Piña coladas – an easy recipe that captures the taste of the islands

Did you know that Sunday was National Pina Colada Day? The iconic sweet and creamy Puerto Rican cocktail is recognized on July 10 every year, but the fruity drink can really hit any hot summer day.

Like many food products that enjoy international fame, the history of the iconic drink is as murky as the drink itself with at least two places claiming to be the origin of the piña colada, according to liquor.com. What both statements agree on, however, is that this summer drink originated in the city now known as La Ciudad Amurallada, San Juan.

One story attributes the drink’s creation to Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Pérez, the head bartender at the Caribe Hilton in Old San Juan. He launched the Caribbean drink in 1952. Liquor.com explains that Barrachina, a restaurant also located in El Viejo San Juan, has a mounted plaque claiming that Ramón Portas Mingot created the drink in 1963.

Although the invention of the famous cocktail may be a moot point, the popular drink hasn’t lost its followers around the world, especially in the Puerto Rican and Caribbean communities. Leon López, owner of Salsa’s Southwest Grill and Bar, shared his piña colada recipe.

According to López, for the piña colada recipe, you’ll need three ounces of coconut cream, two ounces of Bacardi silver, and three ounces of pineapple juice. All the ingredients go into the blender with some ice. López said it’s best to stir the mixture until the ice is completely dissolved. He likes to top his piña colada with roasted coconut flakes, fresh pineapple and cherries.

“I would personally enjoy this delicious drink sitting on the beach in Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico, my home country,” López said.

Karen Grava, from Wallingford, said the piña coladas often reminded her of her honeymoon in Italy, where she enjoyed the refreshing drink while exploring a canal in Venice.

Grava said piña coladas are a good drink for sitting by the pool. She sometimes makes piña coladas at home and has noted that she adds Coco López coconut cream to her recipe for a special twist.

Lizandra Mejías of Meriden said a piña colada always makes her feel like she’s somewhere tropical. She said she prefers non-alcoholic piña coladas, and when she makes them at home, she uses pineapple juice, fresh pineapple chunks, coconut cream, and lots of ice cream.

“I love the piña colada,” Mejías said. “My favorite place to have them is by the ocean in Puerto Rico. For me, they are the best.

[email protected]: @KarlaSantosNews

Michael M. Tomlin