The Piña Colada

After a week of warm, muggy days I was longing for something sweet and icy, and ice cream wasn’t hitting the spot. A flip through my trusty book of inspiration led me to the perfect — and perfectly ironic — thing: a classic blended cocktail, the piña colada.

The piña colada was created at a Caribbean bar in the mid twentieth century, although its origins may stretch back much further to take advantage of locally available ingredients. The cocktail was of course made internationally famous by the Rupert Holmes song “Escape,” better known as “The Piña Colada Song.” And doesn’t everyone like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain? Those of us who had never tried the drink before were about to find out.


There are numerous variations on this recipe, but since this one was new to most of us, balanced proportions made sense, as follows:

• 6 ice cubes, lightly crushed
• 2 oz light amber rum
• 2 oz fresh pineapple, plus a splash of juice
• 2 oz cream of coconut
• 0.5 oz cherry liqueur

Blend ice, rum, pineapple and juice, and cream of coconut in a blender until frothy (70s-era bender optional). Pour drink into a glass with 2 or 3 additional ice cubes; garnish (we used frozen cherries and fresh pineapple chunks). Drizzle the cherry liqueur over top of the poured cocktail and serve.

The verdict: With the legendary Mr Holmes playing in the background, we raised our glasses. Reactions to this drink? Most ominously: “Boozy!” Indeed, the alcohol in this method is double what one would encounter in a restaurant, and the amber rum really steps forward. (If you prefer a tamer experience, reduce the rum to 1 ounce.) The cherry liqueur pulls the flavours together delightfully.

For me, this is not an everyday cocktail, but it certainly is summery. Now to find some rain to get caught in …

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