When deciding where the Piña Colada came from, you have one simple decision to make. Do you prefer to be James Bond and imagine sophisticated origins in a stylish bar in an exotic, far-flung corner of the globe; or are you 10 years old and think pirates the coolest motherfuckers in the world?
The standard story of the Piña Colada comes from the Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico where it was created by bartender Ramón ‘Monchito’ Marrero in 1954. In 1978, the Piña colada was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico. In 2004, the Caribe Hilton was presented with a proclamation signed by the local Governor in honor of the 50th birthday of the drink.
The other version of events involves pirates. In the 19th Century, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí was in a fix. His crew were pissed off, and he needed to put some fighting spirit in their bellies. He produced a drink made of coconut, pineapple and white rum – exactly like a Piña Colada. Cofresí died in 1825, and his ‘recipe’ was lost.
Regardless of origin, the upset of making a Piña Colada does not end with who invented it. The problem is the proportion of pineapple juice. The recipe for the Piña Colada varies from 1:1:1 rum:coconut:juice to 1:1:3. We have made both versions, and for a refreshing, long drink, you need to go with 1:1:3. However, for an even nicer product, you can use frozen pineapple to make a smoothie-like drink.
Frozen Piña Colada
- 50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
- 50ml coconut milk
- 150g canned pineapple, drained and frozen
- 10ml juice from the pineapple can
- 50ml pineapple juice
- Handful of ice
Put all the ingredients in a blender with the ice and blitz until smooth. Serve with a tropical garnish.
It is possible to use fresh pineapple, and while this may seem like the route to a better drink, this is not the case – the drink is smoother if canned pineapple is used.