In the dynamic universe of cocktails, there are few concoctions that capture the essence of tropical indulgence as effectively as the Pina Colada. This iconic drink stands as a testament to the charm of sun-kissed beaches, swaying palm trees, and leisurely escapes to paradise. Rooted in Puerto Rican heritage, the Pina Colada has transcended its Caribbean origins to become a globally celebrated blend.
A harmonious blend of coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum, the drink is essentially a trinity of flavours that transports enthusiasts to a state of perpetual summer. With origins dating back to the 1950s in San Juan, the cocktail has since evolved into a symbol of relaxation and carefree enjoyment. The Pina Colada further solidified its cultural impact with Rupert Holmes' 1979 hit song ‘Escape,’ commonly known as the “Pina Colada song”, which lingered on the Billboard Hot 100 for 23 weeks.
As far as history goes, in a well-known account, the origin of the Pina Colada is credited to Ramón "Monchito" Marrero. Working at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, as a bartender, he was tasked with crafting a signature tropical drink to appeal to tourists. In 1954, Marrero ran thorough batches of experimentation after combining white rum, pineapple juice and coconut cream and ultimately reached the desired permutation.
Legend suggests that Roberto Cofresí, a renowned Puerto Rican pirate in the 1800s, may have concocted an early version of the Pina Colada by combining rum with pineapple and coconut juice. Cofresí’s incentive to do it? To make rum more palatable for the hardships of marine life.
An alternative narrative attributes the creation of the Pina Colada to bartender Ramón Portas Mingot. He was employed at the Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, during the 1960s. The restaurant asserts itself as the cocktail's birthplace, displaying the original recipe, which has received official recognition from the Puerto Rican government.
More than a decade after being a beloved drink, Puerto Rico designated the Pina Colada as its official national drink in 1978. The cocktail's popularity surged globally, propelled by tourists in the region, and it quickly gained prominence in the US and around the world.
The Talisker Pina Colada is nothing but a Western twist to the iconic Puerto Rican drink. While the traditional recipe calls for rum, a deviation introduces an extra layer of complexity. By replacing the usual white rum with Talisker 10 Single Malt Whisky, a unique version, sometimes called a "Cowboy Colada," emerges. The cocktail blends the original drink’s acidity with the peaty and smoky characteristics of the single malt whisky.
In essence, this version of the drink is the original recipe with an added touch of sweetness. Unlike the traditional blender method, a shaker is suitable for preparing the Talisker Pina Colada. The combination of ice and coconut milk, when shaken, imparts a creamier and smoother texture to the cocktail.
Combine all the ingredients in a jar and blend it.
Pour it in a hurricane glass or a tiki mug.
Garnish with pineapple chunks and a cherry.