It’s National Piña Colada Day!
Translated literally, means “strained pineapple”.
From our range of frozen drinks, the Piña Colada represents an exotic, playful and indulgent drink and made well, can be quite a thrill to the taste buds. As a bartender, the ones I enjoyed making the most, were the ones we made at The Hawksmoor. What set them apart was the Coconut Sorbet from Ice Cream Union, which we blended with juicy chunks of pineapple and two types of rum. Ridiculously tasty.
The difference between a blended Piña Colada like the one above, and one served from a frozen drinks machine like ours is the air that gets in to the blended one as its tossed around. This results in a slightly lighter (in texture+weight) drink that is pretty pleasing. But the blended ones don’t scale too well so when you’ve got lots to serve and you want them all to look and taste exactly the same, the frozen serve from the slush machine is really worth considering. Along with the Strawberry Daiquiri and Frozen Margaritas, the Piña Colada is a staple from our range and probably always will be.
If you’ve got a frozen drinks machine, following is a recipe using some easily found ingredients that has served us well in the past. The lime juice isn’t traditional, so if you’d like to leave it out, you can do so and in this case, I would simply up the pineapple juice.
Coco Lopez – 4%
Lime juice – 4%
Sugar syrup (1:1) – 18%
Pressed pineapple – 25%
Water – 49%
If you’re not familiar with percentages, all you need to do is multiply your target quantity of liquid (in litres) by the percentage shown for each ingredient above. And with that in mind, following is an example recipe for 5 litres:
Coco Lopez – 0.2L
Lime juice – 0.2L
Sugar syrup (1:1) – 0.9L
Pressed pineapple – 1.25
Water – 2.45
(1-1.5 bottles of light rum)
“These days, we also add a tablespoon or so of desiccated coconut to every 5 litres. I love the little frozen coconut nuggets that you bite in to and I think it makes for a pretty worthwhile addition.”
Our Colada recipe is also evolving to include banana puree these days. Banana Puree is of course not traditional and for that reason, we use it in miniscule amounts so that you can’t detect its flavour. We like it because it brings a grainy texture that is endearing. You also get this texture from the coconut, so I think that used in moderation, it heightens this aspect of the drink and makes for a great, albeit controversial addition.
In one of our twin-bowl frozen drinks machines, the Piña Colada looks pretty awesome sat next to a Strawberry Daiquiri providing a rich, creamy coloured canvas to set the strawberry off. Setting up a slush machine in this way also mean that you get three drinks from 2 blends. ½ Strawberry Daiquiri and ½ Piña Colada gives you a Miami Vice. The Miami Vice also represents an awesome amount of fun to be had in frozen cocktail land. Indulgent, fun, a bit silly, but seriously tasty. I am sure I wasn’t the only who tried every combination of slush puppie flavours as a kid in the sweet shop after school.
Supplied non-alcoholic, our Piña Colada is in fact a Colada in nature. This means that it is a canvas on to which other spirits can be invited to play. The folks at Street Feast for example serve an incredible Tequila Colada using a recipe not unlike the one above, but with the addition of Boiron Coconut which is supremely delicious. Worth getting a few of these in your face this summer.
Before I let you go, here is some back story on the drink…..
In the 1950s in Puerto Rico, a man named Don Ramón Lopez-Irizarry came up with a delicious homogenized cream made from coconut. The product became known as Coco Lopez cream of coconut and was used for tropical dishes and desserts. In 1957 Ramon Marrero, a bartender at Puerto Rico’s Caribe Hilton combined coconut cream with rum, pineapple juice and ice in a blender to create this famous drink.
Apparently, it didn’t catch on immediately as no one knew what it was and they’d give away little 25ml light or golden rum
25ml Dark Rum
15ml Coco Lopez
20ml double cream
30ml unsweetened pineapple juice
Blend all ingredients with crushed ice for a frozen drink or shake and serve over ice in a goblet. Garnish with a pineapple slice and orange slice and a cherry.
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