
1 oz Coconut Cream
1 oz Heavy Cream
6 oz Pineapple Juice
4 oz ice (preferably crushed)
Place all ingredients in a blender until combined. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry
Notice that’s not a lot of ice. I have seen a lot of bars and chain restaurants overdue the amount of ice, which kills this drink. I would also interject that most of us have had one of these, and in turn written off this wonderful drink.
Feeling adventurous? If you can get your hands on quality pineapples, make your own juice. Feeling REALLY adventurous? How about your own cocnut cream!!
Place 12 oz of fresh grated coconut (packaged will work too), and 1 quart of heavy cream in a sauce pan. As soon as a boil is reached, remove from heat, and let cool. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. You got about a week to use this.
Now for a little fun……
Add a little texture to your Pina Colada by using three 1 ½ inch chunks of pineapple instead of the juice. I also like to add 2 dashes of Peychaud bitters (yes, Jamie, they really do make everything better!)
My favorite variation is to grill the pineapple chunks for about 2 minutes on 2 opposite sides before blending (let them cool first!) By grilling the fruit, the natural sugars caramelize, and add a wonderful depth of flavor. And the Pina Colada is an excellent pairing for spicy foods: the contrast of the subtle sweetness and the cream will calm the fire down.
This is such a great drink that can be enjoyed from the bar to the backyard. I hope you have fun with this incredible, often overlooked, libation. Don’t forget to mix a couple without the booze for the kids, and since your up….
“Bring me Two Pina Coladas” -Garth Brooks