A couple months ago, the hospitality world learned of an ambitious plan for a new industry symposium, Chicago Style. Founded by Shelby…
- Base Spirit Rum
- Preparation Blended
- Flavor Refreshing
- Served Blended
If a curious imbiber looks for information on the Pina Colada, they will find a number of stories that relate it to a time and place near where Coco Lopez was invented: the University of Puerto Rico, 1948. There are conflicting accounts from the years following the tinned ingredient’s creation, with several bars–including The Caribe and a restaurant, Barraachina–claiming the drink for their own. But this is one of those concoctions whose providence is so natural that it should be as simple as the three ingredient drink itself. The components are all abundant in the Caribbean, all are regarded individually as delicious, and the ingredients have ostensibly been around for centuries.
However, if you go just on the translation of the name alone—“strained pineapple”— the drink has been around since Columbus’s second trip to the New World. Pineapple juice and rum were often drank as a digestive aid after meat, probably due in part to Bromelain content in the juice. (Bromelain is a compound used now in meat tenderizer.) In the December 1922 issue of Travel Magazine, the Pina Colada is listed as being a “the juice of a perfectly ripe pineapple—a delicious drink in itself—rapidly shaken up with ice, sugar, lime, and Bacardi rum in delicate proportions.” No mention of coconut and the addition of lime and sugar should stymy some of the Pina Colada’s modern detractors who decry it for being an imbalanced drink.
- Combine ingredients with ice in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour into a Hurricane Glass.
- Have fun with the garnishes and get funky.