Piña Colada

A Piña Colada cocktail with a mint and pineapple wedge garnish

Short shake with ice and strain into a hurricane glass almost filled with crushed ice. Top up with crushed ice and garnish with a mint bouquet. (Alternatively it also works well if served straight-up: shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.)

The Piña Colada, meaning 'strained pineapple,' begins in 1948 in Puerto Rico with the creation of cream of coconut. This is a homogenized blend of coconut cream, sugar, emulsifier and citric acid originally branded Coco Lopez. It didn't take long to figure that this might blend well with rum and pinapple and thus in the early 1950s the Piña Colada was born. The Caribe Hilton and the Barrachina Resturant, both of Puerto Rico, each claim the invention and given the recipe was not recorded in print until the 1960s they may both have had something to do with it.

A Piña Colada cocktail served straight-up The Piña Colada is typically a frozen, blended drink. Many recipes include heavy cream which makes it unsuitable for a before-dinner drink. However, Dale DeGroff informs us, "It can also be shaken and served straight up." We like the recipe above both served up and served over crushed ice about equally. It comes straight out of the Death & Co Recipe Book where they recommend serving it over crushed ice. We didn't need to adjust anything. (Well, almost, they include three dashes of Kalani Coconut Liqueur we don't have.) Think of this as a grown-up Piña Colada.

The blend of rums is what powers the drink. The pineapple and coconut are present but it is the rum that really shines. And it's wonderful! (though a little stronger than your average cocktail). You do need to use the Smith & Cross for the underlying funkiness it provides. Any of the '151' overproof rums will be fine. Death & Co recommends El Dorado but we happen to have a bottle of Lemon Hart. Plantation 3 Stars is our go-to choice for white rum.