Eternal Summer: Four Variations on the Classic Piña Colada
Classic Piña Colada
A Piña Colada is a delicious and refreshing beverage that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for decades. It's made with coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum. The original recipe was created in 1954 by Ramon Marrero Jr., who was working as a bartender at the Caribe Hilton hotel. He wanted to combine his favorite ingredients of lime, pineapple, and shaved ice into one drink which he called "Pineapple Rum Punch." His head bartender came up with the name "Piña Colada" after adding Spanish words for Pineapple (piña) and Coconut (cole). Since then, there have been many variations on this classic cocktail, some more traditional than others.
In recent times there are also piña colada liqueurs which can be easily used in a variety of cocktails and mixes. There are many different variations that can be used when making a Piña Colada, from the traditional recipe to using coconut cream or pineapple juice as an alternative ingredient.
Classic Piña Colada
The classic Piña Colada calls for a combination of rum, coconut cream or milk and pineapple juice. Some people choose to use a blender for this drink so that all the ingredients mix together well but it is not necessary. Blending also makes the drink less thick which some may like better than having ice chunks in their Piña Colada. It can be served with crushed ice instead if desired, however one must remember to shave the ice first before serving because otherwise you will end up with an icy texture rather than refreshing bits of pineapple throughout your cocktail. One should keep in mind that shaved ice melts faster compared to cubes therefore making it harder for you to enjoy your beverage slowly without spilling over the edge. If using fresh fruit, don't garnish; slice small pieces of pineapple or even some fresh fruit such as mango or strawberries. You can even add some mint leaves to make it look more attractive.
Pineapple-Coconut Pina Colada
A variation to the classic pina colada is the pineapple-coconut pina colada made using coconut milk instead of cream. This Pineapple Piña Colada has a sweeter taste and is lighter than the original drink.
This variation offers the subtle taste of coconut milk with the refreshing taste of pineapple. The drink is less heavy and creamier than a traditional pina colada which makes it much easier to enjoy your beverage over an extended period without becoming sick.
If you want to add even more coconut flavor, sprinkle some shredded coconut on top for decoration or add them in when making this variation. You can also use fresh fruit instead of canned pineapples but always remember that using ice cubes will make your drink watered down quicker since they are made from ice cold water therefore adding a lot more water into your cocktail.
Have a zest for strawberries? Then you will love this strawberry variation of the piña colada, made using Piña Colada liqueur, pineapple juice and strawberries.
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender to make sure that everything is well mixed before pouring into glasses with ice cubes. Garnish with some strawberry slices on top for decoration. Serve immediately so that the beverage is not watered down by the ice cubes. This variation has an extra fruity taste thanks to the addition of fresh strawberries but it also provides more vitamin C than your standard piña colada recipe.
The Mango Piña Colada offers the great sweet and tangy taste of fresh mangoes, but there is still the creamy and refreshing ingredients of standard piña colada recipes. This variation substitutes fresh cubed mangoes for pineapple chunks and uses coconut cream as a replacement for coconut milk. To make everything blend together nicely you will want to use crushed ice rather than just regular ice cubes because it will be smoother when pouring into the glasses.
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender to make sure that everything is well mixed because if not then you will end up with some chunks of ingredients floating around in the drink. Put the mixture into a container and place it in the refrigerator for an hour or two before serving chilled as desired.
This Piña Colada is extremely refreshing on those hot summer days, but you can also enjoy this during any time of year once you have made it at home. You may want to try out a few different variations yourself until you find what tastes best. You can use either fresh or canned pineapples depending upon which one works better for your recipe. Sometimes when making something like this it is best to improvise after trying several batches because everyone always wants their own special twist from the classic beverages.
While you can enjoy a Piña Colada on its own, you can also add coconut rum to the mix, if you want to try out a few variations this is an excellent place to start. Another great twist is adding some coffee liqueur in with the mixture because there's nothing better than having your coffee and drink all in one.