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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Piña Colada: a recipe for tropical cocktail enjoyment

Whenever I’m in Hawaii I like to kick back on the lanai and enjoy a Piña Colada cocktail (if not several). Assignment #1 upon arrival is to get to the grocery store and/or the ABC Store to get some rum and Piña Colada “fixins”. It’s a delicious cocktail, especially if you enjoy sweeter cocktails, rum-based cocktails, or tiki cocktails, and it’s not that hard to make. Unless you have a lot more dedication as a bartender than I do (or are staying in a really nice condo), you may not have adequate bar gear on vacation. If that’s the case (and even at home, if you prefer), you can substitute a pineapple-coconut juice blend for the juices listed in my recipe. The advantage of using two separate juices is that you can also use the pineapple juice to make Mai Tais. Try to avoid commercial Piña Colada mixers unless you have a real need to use them. They’re high in sugar (that’s why they taste so good), but don’t really taste as good as the natural juices.

I usually use Coco Reál® Cream of Coconut for my cocoanut drinks, but it’s hard to measure it so I usually “guestimate” the amount and just squirt some directly from the squeeze bottle into the mixing cup or blender. You can build this cocktail directly in a highball glass. The Coco Reál might not completely dissolve if you’re stirring or shaking with ice, so you should stir only the liquid ingredients briskly until there are no lumps before adding ice to ensure the cocktail is well mixed. This is not an issue, however, if you’re using a blender.

Piña Colada

2 oz light (or gold) Rum

½ - 1 oz Coco Reál® Cream of Coconut (one healthy squirt)

4 oz Pineapple juice

Combine the ingredients in a highball glass and stir well to dissolve the Coco Reál. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir again. (To blend, just combine the ingredients with ice in a blender.) For garnish, pin a bright red maraschino cherry to a pineapple wedge or orange wheel, and serve with a straw.

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