Photo Credit: Matthew Carter
The origins of the first Piña Colada are not exactly clear, what is known for sure however is that it was most likely created in Puerto Rico. A delicious combination of rum, coconut cream, pineapple, and sometimes heavy cream was first served up sometime between 1954 and 1963. Since that time the Piña Colada has been well traveled and became a cocktail staple from tiki to cocktail bars alike all over the world. The first variations were most likely born out of a broken or missing blenders therefore becoming a shaken cocktail. The current craft cocktail movement throughout the globe is pushing even more variations out of this classic from the Golden age.
Today, variations of the classic Piña Colada range from subtle differences to what some might consider to be extreme. Changing the spirit base to everything from whiskey to tequila and mezcal may be too adventurous but that's just scratching the surface. The variation below takes the fruit and tropical flavors of a classic cocktail and turns them on their heads.
1oz Copper and Kings Absinthe Blanche
1oz Copper and KIngs History of Lovers Gin
1oz Real Coconut Cream
1oz Pineapple Juice
Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin. Add ice and shake. Pour contents into a Hurricane or Pearl Diver glass. Top with fresh crushed ice if needed. Garnish with pineapple fronds, edible orchid, and a sugar cube on an absinthe spoon.
The spices and herbs from the absinthe brings notes of licorice and baking spices. The tropical citrus flavor from the gin works with the cream and pineapple to round out the classic fruit flavors of a classic Piña Colada.
History says that after tasting a Piña Colada actress Joan Crawford once stated, "It was better than slapping Bette Davis in the face.” That statement probably didn’t do much to squash the bad blood between the two actresses, but it sure solidified the Piña Colada into cocktail history.