History of the Piña Colada

Piña Colada – Spanish for strained pineapple – was officially invented on August 15 1954 by a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its exclusive clientele. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after 3 intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first Piña Colada was born.

However, a cocktail named Piña Colada was first mentioned in 1922 in a Travel magazine article, although “that” Piña Colada contained no coconut cream but pineapple juice, lime, sugar and rum.

The cocktail is steadily popular in all Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries, but it is also enjoyed all over the world –  Piña Colada is the favorite drink of Del Boy, one of the leading characters of the cult British comedy series “Only Fools and Horses” and it is also the subject of the 1979 number one hit “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by American musician Rupert Holmes.

There are many varieties of Piña Colada , but the original 1954 recipe goes like this:

Blend or shake 6 ounces of pineapple juice, 3 ounces of coconut cream, 1½ ounces of white rum and crushed ice until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses, garnished with pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.

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