It’s Time For a Pina Colada!

It’s been so long since I found the actual person who invented a specific cocktail! I thought I found the one person who invented it.

Then I read elsewhere that there are a few possibilities. Figures.

Spanish bartender, Ramon Portas Mingot who worked at the Barrachina in Puerto Rico in 1963, tossed pineapple juice, milk and rum together in a blender which soon became known as the Pina Colada.

The Barrachina, the ‘king of Paella”, is located in the beautiful and vibrant Old San Juan.

Personally, I had to look up the location of Puerto Rico. I thought it was near Mexico. High School Geography was a long time ago. For those who don’t know, it is a small island off the eastern tip of Dominican Republic.

That’s one.

Within the Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico is The Beachcombers Bar where Ramon “Monchito” Marrero tended bar in 1954. Management asked him to create a signature drink for the bar which offered the flavours of the island.

Apparently, it took him 3 months to find the perfect cocktail made up of rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice.

That’s two.

Still at the Caribe Hilton in the same year, Ricardo Garcia claims to have invented the drink. According to him, there was a coconut cutters strike going on at that time. He had been making rum and cream of coconut, served with the actual coconut. Due to the strike, he started using hollowed out pineapple.

The juice from the insides of the pineapple added flavour to the drink. It became so popular, he added a little pineapple juice to the actual drink.

And so, we have the Pina Colada which, according to some, translates into “strained pineapple”. Google didn’t fully agree. But we all know what google does with words.

Homemade Pina Colada with coconut rum and coconut water.

The common thread? The Pina Colada is the national drink of Puerto Rico.

Not every city will serve this cocktail in the traditional pineapple but it can be done at home quite easily. In this video, she makes it look so easy. It is IF you have a pineapple corer.

These series of photos are done from home using a corer. Instead of using cream of coconut, I used coconut water. Very light and refreshing! And oh so delicious, some of the pineapple juice pooled inside at the bottom. Added flavour!

With all the bad news coverage, it is no surprise that United Airlines has the lowest last minute fares to Puerto Rico. Round trip is approximately $800. Personally, I would still fly United. I always have and never had any problems. Of course, depending on what time of year you go, the price will change. For example, in September you’re looking at about $600 and later in November, they’re up to about $900.

Old San Juan, founded 1509, is an old fort town which went through its share of attacks from the British, Dutch and even the States. There are plenty of historical forts to visit.

A slushy Pina Colada at Burrito Borracho in downtown Ottawa.

When you do get to San Juan, make sure you indulge in a Pina Colada. If you are elsewhere in the world today for National Pina Colada Day, I hope you will enjoy one anyway.

Cheers!

Posted by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe on July 10, 2017