History of the “Piña Colada”
One of the world’s most favourite mixed drinks, the piña colada, was born in Puerto Rico, but the identity of the bartender who first mixed up the iconic rum-based cocktail remains a point of contention. The Caribe Hilton, one of the premier luxury hotels in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, claims the piña colada was first served up in its Beachcombers Bar in 1954 by bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Asked by hotel management to create a signature drink that captured the flavours of the island, Marrero reportedly spent three months experimenting with hundreds of combinations before perfecting his sweet, frothy concoction of rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice. After tasting one of the hotel’s piña coladas, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford reportedly declared it was “better than slapping Bette Davis in the face.” According to the Caribe Hilton, Marrero mixed up and served his creation at the hotel for 35 years until his retirement in 1989
Another barman who served up drinks at the Caribe Hilton, however, has claimed that he invented the cool, creamy cocktail. Spaniard Ricardo Garcia told Coastal Living magazine in 2005 that a strike by a coconut-cutters union in 1954 prevented him from serving up the popular mixed drink of rum, cream of coconut and crushed ice in its traditional sliced coconut. Forced to improvise, Gracia poured the drink into a hollowed-out pineapple instead. When the fruit’s added flavor proved popular, Gracia said he added freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice to the rum and cream of coconut combination to create the piña colada, which means “strained pineapple” in Spanish
The “Piña Colada” Recipe
- 1 ½ oz. Light Rum
- ½ oz. Bols Coconut
- 1 ½ oz. Pineapple juice
- 1 oz. Coconut puree
- ½ oz. Sugar syrup (2:1)
How to make the “Piña Colada”
Step 1: Pour all ingredients in a blender cup
Step 2: Add crushed ice in the blender making the ice cover the drink completely.
Step 3: Blend.
Step 4: Pour out when the cocktail is smooth and creamy.
Step 5: Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
Want to learn more about blending cocktails? Follow this link!