We don’t know about you, but we can’t order a Piña Colada without the melody of the party classic ‘Escape’ ringing in our ears. If you do like Pina Coladas, then how much do you know about where they came from? Here’s a quick run down of the summer cocktail and how it came to be one of the most popular party pleasers.
Conception of the Colada
The refreshing beverage originated from the tropical island of Puerto Rico. Wanting a brand-new cocktail for his bar within the Caribe Hilton Hotel, bartender Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero was keen to create the ‘embodiment of Puerto Rico’; an island known for its abundance of coconuts and pineapples.
Marrero took three months during the summer of 1954, mixing and experimenting these exotic flavours before the cocktail took shape. ‘Coco Lopez’, a blend of creamy coconut extract and natural cane sugar was widely stocked in food stores at the time, which became a fundamental ingredient in the invention of the boozy beverage.
The aim was to concoct a signature drink to delight guests of the exclusive hotel; refreshing and non-alcoholic, available to all. Following the popularity of the drink both within and outside the hotel, Puerto Rico Rum was added to make the bar favourite we know and love today.
Simply translated as ‘strained pineapple’, the popularity of the Piña skyrocketed, and it soon became synonymous with the country’s identity, quickly becoming the most well known national drink. The desire for the creamy concoction didn’t just stop there, as the rest of the world caught wind of the refreshing beverage.
Truly a national treasure, the ‘National Piña Colada Day’ falls on the 10th July in Puerto Rico, celebrating the wonders of the nutty yet fruity cocktail.
A Refreshing Recipe
There are numerous variations of the drink available today, with bartenders worldwide experimenting to put their own spin on the cocktail. However, the core recipe is still a staple in bars and restaurants. Marrero used 6 ounces of pineapple juice, 3 ounces of coconut cream, 1½ ounces of white rum and crushed ice which he blended until smooth. By adding a pineapple wedge for a fruity aesthetic, the bartender had unknowingly created a classic.
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