In 1978, the Piña Colada was named Puerto Rico’s official national drink, learn how to make the refreshing cocktail like they do on the island.
By Michelle M. Winner
A frothy mix of creamy coconut milk, pineapple and rum, the Piña Colada was invented at Caribe Hilton Puerto Rico. Image: Hilton
Just a short two-hour flight from the states, Puerto Rico is the perfect island escape. The Caribe Hilton offers quaint international charm with the comforts of home and it was where the Piña Colada recipe was created.
At a time when tourism was just getting started in Puerto Rico, large and sometimes over-the-top resorts were built by the airlines and major hoteliers of the day. Think marble and chandeliers in the grand lobby opening out to a sandy beach. French chefs were imported and cuisine was incredible although with European flair. But visitors wanted exotic island flavors and a tropical feeling for their island vacation.
Enter bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero in 1954, who worked at Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico. Experimenting for three months and benefiting from the availability of local rum distilleries, he invented the Piña Colada. it was an instant success. He personally continued to serve them at the hotel for another 35 years. In 1978, the cocktail was named Puerto Rico’s official national drink.
I don’t know about you but when it starts raining here in the Pacific Northwest I start making airline reservations. Puerto Rico and a Piña Colada sounds really good right now.
- 2 oz. rum
- 1 oz. coconut cream
- 1 oz. heavy cream
- 6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
- ½ cup crushed ice
- Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender.
- Add ice and mix for 15 seconds.
- Serve in a 12-oz glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.
Michelle was born with a fork in her hand. As a culinary travel writer and confirmed foodophile she delights in the world-wide discovery of new flavor profiles, spices, salts and herbs. Based in one of the world's foodie meccas; Portland, Oregon, not far from "Pinot Noir Heaven" Michelle shares culinary travel and chef's recipes. Her photography has appeared in Saveur Magazine and she has contributed culinary travel articles to Forbes online, WSJ online, Business Insider, Condé Nast Digital Media, Islands magazine and many others. A confirmed globetrotter, she still keeps her bags packed and fork in hand (well . . . except through airport security.)