When it comes to Rum cocktails, few are as popular as the Pina Colada. When mentioned, this drink conjures up images of tropical beaches and hot summer days. As with many Rum related drinks, its history can be traced as far back as the Pirates that sailed the Caribbean.
The earliest record of a drink that incorporates pineapple juice, coconut milk and White Rum comes from the early 19th Century. To improve morale on his ship, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi served this cocktail to his crew. It must have worked like a charm because Cofresi took his official recipe with him to his grave in 1825.
While various iterations of the cocktail were made over the next century, it wasn't until the 1950’s that the name Pina Colada was coined on the island of Puerto Rico. One of the key ingredients of a modern Pina Colada is coconut cream. Coco Lopez, a pre-made coconut cream was invented in 1954 on the island and quickly became popular in the islands culinary scene.
Within a decade, three bartenders claim to have created the Pina Colada and it is still a hotly debated topic. The story officially recognized by the Puerto Rican government is that it was created by a man named Ramon Marrero Perez. In 1954, Ramon was working as a bartender at the Caribe Hilton and was tasked with creating a signature cocktail for the hotels Beachcomber Bar.
After experimenting with various ingredients over three months, including the new Coco Perez, he settled on the now classic combination. The recipe consisted of White rum, cream of coconut and strained pineapple juice, thus the name Pina Colada, literally translating to “strained pineapple”.
120ml Pineapple Juice
60ml The Great White Rum
60ml Coconut Cream
A Wedge of Pineapple to garnish (optional)
Either add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously until frosted. Or pulse all the ingredients along with a handful of ice in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish as you like.