We’ve all heard the song and it’s confirmed, we do love Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain. On National Pina Colada Day, this July 10th, we celebrate our love of this tropical delight.
The drink is named after how it’s made, “piña” means pineapple and “colada” means strained in Spanish. A traditional Piña Colada calls for pineapple juice, white rum, and coconut cream poured over crushed ice. Frothy and sweet, it’s a cocktail that encapsulates that perfect tropical island vibe.
The history of the Piña Colada is steeped in mystery and is one that involves pirates, bartenders, and coconut cream. The earliest known story states that in the 19th century, a Puerto Rican pirate named Roberto Cofresí, gave his crew a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum to help boost morale. This was what would be later known as the famous Piña Colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the Piña Colada was supposedly lost. Although this version of the story has long been the subject of dispute amongst historians.
The Caribe Hilton Hotel claims that a bartender at the hotel, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, created the Piña Colada in 1954. According to this account, Mr Marrero finally settled upon the recipe for the Piña Colada, which he felt perfectly captured the true nature and essence of Puerto Rico. In 1978, the Piña Colada was declared as Puerto Rico’s official drink and by 2004 the Caribe Hilton Hotel was presented with a proclamation by Puerto Rico Governor Sila M. Calderón to celebrate the drink’s 50th anniversary.
On the other hand, Barrachina, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, says that “a traditional Spanish bartender Don Ramon Portas Mingot in 1963 created what became the world’s famous drink: the Piña Colada.” While its true origins might be muddled, it’s safe to say the impact of the creamy cocktail speaks volumes for its standing.
Whilst you can’t go wrong with the classic three-ingredient Piña Colada, we’d like to recommend an iteration that is bound to be a hit, the Painkiller Piña Colada.
- 50ml Malibu Coconut Rum
- 15ml Coconut cream
- 75ml Pineapple juice
- 25ml Orange juice
- Pineapple chunks (to garnish)
- Grated nutmeg (to garnish)
- Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, and shake until well combined.
- Strain and pour over fresh ice, garnish with a pineapple slice on the rim of the glass, and a dash of nutmeg on top.
- For extra flair, add a tiny umbrella on the side, or serve the cocktail in coconut or (hollowed out) pineapple as an extra visual treat.
The Piña Colada has had an impact on pop culture since its conceptualisation (even if it was by pirates out at sea). Simple, sweet, and a world of fun, Piña Coladas can be open to so many variations and interpretations. Whisk yourself away to a tropical island fantasy with the classic cocktail or an out-of-the-box rendition of your own this National Piña Colada Day.