The Piña Colada is without a doubt one of the best cocktails of all time and here’s why: No matter what ratio is used, and any mistakes made – it still will most likely taste like a piña colada. It truly is a vacation in a glass. A delicious creamy beverage that makes a person feel like they’re on vacation the moment it hits their lips! If you close your eyes, you may even be able to hear the crashing of the waves and a subtle ukulele playing in the distance. If you’ve ever been to a tropical place and sipped on a piña colada while relaxing on the beach, you know what we’re talking about here. This drink will add to your vacation, or perhaps transport you back to that tropical place you once were – or have never been before!
This “tiki drink” was first created in San Juan, Puerto Rico by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton in 1954. He mixed a fruity blend of rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice and just like that – everyone’s favorite summer treat was created. There’s also a vodka version, see recipe for Macadamia Chi Chi.
There are many ways bartenders make piña coladas these days. A lot of bartenders use lime juice and even sometimes bitters in their piña coladas. Although if balanced right, these can make a delicious piña colada, we like to keep it classic. Keeping the drink simple and like the original recipe, you can actually taste the flavors that you are supposed to taste more prominently – pineapple and coconut.
Let’s break this down by ingredient. First let’s talk about rum. It’s very important to use Spanish style rum here. Sometimes referred to as “Ron”, Spanish-style rums are made in once Spanish colonies such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. These rums tend to be lighter in body and flavor, and typically lend to the vanilla flavors and baking spice flavors. Bacardi, Havana Club, Zaya, Don Q, Ron Zacapa, Mt. Gay, The Real McCoy, Santa Teresa, Atlántico, and Ron del Barrilito are just some examples of this type of rum.
Next let’s talk about pineapple juice. It’s really nice if you have the luxury of living in a tropical place where pineapples grow, so you have fresh tree-ripened fruit. However, a lot of us do not have that luxury. For those who don’t, our pineapples typically ripen on the way over to us instead of on the tree. This means they aren’t going to necessarily be as delicious. Fresh juiced pineapple is popular in tiki bars because when blended or whipped in a spindle mixer, it has a frothy whipped consistency. It’s important however, if you are going this route, to taste your pineapple before juicing and make sure it has flavor. Otherwise, using canned or bottled pineapple juice is the next best option. Lotus pineapple juice is a popular juice used in Puerto Rico. That’s hard to find in the US, but we really like the flavor of Dole. Dole pineapple juice is tree ripened, vitamin enriched, and consistently tastes great.
Lastly, there’s coconut. This is what makes this tropical beverage creamy and delicious. A lot of the sweetened coconut cream products produced for cocktail use since the 1970’s are chalked full of preservatives, gums, and other artificial ingredients. That’s where Liquid Alchemist Coconut comes in. We like to think that using our coconut syrup is second best to making your own from scratch, which wouldn’t last very long in your fridge and is obviously labor intensive. So that’s why we do it for you. As with all of our products, we source the finest ingredients and produce them with the utmost care, like your local craft bartender would, except made in a food-safe facility and hot bottled for great shelf life.
Without further ado, we’ll give you the best piña colada recipes below so you can get back to your vacation. ¡Salud!
2 oz rum
1 oz Liquid Alchemist Coconut
2 oz pineapple juice
Shake and dump into a hurricane glass. Top with crushed ice and garnish with an orange slice and cherry.