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The Pina Colada (Rum-Based cocktail)

Tropical Coconut MilkApart from being a well-known song; the Piña Colada is also a sweet, rum-based cocktail. It is made with light rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice and usually served either blended or shaken with ice. The Piña Colada may be garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry.

Piña Colada comes from the Spanish words “piña” meaning pineapple and “colada” meaning strained. So Piña Colada, in essence, means “strained pineapple”.

Tropical Coconut Milk

• 1 pineapple top cut off and hollowed out
• 1 frozen original iced pina colada
• 1 tot coconut milk

Simply pour your original ice frozen pina colada and a tot of coconut milk into a blender and blend.

Pour into a hollowed out pineapple case garnish with a cherry, pineapple, leaves, coconut wedge and cocktail umbrella.

Add two straws and enjoy.

Who made the first Pina Colada

It is claimed that the man responsible for this flavour-filled drink is Ricardo Gracia. Born in Spain in 1914, in a room above his grandfather’s restaurant, Ricardo was quite literally born in the business of hospitality.

Ricardo eventually owned two of the finest restaurants in Barcelona where his success brought in many of the rich and famous. His clientele included Pablo Picasso and Salvadore Dali.

In 1951, the Hilton Corporation persuaded him to sell his restaurants and to sign on with them as the bar manager of theHilton Castellana (the first Hilton International Hotel in Madrid, Spain). Here, Ricardo rubbed shoulders with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Richard Burton, Jackie Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis, Marilyn Monroe, Joe Damaggio, Orson Wells, Tom Jones, Maurice Chevalier, Ava Gardner, Esther Williams, and many more.

Rum Based CocktailIt is here where the story begins. By 1954, Ricardo had been moved to the San Juan, Puerto Rico, Caribe Hilton Hotel where all guests were given a complimentary drink called the "Coco-Loco". This was a mix of coconut juice, rum, and cream of coconut served in a fresh sliced coconut (cut fresh from the trees around the hotel).

On one particular day the ‘coconut cutters union’ decided to strike. The hotel and Ricardo suddenly found themselves without coconuts. Not wanting to serve his creation in plain glasses he noticed a large supply of fresh pineapples at the hotel. He cut the top off a pineapple and poured the "Coco-Loco" mix inside and served it with a straw. This added just a hint of pineapple flavour. To improve the taste even more he added crushed ice and strained pineapple and dubbed it the "Piña Colada". Soon he was making over a thousand Piña Coladas every night.

As Mr Gracia was transferred throughout the Hilton Chain he took his drink with him and soon it became the most sought after and well-known tropical drink that we know of today.

As with most popular drinks, there are a few contradictory claims. Below you will find another reference:

The earliest known reference to a drink specifically called a Piña Colada is from TRAVEL magazine, December 1922:

“But best of all is a piña colada, the juice of a perfectly ripe pineapple—a delicious drink in itself—rapidly shaken up with ice, sugar, lime and Bacardi rum in delicate proportions. What could be more luscious, more mellow and more fragrant?”

The above quote describes a drink without coconut, as the piña colada was originally just the juice of a fresh pineapple served either strained (colada) or unstrained (sin colar). This evolved into a rum drink, and finally it changed into the drink we know today.


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