Inside the Hidden Piña Colada at Sydney bar, Old Mate’s Place

Order a Piña Colada at Sydney bar, Old Mate’s Place, and you might be a little confused.

For one, you’re handed a glass with nothing but a block of ice and a garnish in it, along with the book. But even when you work out that the book holds a hip flask and the hip flask contains your drink, when you pour it over the block ice in your glass it pours clear.

It pours crystal clear, in fact, but one sip confirms that you’re drinking a Piña Colada here.

So what’s going on?


“For the Hidden Piña Colada we have several elements we need to nail before we batch it and serve,” says co-owner Andres Walters.

There’s a whole bunch of technique going into this drink, that’s true, but it’s all happening before the shift.

Take a look at the recipe below — it’s a doozy.

Hidden Pina Colada

  • 700 ml pineapple Bati white rum
  • 700 ml coconut liquor
  • 1.5 litre pineapple water
  • Pineapple flavour 
  1. Batch this together and portion into the hip flasks.
  2. Serve the hip flask (cold) in a book.
  3. Place a large ice cube in a rocks glass, sprinkle the pineapple dust over the ice cube and place the Piña Colada Marshmallow over the top.

For the Pineapple water:
We start with a pineapple and clean it thoroughly.
We take the skin off the pineapple leaving a small amount of flesh on the skin part.
We add this to 1.5Lt of water and sous vide it for 20 mins.
We let this sit for 24 hours and strain out.
We’ll be using this as a lengthener instead of just plain water

For the Pineapple Rum:
With the pineapple we have just cut the skin off we then cut that into large chunks and sprinkle with sugar.
Add this to a pot until the pineapple gets slightly soft but not browned
We’re just activating the natural sugars because sometimes pineapples can be super sour depending on the season.
We add the chunks of 1 pineapple to 3 bottles of Bati White Rum and Sous Vide this for 30mins
Once this is done we strain the pineapple out

For the Pineapple Dust:
We now have the left over chunks from the pineapple which we throw through the juicer
We keep the juice aside and use that for the Pineapple Flavour (We’ll explain that in a minute)
With the left over pulp from the juicer we add this to a tray and put it in the dehydrator for about 8hours or so.
Once its hard we blitz it up into a fine dust. We’ll use half of this in the pina colada Marshmallow and the rest gets dusted onto a big rock when we serve the drink.
Best keep this in a dry place.

For the Pineapple Flavour:
With the juice we put aside from above we use a coffee filter to strain it in the fridge. This gets rid of all the residual pulp and also helps to clarify it. Once we have done this we add 100ml of sugar syrup, 3g of calcium lactate, 3g of citric acid. The Calcium lactate is where we are going to get our creamy element for the pina colada. Essentially this tastes like a creamy pineapple sherbet, it’s the tits!

For the Piña Colada Marshmallow:
Coconut liqueur
Whipped egg whites
Castor sugar
Whip some egg whites.
Once the egg whites have formed soft peaks add the rest to a mixer. Whip it for about 10 mins.
Set it in a baking tray
Cut into pineapple shapes. Dust with the pineapple dust. Thank me later, you’ve got Pina Colada Marshmallows.