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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Piña Colada Day and A Taste of Puerto Rico

Are you surprised that today is National Piña Colada Day? I am in a way. You see, I have been prepared to celebrate the Piña Colada, one of my very best favorite summer cocktails by the way, for quite some time since according to John Mariani, and his excellent resource manuel The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, the Piña Colada was first concocted on August 15, 1954.

"Piña Colada: A cocktail made from light rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice. It is especially popular during warm weather with boating enthusiasts and at southern resort areas. The term was first printed in 1923:"

"The Piña Colada (which in Spanish means "strained pineapple") originated at the Caribe Hilton Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Back in 1952 bartender Ramon Monchito Marrero Perez was introduced to a new product called Coco Lopez cream of coconut (containing coconut, sugar, water, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, salt, propylene glycol alginate, mono- and diglycerides, citric acid, guar gum, and locaust-bean gum). On August 15, 1954, after three months of trying out various liquors with the product, Marrero mixed pineapple juice and light rum with it, blended the mixture with crushed ice, and came up with a sweet, creamy drink that did not really catch on until 1954, when it was served to a group of government officials at a convention there.

Another Puerto Rican claimed to have invented the pina colada in 1963 at the bar called La Barrachina in San Juan's Old City, where there still hangs a plaque that announces "The House Where in 1963 THE PINA COLADA Was Created by Don Ramon Portas Mingot." But Mr. Marrero's 1952 claim seems clearly more authoritative, and, therefore, here is the original recipe:

Pour 2 ounces light Bacardi's rum, 1 ounce coconut cream, 1 ounce heavy cream, and 6 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice into a blender with a cup of crushed ice. Blend for about 15 seconds and serve in a large glass with a garnish of pineapple stick and maraschino cherry. (An almost identical drink, the Babia, invented at Trader Vic's restaurant in San Francisco, substitutes 1 ounce white Jamaican rum and 1 ounce light Puerto Rican rum for the Bacardi rum in this recipe)"

Lucky for me, and you, we don't have to wait until August to celebrate because by most accounts, July 10th is National Piña Colada Day!

How do you like that Coco Lopez leaflet at the top of this post? It isn't dated but it sure has some tasty creations in it.

It also has a stirring of Coco Lopez history too.

"It all started in 1948. That's the year Don Ramon Lopez-Irizarry discovered the secret of capturing smooth delicious homogenized liquid coconut in a can. He named his creation Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut.

Four years later a bartender at the San Juan Caribe Hilton combined this creation with pineapple juice and light rum. The Piña Colada was born! Soon the drink became as much a part of the appeal of the tropics as blue water, silver sands and palm trees in the warm island breeze."

We just can't celebrate Piña Colada Day without a little bit of a noshery, now can we? How about something from The Taste of Puerto Rico Cookbook also undated.

"Angela Spenceley shares 15 years of experience and creativity collecting recipes from family and long-time local residents. After two years of historical research, experimenting with recipes in the kitchen and lots of tasting, her uncomplicated methods will appeal to the experienced gourmet and the beginning cook."

I just couldn't resist this Rum Stewed Shrimp Recipe. Can you?

To be perfectly honest, I've been celebrating the Piña Colada on my Pinterest boards for quite a while! Here is just a nibble from my boards.

Happy Piña Colada Day everyone! See you Sunday for National Grand Marnier Day!

44 Nibbles:

Gloria Baker said...

what amazing and delicious day dear Louise!! I love Piña Colada is my favirite drink (with others) love this post Louise Have a lovely day!!

SissySees said...

I love pineapple. I adore coconut. But I don't like sweet drinks - or rum. The Knight will happily share with you though!

Nee said...

Good morning Louise ,
What a fine morning it is , just in time to have a slice of cake {yummy} a cool drink and visit with friends ... I will have the cake now and the Piña Colada later this afternoon :).


Kitchen Riffs said...

Such a great drink - one of my wife's favorites (and I like it a lot, too). Great history - it's so hard to nail down a lot of accurate info about the origins of many drinks, but I think you've got it all. Really fun post - thanks.

Nellie said...

Never had a Pina Colada. The shrimp sound appetizing!

yummychunklet said...

Fun looking cookbook!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

We LOVE Pina Colada's!! great post - fun to hear about the history!
mary x

Johanna GGG said...

happy pina colada day - it was one of my cocktails of choice when I drank a lot of them - rarely touch them now but still love the pineapple and coconut combo and isn't pina colada a fun word to say - nice to read some of its history

ivy sew said...

