On my first day in college, I sat at a desk where someone had carved a phrase about liking piña colada and getting caught in the rain. The phrase was probably carved during one of those boring lectures in Math. Who carved it, I’ll never know. I was 15, I never had a piña colada in my life and, heck, I didn’t even know exactly what the drink contained except that it surely had pineapple in it. But I’ll never forget the image that the words formed inside my head. I thought it was very, very romantic.
I would learn much later that the phrase consists of two lines from a song by Rupert Holmes entitled Escape but which became more popularly known as The Piña Colada Song.
Piña colada is considered the national drink of Puerto Rico. Story has it that the captain of a pirate ship used to serve the drink to his crew. Piña Colada is also the title of a short story by Filipino writer H.O. Santos and whether or not it is coincidence, rain also figures in it.
The basic piña colada contains four parts of light rum, three parts of unsweetened pineapple juice (or crushed pineapples) and two parts of coconut cream. They are stirred or shaken with ice and served with a wedge of fresh pineapple. The tangy pineapple juice melds with the natural sweetness of the coconut cream and the result is smooth and silky and, well, simply dreamy. Or, perhaps, the dreamy part is something peculiar to me because I still associate the drink with that phrase carved on wood from long ago.
You can adjust the proportions of the ingredients to find the blend that suits you best. Or you can make variations with cream and coconut-flavored liqueur.
Our piña colada formula:
- 2 ounces light rum
- 2 ounces coconut rum
- 3 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice
- 2 ounces unsweetened coconut cream (fresh is best but you may substitute canned or powdered)
Place ice cubes in a small pitcher. Add all the ingredients. Stir until chilled. Pour into glasses and serve. Optionally, garnish with a wedge of pineapple.
Tip: Shaking makes the coconut cream form too much froth. Stirring, with no shaking, minimizes this. Of course, there are people who like froth on top of their piña colada. If you're one of them, go ahead and use a cocktail shaker.