Piña Colada translates to “strained pineapple”, but of course there’s more to it than that. In fact, the cream of coconut is key to achieving the perfect balance of tropical flavors. Coco López which was invented in 1948 in Puerto Rico by Don Ramon Lopez Irizarry. The canned coconut product soon found its way around the country’s bars and by 1954 it was used at the Caribe Hilton Hotel’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan. One of the hotel’s bartenders, Ramón ‘Monchito’ Marrero Pérez (pictured at left), it generally the person credited with inventing the classic silver-age cocktail. Twenty-four years later, the Puerto Rican government recognized the Piña Colada as the national drink.
Here’s the original recipe as specified by Ramón Pérez.
“Pour 3 ounces of coconut cream, 6 ounces of pineapple juice and 11⁄2 ounces of white rum into a blender or shaker with crushed ice, and blend or shake very well until smooth. Pour into chilled glass, garnish with pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.”
The Caribe Hilton Hotel still serves the original, but also offers a molecular mixology version which contains coconut oil infused white rum, clarified pineapple juice, house made pineapple syrup and coconut water, served with a coconut ice pop.
Now I’m thirsty. ¡Salud!