The piña colada is a very popular cocktail and one that you can serve blended or shaken. Either way, it's a great drink with the iconic flavor of pineapple and coconut backed by your favorite rum. In the world of tropical cocktails, it's one of the best and it's even better when you make it from scratch.
The recipe is incredibly simple, requiring just a few common ingredients. Toss it all in the blender, give it a good whirl, and you will have the freshest piña colada possible. After the first taste, you'll kick yourself for ever buying a piña colada mix.
Once you discover the wonder of a frozen piña colada, try the shaken version (it's even easier). You can also switch the rum out from brandy and enjoy a kappa colada. If you skip the booze altogether, you'll have yourself a coco colada. However you mix it up, this is one of the best drinks of summer.
- Blend all the ingredients with ice until nice and smooth.
- Pour into a chilled hurricane glass.
- Garnish with a cherry and pineapple wedge. Pin the cherry to the pineapple with a cocktail skewer to create a garnish known as a "flag."
If you would like the drink to be thicker, add more ice. For a thinner drink use less ice or add more juice.
Choose Your Rum
The blended piña colada is thick, luscious, and filled with flavor.
Because of that, your choice of rum is not as critical here as it may be in other cocktails. Yet, as with any cocktail, the liquor you begin with is going to make a difference in the finished drink.
For the best piña colada, choose a decent white rum. Consider stepping away from the best-known brands and pick up one that's a little more obscure. There are many great options beyond Bacardi and the like. Give ones like Shellback or Flor de Caña a try and see what you think.
The great thing about exploring rum is that there are many reasonably priced options available. In most cases, you don't have to spend a fortune on rum to discover a new favorite.
If you want to add a hint of flavor, opt for a flavored rum. You can either make your own fruit infusions or buy one that's ready to go. Brands like Brinley and Cruzan make some fun flavors that can add a nice background to this cocktail.
Better Than a Piña Colada Mix?
It's incredibly easy to pick up one of the many bottled piña colada mixes available. Why would you want to hassle with this recipe when it's all right there in a single bottle? First of all, we hardly think that four ingredients are asking too much. Secondly, we have to go back to the old adage that fresh is best.
Many of the piña colada mixes you find at the liquor store leave a lot to be desired when it comes to flavor. They are often filled with artificial ingredients and preservatives to ensure they can sit on the shelf for months at a time (if not longer). Why subject yourself to that when it's just as easy to pick up a few inexpensive ingredients so you know what you're drinking?
By creating the drink from scratch you can choose your proportions and have more control over the taste. Maybe you want to throw some fresh chunks of pineapple into the blender or use a coconut rum and a little less cream.
With a recipe like this, you can make those choices and produce a better tasting, less expensive drink tailored to your personal taste. Besides, with a piña colada mix you're stuck with that one drink. If you buy cream of coconut and pineapple juice separately, a whole new list of cocktails is at your disposal.
The Story of the Piña Colada
The story goes that the piña colada was created in 1954 by Ramon "Monchito" Marrero Perez. At the time, he was a bartender at the Beachcomber Bar in the Caribe Hilton of San Juan, Puerto Rico. His intent was to capture the taste of the tropics in a glass and he did a wonderful job.
Over the following decades, the cocktail was enjoyed by Caribbean travelers who brought tales of it home. However, it was not until the release of Rupert Holmes' 1979 hit song, "Escape," that the drink soared in popularity. Don't recognize the title? It is also called, quite appropriately, "The Piña Colada Song." If you need a reminder of it, just stop by karaoke night and you're almost sure to hear it.