Nothing says vacation like sipping a Piña Colada while basking in the sun. But as if you need a reason to drink a piña colada. You can make this popular summer drink in your own kitchen in just a few minutes. Just follow this simple recipe and you're set to go!
The Piña Colada is a rum, coconut cream or coconut milk, and pineapple juice beverage that is traditionally served blended or shaken with ice. A pineapple wedge, a maraschino cherry, or both can be used as a garnish.
The word Piña Colada (Spanish) literally translates to "strained pineapple," referring to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used to make the cocktail.
The most well-known origin story comes from the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital. Ramón "Monchito" Marrero, the hotel's chief bartender at the time, was attempting to make a refreshing drink that could be enjoyed by all hotel guests in the 1950s. He was set on mixing the right ingredients to create something that would embody Puerto Rico and capture all of the island's beauty in a single glass.
Coconut, along with pineapple, was a major staple on the island, thus it was an obvious choice for Ramon. Coco Lopez, a creamy coconut extract blended with natural cane sugar, was also introduced to grocery shelves about this time. It was a necessary element that allowed the bartender to prepare the beverage. Everything came together well, with the exception of one item that was added afterward. Of course, it was authentic Puerto Rican rum.
Long-time employees claim that the drink was originally offered without alcohol and was intended to be a basic beverage seen at snack bars. It was served as a milkshake after being shaken with crushed ice. The Piña Colada as we know it today was born with the invention of all-purpose blenders and the inclusion of rum.
In a short period of time, the cocktail's popularity surged. Everyone who came to the island loved it and couldn't get enough of it. In 1978, the drink was designated as Puerto Rico's national beverage.
There are only four ingredients in the original Piña Colada recipe: pineapple juice, white rum, cream of coconut, and ice. Our version has a slight twist.
You can use fresh pineapple or pineapple juice.
It's easier to make the drink with store-bought pineapple juice than with fresh pineapple. It takes less time to prepare (peeling and cutting the pineapple), and you may drink it right away (the fresh pineapple needs to be frozen first).
Fresh pineapple juice is naturally thicker and has a stronger pineapple flavor. If you're using fresh pineapple you'll need to freeze the pineapple chunks. You will need to blend together 3.2oz/90g (seven 1-inch/2.5 cm cubes) frozen pineapple chunks. Avoid using canned pineapple as it is extremely sugary.
To make the coconut component, use cream of coconut. Coconut milk or coconut cream should be avoided. What's the difference between these two products that sound so similar? Quite a bit. Here's what you need to know about coconut cream and cream of coconut:
Coconut Cream is created by freezing coconut milk and skimming the cream layer that rises to the top. It's thick and has a coconut flavor, but it's not sweetened. It's usually sold alongside coconut milk in cans.
Cream of Coconut is coconut cream with a lot of sugar added. Tropical beverages, such as Piña Coladas, are sweetened with it. It's sold in convenient squeeze bottles because it's used in drinks. Coconut cream can be found in your local liquor store. Coco Real is a well-known brand. If you cannot find cream of coconut, simply sweeten the cocktail with simple syrup (combine equal amounts of sugar and water, cook, until sugar is dissolved then leave to cool).
The original recipe uses white rum. Coconut rum (Malibu) can be used to add a strong coconut flavor. Golden rum is also used in several recipes. However, white rum is better because it has a more neutral flavor. This drink may be too bold-tasting for golden rum or any aged rum.
You'll need intact ice cubes or crushed ice, depending on your method of preparation. Crushed ice can be made at home.
Crushed ice can be made in the following way: Fill a thick ziplock bag halfway with ice cubes, seal it, and pound the bag with a rolling pin or the bottom of a rum bottle.
Lime juice is an optional and non-traditional addition, but it is a secret component. It brightens the entire drink, makes it refreshing, balances the flavors and sweetness, and transforms it into something truly fantastic.
You'll get 1 large cocktail from the recipe above, which will fill a large Hurricane glass.
Note: To make a Piña Colada using fresh pineapple, peel, and core the fruit, then cut it into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks and freeze them. After the pineapple pieces have been frozen, place them in a blender container and blitz until they have a slushie consistency (or until smooth). A good immersion (hand) blender can also be used.
For a Virgin Piña Colada, simply omit the rum.
1) Measure out all the ingredients.
2) Blend all of the ingredients until smooth in a blender container. A good immersion (hand) blender or a stand blender can be used.
3) Serve chilled and enjoy!
Note: For a shaken version, combine all of the ingredients in a shaker or large container. Shake it vigorously for at least 30 seconds. It's recommended to use crushed ice. It can also be served on the rocks (simply pour the drink over ice). This cocktail will be a little on the thinner side.
There you have it! Our take on the famous Piña Colada. This tropical drink will put you in total relaxation mode. While you're here, don't forget to check out Pepe Nero's bartending kit!
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