Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Inside SCOOP: National Pina Colada Day


 “If you like Piña Coladas...”

Chances are you might like getting caught in the rain? 

Or, more likely, you’ll be enjoying your fair share of the delicious island drink during the hot summer weather.  What better day than National Piña Colada Day!

Yes… it’s a holiday… and as a fan of the rum-based cocktail, it occurred to me that while I knew the basic ingredients: rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice and crushed ice, then a pineapple wedge and/or maraschino cherry for flare - I didn't know much about how/when this drink got started.

Here’s to you, Monchito!
As the story goes, the Piña Colada (Spanish: piña, pineapple + colada, strained) was created on August 16, 1954 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As head bartender at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero was tasked with creating a signature drink for the popular hotel’s A-List Hollywood patrons - Like John Wayne and Gloria Swanson. A task, he took seriously, pureeing, experimenting and concocting for three months before unveiling the cocktail.  (After all, who wants “The Duke” moseying up from poolside to complain about his drink?)

The piña colada was a smash hit and earned Marrero much acclaim by 1978, when the government proclaimed it to be the official drink of Puerto Rico. Add to that the extra publicity of Rupert Holmes 1980s hit, “Escape,” and the rest is sweet, sweet, history.

In honor of national piña colada day, here are a few recipes to try:

Source: Islands Magazine (July/August 2000)

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. heavy cream
6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed ice
Place ingredients in a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. Pour into a 12 oz. glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry. Add a red straw.
Tip: For the best tropical taste, always use fresh pineapple juice, never canned or mixes.

But, since it’s a rich beverage, here are a few alternates for those looking for a lighter PC without skimping on taste, here are a few more – including a green, health food recipe:
More pineapple, less guilt

For a creamier, breakfast-friendly option

and as promised, the Green Piña Colada Smoothie recipe from the Simple Gourmet Kitchen that mixes in apples and fresh kale for added boost of vitamin A and calcium.

Enjoy and I look forward to sharing more Inside Scoops on the foods we love!

Peace & love,

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