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The Piña Colada Story

A favorite drink of Caribbean cruisers is the piña colada. It was invented in 1954 by Ramon "Monchito" Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His goal was to capture all the flavors of Puerto Rico in a glass. He experimented for three months before settling on the piña colada--"strained pineapple" in Spanish.

Monchito served his famous drink to thousands of hotel guests, including John Wayne and Gloria Swanson. In 1978 Puerto Rico declared the piña colada its national drink. An estimated 200 million piña coladas have been served since 1954. How many have you had? Monchito's recipe follows. Note that this is NOT a dietetic drink!

Monchito's Recipe for the Original Piña Colada
Source: Islands Magazine (July/August 2000)

2 oz. light rum
1 oz. coconut cream
1 oz. heavy cream
6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup crushed ice

Place ingredients in a blender. Blend for 15 seconds. Pour into a 12 oz. glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry. Add a red straw.

Tip: For the best tropical taste, always use fresh pineapple juice, never canned or mixes. Designated drivers (or sailors) take note: Virgin piña coladas are among the most popular non-alcoholic cocktails.

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