The Classic Piña Colada.
This drink is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry or both. When mixed with vodka, it is called a King Henry.
How exactly this drink came up together? Well, there are a couple of stories:
- The piña colada was introduced on August 16, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by its alleged creator, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its clientele. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after 3 intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first piña colada was born. This story is more credible because the piña colada contains cream of coconut as one of the primary ingredients, and the cream of coconut “Coco López” (which is the pioneer) was invented in 1954 in the University of Puerto Rico by Ramón López Irizarry.
- The earliest known story states that in the 1800s, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí (a.k.a. “El Pirata Cofresí”), to boost his crew’s morale he gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum. This was what would be later known as the famous piña colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the piña colada was lost.
- Barrachina, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, also claims to be the birth place of the piña colada:In 1963, on a trip to South America Mr Barrachina met another popular Spaniard and bartender Mr. Ramon Portas Mingot. Don Ramon has worked with the best places in Buenos Aires and associated with ‘Papillon’ the most luxurious bar in Carcao and was also recognized for his cocktail recipe books. Pepe Barrachina and Don Ramon developed a great relationship. While working as the main bartender at Barrachina (a restaurant in Puerto Rico), Ramon mixed pineapple juice, coconut cream, condensed milk and ice in a blender, creating a delicious and refreshing drink, known today as the Piña Colada.