Celebrating the birthplace of Piña Colada

The piña colada is a cocktail synonymous with the beach. But have you ever wondered which beach?

The Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the birthplace of the famous mixed drink. And 2019 is proving to be an auspicious year at the property.

After being damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the Caribe Hilton is back open for business, with a sleek new look and a renewed sense of vitality.

The timing couldn’t be better, as the Hilton Hotels brand celebrates its centennial in 2019. What better way to commemorate the occasion than with the island’s official beverage?

From concept to drink

Ramon “Monchito” Marrero, who was the Caribe Hilton’s bartender, is often credited with being the inventor of the piña colada, although several other bartenders in the San Juan area have also said it was their idea. In 1954, Marrero was reportedly asked by the Hilton team to come up with a signature drink for the hotel’s Beachcombers Bar — and come up with it he did.”

At the beginning it was only the mix of coconut cream and pineapple juice,” Pablo Torres, the Caribe Hilton’s General Manager, tells CNN Travel.

“He didn’t have rum, and it was called a refresher. Back then there were no blenders [on the island], so he would prepare the piña colada in a shaker, and then when the blenders came we started adding rum and crushed ice and it became very popular.”

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