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The Piña Colada Is Back In Style — Here's A Great Twist On The Caribbean Classic
With a lime shortage going on and summer fast approaching, people are turning to tiki drinks to sip on this season.
But none more so than the sweet, creamy, rum-based favorite, the Piña Colada.
“I think the rise in popularity goes back to the ‘everything old is new again’ discovery phase we are in right now with the millennial audience,” Andrew Freeman, founder of the hospitality consulting agency Andrew Freeman & Co, explained to Business Insider in an email. “There are so many classic items that are being re-introduced in modern ways for a crowd of people that never knew them before. Couple this with the rise of island food, fresh fruits and vegetables being used in cocktails, and the Piña Colada is the perfect drink.”
Three Puerto Rican bartenders claim ownership of the Piña Colada, which happens to be Puerto Rico’s national beverage. The most famous version of the story credits the drink to bartender Ramon "Monchito" Marrero of the Caribe Hilton back in 1954. According to the hotel, Monchito spent 3 months mixing, tasting, and discarding hundreds of combinations until he got the perfect blend.
Monchito made no secret of his original recipe, and today the Caribe Hilton features it proudly on its website: "Pour 2 ounces of light rum, 1 ounce of coconut cream, 1 ounce of heavy cream, and 6 ounces of fresh pineapple into a blender. Add ice. Blend for 15 seconds. Pour into a 12-ounce glass. Add a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry for garnish."
This is a perfectly acceptable way to make a Piña Colada. Some would even say it’s the best way.
But there's a twist on the original recipe that takes the Piña Colada to the next level. Called the Rocket Fuel and invented by the bartenders of Fire Island, it's a liquored-up version made with Bacardi 151 floater and Amaretto.
The Island Mermaid, a Fire Island staple that has been around for 24 years, shared its own delicious recipe for making the island favorite, which owner Scott Hirsch warns can “sneak up on you.”
Here is the Island Mermaid’s seriously awesome take on the drink, courtesy of Hirsch:
Instead of mixing all the ingredients in the blender, we make the Piña Colada freshly with gold rum (not silver because it affects the flavor). You pour the gold rum over the ice in the blender and add the Piña Colada mix until the ice barely rises. Then blend.
Listen for the ice to disappear. Seriously, listen. It matters a little.
In the glass you are using, pour a shot of 151 rum. Then take the blended colada and pour it over the shot so it runs up through the drink. We recommend a 12-14 ounce pour. Then, gently circle the top of the drink with a floater of amaretto. The first sips are "sweet" getting you ready for the blast down below!
That's it. Garnish with a slice of pineapple. Blast off.
Whether you prefer your Piña Colada classic or with a serious kick, expect to see a lot more of these tiki drinks this summer.