If you like…. PINA COLADAS! Guaranteed you’ll be humming that for the rest of the day now.
You’re welcome. While Pina Colada Day is on 10 July, smack in the middle of the northern hemisphere summer, the cocktail (whose name literally means “strained pineapple”) pops up on plenty of cocktail menus around Australia as the Southern summer rolls in.
The origin story
The crown for the creation of the classic pineapple, rum and coconut concoction belongs to three bartenders from Puerto Rico – fitting, seeing as though it is the Puerto Rican national beverage.
The most common version says that bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero invented the drink at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan back in 1952 with the newly available Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut. In fact, the Caribe Hilton still features his recipe on its website.
That said, a guy called Ricardo Garcia says that he invented the cocktail while also working at the Caribe. And Ramon Portas Mingot says that he invented the drink in 1963, while working at the Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan. Quite possibly all three bartenders had a role in the drink’s creation story. After all, a Pina Colada didn’t appear in official cocktail tomes until the late ‘60s.
However, according to Simon Difford, rum, coconut and pineapple have always been blended together. In fact, he says the first written reference to Pina Colada dates to a 1922 reference in Travel magazine to a Cuban drink of the same name. So there you have it.
- 60ml White or gold rum
- 90ml Fresh pineapple juice
- 20ml Cream of coconut
- 15ml Fresh lime juice
- Blend all the ingredients with a large scoop of ice until smooth.
- Pour into glass, garnish with pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, and a cocktail umbrella and serve.
- NOTE: Cream of coconut is not coconut cream – it’s a sweeter, thickened version that is used to make a classic Puerto Rican Pina Colada. Feel free to use coconut cream and a touch of sugar syrup instead.
The ‘Getting Caught In The Rain’ by Michelle Ruocco previously of Bent Brick and now Pn26 in Portland, Oregon, uses Aviation gin, absinthe and matcha green tea powder on top of the usual coconut and pineapple.
Artesian Bar in London uses a slushie machine to make its slightly healthier ‘Langham Colada’ with coconut water instead of coconut cream. Also on the healthier side, 69 Colebrooke Row, also in London, had a ‘Green Coconut Piña Colada’ on the menu that used cachaça, coconut sorbet and lemon sherbet (no there is no pineapple in it).
And then there is the “Rocket Fuel” invented at The Island Mermaid bar in NYC. Featuring a Cruzen 151 sinker and an Amaretto floater on a classic Pina Colada base, it lives up to its name.