The Piña Colada cocktail consists of rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice. Whereas the Martini has been esteemed as the king of cocktails, the Piña Colada, sadly, has been belittled as the jester—as anything so carefree and fun loving is bound to be. It didn’t help when the breezy “Piña Colada Song” became as much a lounge staple as swizzle sticks. (The Rupert Holmes tune is actually titled “Escape.”) Rum and pineapple juice have always been natural partners, but cream of coconut, introduced in 1952, would make for an indivisible ménage à trois. Ramon Manchito Marrero Pérez was tending bar at the Caribe Hilton when he was introduced to the product Coco Lopez, and the Piña Colada, translated as “squeezed pineapple,” was born. A sign at La Barra in San Juan’s Old City has a different claim: In 1963, the Piña Colada was created there by Don Ramón Portas Migot. That both claimants have four names might indicate a tie, but most authorities credit Pérez.
A Piña Colada can be made a bit more pungent by using a mix of light and dark rum. For a slightly pulpier drink, substitute 2 ounces crushed pineapple for 2 ounces pineapple juice. Do not mistake coconut milk for cream of coconut.
Chi Chi: Substitute vodka for the rum.
Banana Colada: Peel, slice, and freeze 3 bananas; then add them to the blender in place of the ice.
Photo by Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock.