My dear, fabulous friend Rory recently took a vacation where he reported consuming copious numbers of a fab cocktail, and he even learned the history behind it. When I asked what drink it might have been, before he had even finished saying the drink’s name, we burst into song together…. And this is how I came to have my second Guest Star Blogger, Mr. Rory Volk, presenting the venerable and delicious Pina Colada! Click on this link to WATCH OUR VIDEO PRESENTATION! See: live cocktail-prep shenanigans! See: Immersion Blender mess-making!
Though I have several vintage cocktail guides, none but the somewhat dull Mr. Boston Deluxe Official Bartender’s Guide included Pina Coladas. (My version of Mr. Boston comes from 1982, but it was first complied in 1935 so I don’t know when the Pina Colada was added.) I did find it, though, in a great new book: “Cocktails A-Go-Go – 100 Swinging Drinks from Bahama Mamas to Salty Dogs” (2003) by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel. The beauty of this book is that they include the history of each drink, as well as photos and illustrations from original recipes, ads and magazines, and it was from this book (and from Rory!) that I learned the drink originated in Puerto Rico in the 50s - a good 25 years before Rupert Holmes and his “own lovely Lady” enjoyed them while getting caught in the rain. (For more juicy historical details, see the video.)
Rory and I made a few variations of the drink, mostly experimenting with the addition and/or omission of dark rum as well as the light rum called for in most recipes. We actually decided the dark rum changed the flavor profile in a strange, somewhat suntan-lotion-y way, so we vote for light rum only. Oh and did I mention we used immersion blenders? My vintage blender had recently died, and the immersion blender was a $5 impulse buy at Wallgreen’s, and one that has actually not disappointed, even with this experiment. Get out your blenders, folks, and whip up a little glass of delight to read while you peruse the personals…
2 ounces light rum
½ ounce dark rum (Rory and Carrie vote to leave this out)
2 ounces cream of coconut
2 – 3 ounces pineapple juice
Mix ingredients in a blender with a few scoops of crushed ice until smooth (about 10 seconds). Pour into a chilled Hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple spear.
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