Hi Louise, Happy National Piña Colada Day!

Maureen said...

I'd give my left arm for a can of Coco Lopez. It doesn't exist in Australia and I LOVE it. Thanks for the memories. :)

I Wilkerson said...

Ooooo, this made me want a Piña Colada. Coconut cream and pineapple juice now on shopping list.

Catherine said...

Dear Louise, I love the vintage! I guess I am reminded of all the things my mom referred to growing up. The pictures and the little leaflets she loved trying new recipes from these.
I love adding the Coco Lopez to dishes, not to mention Pina Colada!!

I keep you and yours in my prayers.

Blessings dearest. Catherine xoxo

unihomemaker.com said...

Yay to Piña Colada Day! I always order it when I'm on a beach-y vacation. Love the combo and flavor. :)

Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

Shirley Tay said...

National Piña Colada Day? Wow, didn't know it exist! I'm a huge fan of Pina Colado cause I love coconut! That's such a lovely pairing, Lousie!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That is one of my favorite cocktails! I love using rum in food too.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cheers,

Rosa

Barbara said...

You hit this nail on the head, Louise. I adore anything with cream of coconut in it, and use regular coconut milk in place of milk in all my recipes! Am now fiddling around with coconut flour. :)
Pina Coladas for everyone!

Marjie said...

I love coconut and pineaple. I don't imbibe, but confections using those flavors are wonderful! Happy Pina Colada Day, just a tad late!

Blond Duck said...

Hope you're having a good summer!

Kathy said...

Coconut and pineapple are the best! I didn’t know there was a Pina Colada Day…but I’m in! Have a great weekend, Louise! Nice post!

openid said...

I'm always on the hunt for new shrimp recipes, this is incredible!

Amelia said...

Hi Louise, excellent posting. I love pina colada, anything with coconut and pineapple are my favorite. Thanks for sharing the very interesting recipes, both look exotic.

Best regards.

~~louise~~ said...

I bet you make a "mean" Piña Colada, Gloria. We'll have to have a Piña Colada one day and "chill."

~~louise~~ said...

Well Channon, you can have a slice of Piña Colada Cake and the Knight and I will toast you!

~~louise~~ said...

Good evening Nee,

I do hope you enjoyed your cake and Piña Colada:)

~~louise~~ said...

There are so many great drinks out there John and as you know, many of them have a tale or two to share...I'm sure you will be unveiling many of them:)

~~louise~~ said...

Nellie you really should try the pineapple coconut combination "virgin" Piña Colada. It's quite refreshing perhaps more so without the rum!

~~louise~~ said...

It is a fun book Yummy. One day I will share more recipes from it.

~~louise~~ said...

Me too, Mary! Cheers!

~~louise~~ said...

Piña Colada is a FUN word Johanna. I like the song too!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Ivy, thank YOU!

~~louise~~ said...

I'd be more than happy to send you some Maureen. In the mean time, Cheers!

~~louise~~ said...

Don't forget the rum, Inger!

~~louise~~ said...

Thank you Catherine, all prayers are welcome:)

~~louise~~ said...

Me too, Anne. I just don't wait until vacations though, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

As far as I'm concerned, Shirley, everyday should be Piña Colada Day!

~~louise~~ said...

I love using rum in food too, Rosa. I will try those Rum Stewed Shrimp one day!

~~louise~~ said...

Coconut flour? Interesting concept, Barbara. I will need to look into it. Thanks!

~~louise~~ said...

It's never too late to celebrate Piña Colada Day, Marjie!

~~louise~~ said...

Thank you Duckie. I was over by your place yesterday and I know you are having a fun summer!

~~louise~~ said...

Cheers Kathy! I'm in too!!!

~~louise~~ said...

It sure is Angela. I will be trying it one day. I even think Marion may give it a try. I serve it with a Piña Colada of course:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks for visiting Amelia. *btw, that's one of my favorite names:) I agree, anything with coconut and pineapple is fine in my book!

onlinephduk said...

I love the little history excerpt. I am not a huge fan of this drink but more power to you for finding an awesome video and recipe for it. The shrimp looks awesome. I would love to give that a try. Have fun this summer!


Online PhD in Nursing by Suzy Adam

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks for visiting. I'm so glad you enjoyed dropping by. Yes, the shrimp recipe is definitely a keeper:)