Imagine walking off a sun-kissed beach, toes digging into the sand after a game of volleyball. Next, you take a refreshing dip into a pool and swim up to a poolside bar and order a thirst-quenching beverage that marks its National Day on Saturday, July 10.
Heavenly, right? There is a reason tropical island getaways are often referred to as paradise, and no drink captures the magic of this scene quite like the Piña Colada. It does such a good job at this that sunny Puerto Rico deemed the Piña Colada its national drink in 1978. Mixing even more fun into the cocktail is the storied rivalry of its origin. Two San Juan establishments, Restaurant Barrachina and Caribe Hilton, vie for the title of the tropical drink’s creator.
Locked in a debate, the variations of the story are that bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Perez concocted the first Piña Colada after three months of searching for the perfect combination at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in 1954. But Barrachina serves up its own tale, claiming to be the house that built the Piña Colada in 1963, and the drink’s architect is Don Ramon Portas Mingot.
Although we may never know the true story behind its creation, we can all agree that the Piña Colada is a great summertime treat to beat the heat. With its sweet flavor, creamy texture, pineapple wedges perched on the rim of the glass and a maraschino cherry topping it off, each sip is like a mini-vacation. So even if you are not sailing around the Caribbean or eating a tiki torch-lit dinner on the beach, the Piña Colada brings the island to you.
Piña Colada (Makes 1)
2 ounces white rum
1 ounce cream of coconut
1 ounce heavy cream
6 ounces fresh pineapple juice
½ cup crushed ice
pineapple wedge, for garnish
maraschino cherry, for garnish
Blend the rum, cream of coconut, cream, pineapple juice and ice for 15 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.