Wet Bar Wednesday – Pina Colada

Last summer we had two girls from Switzerland living with us for three months.  One of them celebrated her 21st birthday while staying with us, so I offered to make her the drink of her choice.  She responded very quickly that she wanted a pina colada.

Pina coladas are one of those fruity drinks that I have never ordered or made on principle of being a man.  That’s undoubtedly backwards thinking and many of my masculine readers will be quick to chastise me for this appalling lack of sensitivity.  Duly noted.
That being said, I found a recipe for the drink and procured the ingredients, the least appealing of which was a highly processed, exceedingly thick coconut cream available only in well-stocked liquor stores and that squirts out of a plastic bottle with all the appeal of a lanced boil.  It was more gelatinous than creamy, to put it mildly.  However, who was I to question The Recipe?
The resulting drinks were incredibly sweet, and seemed to please our guests greatly (or else they were just being very polite).  I could barely finish mine it was so sweet.  I’ve since learned that this sweetened coconut cream is hardly de rigueur for the drink.  Never be afraid to question the recipe, or at least an ingredient in a recipe.  Most of the fun in bartending is the creative aspect, and learning to modify drinks to suit your tastes, or learning which recipes are most appealing for a given drink should be part of the fun.
Since then I’ve located several other recipes for this drink.  I haven’t tried them yet, but just based on the ingredients I can almost guarantee they’ll be much better.  Here’s the first one I’ll be trying when the need arises.
Rum is the very fine contribution to the world of liquor made by the Caribbean and sugar cane.  While it once was rather limited to white rum, spiced (dark) rum has become almost as ubiquitous, and this has been further appended to by a variety of flavored rums.  Malibu is one of the oldest and most established, blending white rum with coconut flavorings that are perfect for a pina colada.
Pina Colada
2 parts Malibu Rum
2 parts pineapple juice
1 part cream or half-and-half (you can use milk, but at least use whole milk)
pineapple slice & cherry to garnish
Mix all the liquid ingredients together with crushed ice.  If you don’t have crushed ice, throw everything into a blender and pulse into thick but uniformly crushed.  Skewer a piece of fresh pineapple and a maraschino cherry onto a toothpick or cocktail fork and serve in a tall glass.  This is a refreshing drink that would be good on a warm day.  Enjoy!  

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