Tomorrow, July 10, is national piña colada day, and in honor of it we’re all about piña coladas, including an authentic recipe straight from Puerto Rico.
Did you know that the piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico? That much is certain, although there is still a lot of debate over who specifically invented it. Most people think it was invented at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in the 1950’s, but whether it was bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero or Ricardo Garcia is less certain.
And Ramón Portas Mignot, a bartender from Barrachina in Old San Juan, also claims credit for inventing the cocktail in the 1960s. Regardless of who invented it, it remains one of the most iconic drinks of the Caribbean, and a Puerto Rican staple.
If you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga
If you have half a brain
If you like makin’ love at midnight
In the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for
Write to me and escape
– Rupert Holmes
The classic piña colada has just a few well-balanced ingredients: rum, coconut cream, and pineapple. The sweetness of the coconut balances the tartness of the pineapple, and the rum cuts through the cream to give it just enough bite.
Part of what makes piña coladas so amazing in Puerto Rico, of course, is the fact that Puerto Rico is the rum capital of the world. Think of Bacardi, Don Q, Ron del barrilito, and Caribe Rum, just to name a few. Starting with great rum makes for a better cocktail!
You can find variations on the piña colada too, of course, if you travel to Puerto Rico on our Flavors of Puerto Rico culinary vacation. There are expert mixologists and famous bars across the island, and each has its own twist on the classic Puerto Rican cocktail. So you might try a “Blue Colada,” made with Blue Curacao, or a Mango Colada, or the piña colada at the Water Beach Club Hotel, which includes cherry bitters.
Of course, the magic ingredient is the atmosphere itself. Enjoying a piña colada on the beach or at a road-side eatery on Puerto Rico will taste so much better than a piña colada enjoyed anywhere else!
Classic Piña Colada Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Cook method: Blend
1/4 cup high-quality rum
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 cup ice
cherries, pineapple, whipped cream to garnish
Put all the ingredients except the garnish in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a chilled glass and top with whipped cream, a pineapple wedge, and a maraschino cherry.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a blender, you can also serve the piña colada shaken and strained, but omit the whipped cream garnish and serve it “up” with a pineapple wedge and cherry.
Check out our Flavors of Puerto Rico culinary tour, and contact us to start planning!
By Peg Kern
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