- 60ml quality light rum
- 60ml strained pineapple juice
- 60ml Coco Lopez
Blend all ingredients with ice, and serve in a pineapple.
There’s just three ingredients in the classic Piña Colada recipe, but it’s not as easy as all that — then again, neither is it difficult. So why has the drink copped so much scorn in the past?
“It’s funny how such a drink can make so many customers happy, yet so many bartenders feel that they can define themselves as a ‘better’ bartender by not making them,” said Tom Bulmer when we first published this piece a few years back. He’s kind of an ambassador for all things rum, and a connoisseur of fine floral shirts, so you ought to listen when he talks.
“The Piña Colada has as much right to survival as any other forgotten classic and non-existent bitters. While many focus on pre-prohibition we also can’t forget the golden era of the 40’s and 50’s,” reckons Bulmer.
“While many say these cocktails are too ‘fruity’ to be classics, I can assure you if bars actually had access to fresh Caribbean fruits before 1920 they would have used them!” he said. “Besides, good luck finding a blender in the 1800’s.”
And what about the tarnished reputation of the blender as a tool behind the bar? Should people turn their nose up at blending the drink? Bulmer thinks not.
“Blending can be as much an art form as any other technique of making drinks,” he said, “even the use of flash blending for a Papa Doble or dry blending and whisking, which is common in current contemporary cocktails.”
Blending is absolutely crucial to the Piña Colada, too.
“Considering where this classic comes from, it’s even more important on those 40 degree days by the pool — would you have a whisky by the beach in Havana? The problem I think is that so many bartenders overlook the importance of using a blender properly. Just like over diluting a martini it is very easy to over ice a blended cocktail.”
As this is a drink of just three ingredients, using the best ingredients is important. Take the pineapple, you want to use fresh stuff, not bottled.
“If we are taking every other fresh pressed juice seriously these days, then why not the noble pineapple?” said Bulmer. “It’s the king of fruit!”
“You can’t really achieve the balance needed in this cocktail without using some fresh pineapple or freshly strained pineapple,” he said. “With a cocktail that only has three components it is important to use fresh juice as it is the only way to balance out the amazing sweetness of the Coco Lopez.”
Take a look at how Bulmer pulls together the classic Piña Colada recipe in the video below.
Tom Bulmer, of Chimmi’s Rum Cantina in Sydney, shows us how to make a real, traditional Pina Colada