Celebrating National Pina Colada Day

……..With Summer in full swing, there is no better way to fight off the hot and sticky days of July than to cool down with a nice cold and icy drink. In search of the perfect drink, look no further than the Pina Colada, which celebrates it’s national holiday on July 10th. For years The Pina Colada has gained popularity and notoriety all in the same thanks to cheesy songs, over exposure in restaurant bars, and just plain bad bartenders, but for the sake of the classic cocktail we’ll share the proper ways to make one, as well as some delicious spins on the original recipe.
…..Pina Colada is spanish for “Strained Pineapple”, and has a bit of a muddled history. It’s creations dates back to the 1800’s where Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, to boost his crew’s morale gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum. This was what would be later known as the famous piña colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the piña colada was lost.
…..The Pina Colada is then re-introduced in Peurto Rico on August 16, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by its alleged creator, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its starstudded clientele. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after 3 intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first piña colada was born. But it doesn’t stop there, also laying claim to the invention is the Barrachina Restaurant in Peurto Rico which claims in 1963 that while on a trip to South America, Mr Barrachina met a bartender who he worked with to create a drink containing pineapple juice, condensed milk, coconut creme, and ice in a blender.
…..So obviously it’s questionable history has a lot to do with its various recipes now in circulation. In addition to the various recipes claiming to be the original, there are also several variations that are purposefully different replacing specific ingredients or adding in additional ones. These variations include:

Chi Chi – Substituting the Rum with Vodka
The Miami Vice – Half of a Strawberry Daiquiri poured over a Pina Colada
The Staten Island Ferry – Coconut Rum and Pineapple Juice over ice

Today, if you go into 10 bars you will probably taste 10 different recipes, and combine that with the ability to make them at home with “ready to drink” recipes sold at your local package store (I don’t recommend these), and you’ve got a lot to choose from. Here are some of my favorite Pina Colada recipes:


Pina Colada:

  • 1 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple, frozen
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces Coco Lopez coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • Pineapple slices
Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white and dark rums into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pour the drink into 2 glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.
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Banana Colada 
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and quartered
  • 18 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 4 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
Place bananas and pineapple juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Add coconut milk, rum and ice and mix until frothy. Garnish with toasted coconut.
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Strawberry Colada (Miamia Vice)
  • 2 oz Frozen Strawberries (Or Strawberry Puree)
  • 1 oz Light Rum
  • 1 oz Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 oz Coconut milk
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1/1 Cup of ice
In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until desired consistency. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a sliced Strawberry.
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Now if this doesn’t keep you busy this weekend than nothing will. Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly. Class Dismissed !

 



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