Edit ModuleShow Tags

Cheers to the Piña Colada!


Published:

When a cocktail has been around for sixty years is that a birthday or an anniversary? Perhaps that’s something to ponder while sipping the cocktail in question, the Piña Colada.

There has been some debate about which one of three bartenders deserves credit as the inventor of this creamy, fruity tropical cocktail that first appeared in the San Juan, Puerto Rico resort area. Ramón Marrero Perez of the Caribe Hilton hotel’s Beachcomber Bar is said to have invented it in August 1954 (thus the 60th birthday/anniversary) using the then-newly available Coco López cream of coconut. Ricardo Garcia, who also worked at the Caribe said that it was he who had invented it. But, Ramón Portas Mingot had said he created it in 1963 at the Barrachina Bar in Old San Juan. It is, however, commonly accepted that the Piña Colada was adapted from an existing creation at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, according to the drink’s entry in Difford’s Encyclopedia of Cocktails.

Today, the Caribe Hilton Hotel promotes itself as the home of the drink and credits Ramón "Monchito" Marrero with its invention, which he continued to serve at the hotel for 35 years until his retirement in 1989, according to a press release I received on behalf of the hotel. (They’ll be celebrating with activities throughout the year and a Piña Colada Festival on August 16 if you find a trip to Puerto Rico in the cards.)

And, a tidbit about rum, the spirit of the Piña Colada: Even though rum is made from sugar cane (in the form of fresh sugar cane juice, cane syrup, or molasses)—while most other spirits are distilled from grain—the natural sugars are converted to alcohol in the distillation process, so rum itself is not a sugary sweet spirit. Another tidbit: “Piña Colada” literally means “strained pineapple,” a reference to the juice that’s used in the drink.

Sure, maybe a Piña Colada is extra special accompanied by warm ocean breezes while on vacation, but you can easily mix up a taste of the tropics at home. And, after pondering—and not even while sipping said cocktail—I think it would be the drink’s birthday as it was “born” sixty years ago. So Happy Birthday, Piña Colada! (Not to mention July 10 was National Piña Colada Day!) Cheers!


Piña Colada

2 ounces light rum
6 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces coconut cream
   (or 1 ounce coconut cream and 1 ounce heavy cream)
Pineapple wedge for garnish

Shake liquid ingredients well with ice. Strain into a hurricane or large ice-filled wine glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Frozen variation: Blend all liquid ingredients with about 1 cup crushed ice and pour in glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge, if desired.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Latest Minnesota-Born-and-Bred Apple Variety Debuts

The University of Minnesota apple breeders release First Kiss, an early ripening cross from the ever-popular Honeycrisp apple
August 2018

First Taste: El Burrito Minneapolis

The popular St. Paul Mexican restaurant opens in south Minneapolis
August 2018

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America
August 2018

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked
August 2018

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on
August 2018

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together
August 2018

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?
August 2018

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café
July 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags