Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kailey's Piña Coladas

Yes, we like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, or so the song goes.

My younger brother has a certain fondness for all things tropical, and has since he was a kid. His dream job when he was maybe six years old was being a professional soccer player by day, who also moonlighted as a tiki carver in Hawaii during the off season. Needless to say, when he found out I wanted to try my hand at making piña coladas while he was away at camp, he pretty much insisted I swap my schedule around so he could try one for himself.

I am actually not a huge fan of piña coladas, so I'm not entirely sure why I decided I really wanted to make one. This is especially odd to me because I actually really like coconut and pineapple, so you'd think a drink that's basically a combination of the two would be right up my alley. In any case, I decided to make them, and all things considered, I think it worked out pretty well.

Piña coladas - like virtually every other iconic food - have a muddled origin story that's apparently hotly debated amongst drink historians and enthusiastic, especially in Puerto Rico. Apparently they take their national drink very seriously! The earliest stories about a drink similar to the modern piña colada comes from a 19th century pirate, Roberto Cofresí, who apparently gave his crew a mixture of coconut juice, pineapple juice and white rum to keep them happy on their voyages. When he died in 1825, the drink apparently was lost to history for some time.

The drink as we know it today can be traced back to the early 1950's or 60's, and is claimed by three different bartenders as their own unique creation. I'm always really interested to hear how things like this happen, like with the ice cream sodas - that's simple enough that I can totally see a few different people having the idea to combine ice cream and soda independently of each other, and the piña colada kind of falls under that, too. The three main ingredients just sort of make sense to combine together, don't they?

My version of the drink came from, and can be found here! Now, for anyone who's hoping this is going to give them a bit of a buzz, remember I don't like alcohol and my brother's underage, so what I made has zero alcohol in it, but this definitely wouldn't be difficult to add a shot of rum to it if that's more your style.

Now, since I still don't have a blender, I put my ice in a food processor first before dumping it and all the other ingredients into a bowl, and then used an immersion blender to get it all mixed together.

Pretty straightforward, right?

You're left with a frothy, smooth, tasty looking white beverage that's pretty much demanding to have a paper umbrella put in it.

And you guys know me by now - the fact that this took like, ten minutes to make at the absolute most makes it pretty cool. The ice probably helps with that, too.

Man, sorry, that was really bad, wasn't it? I'll stop with the puns. The really, really bad puns.

The drink itself is pretty darn tasty. I wouldn't say this is the best piña colada I've ever had - and my brother fully admitted it's not the best one he's ever had, and he's become pretty well versed on the subject - but it was still tasty, and if you're not near a professional bar tender in Hawaii or the Caribbean or something, this will certainly do in a pinch.

My only real complaint with this was that I was planning on having lots of people try these, mostly because the ingredients only came in portions were it was kind of wasteful to just make a single serving. Unfortunately, the day that I made them we also had gone out for dinner and ice cream, so no one was really enthusiastic about adding a pretty fattening tropical drink to the tally that night except my brother. I'll admit I didn't even have a full one, and then I had a lot of left over coconut cream I didn't know what to do with.

Bottom line, these were very tasty if frighteningly not Weight Watcher friendly, but make sure you're making enough for a couple people, because otherwise you're kind of in a bind with the ingredients. I guess I need to find a use for coconut cream and fast!

One other thing I wanted to talk about while I've got you all here is the one thing we all probably think of when we here piña colada - Escape, a.k.a. The Piña Colada Song. I don't know why I've always had an affection for this song, as it's not exactly a favorite musician or style of music, but pretty much any time I see or hear piña colada, my mind helpfully belts out IF YOU LIKE PIÑA COLADAS pretty much instantly. You've definitely heard the song and might have been mumbling it while reading this post.

(It's okay to admit it, I'm certainly not going to judge you.)

The song was written and recorded by Rupert Holmes, and was released in September of 1979. It was originally just titled "Escape", but as the line about piña coladas seemed to stick with audiences more, Holmes reluctantly decided to change the name to Escape (The Piña Colada Song) so people recognized it for what it was. It was originally going to be called "People Need Other People", and the most memorable line was supposed to be "If you like Humphrey Bogart", which definitely does not sound nearly as catchy. The song was so popular, it was the last number one Billboard Hot 100 hit of the 1970's, and is still popular (if a bit overdone) today. You'll get to hear if if you head out to see Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy this month, which was a lot of fun and gets my personal recommendation as something you should definitely do this weekend, if you haven't already, and even then.

(Still not as good as Winter Soldier though. Yes, I'm still on about that, I'm sure I'm driving everyone crazy.)

Anyway, with one month of summer left, this is a fun way to take yourself on a little escape if you're like me and didn't get to go on vacation this year. Clean up is pretty easy, and it's a nice thing to treat yourself with if you're in the mood for something tropical.

Now I'm wondering if any bars called O'Malley's have them on the menu.


  1. *From Julie's doll mom, Sharry:*

    I love Pina Coladas, and I have the record (yes, I said it, a 45 to be exact), of that song. As for the cococut cream...why not try to make some ice-cream w/ it?

    1. That's a good idea! Guess I better try to dig up some recipes. c:


    ahem. Yeah, I like that song a lot.

    I would definitely add rum to mine.

    1. It's an excellent song! I don't even really mind when it gets stuck in my head.

  3. Nothing says summer like a tropical drink and this one is a classic!