July 10: Pina Colada Day
“It’s not just a good drink; it’s a state of mind”
Pina Colada is Spanish for “Strained Pineapple”, and has a bit of a muddled history. Its 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 Puerto 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 star-studded 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 Puerto 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 crème, and ice in a blender.
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
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
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.
Sit back with your frosty drink and “Escape”