John-Bryan Hopkins
July 09, 2009

Foodimentary proclaims July 10 to be National Piña Colada Day, and hereby declares it Piña Colada Weekend! Thank goodness it's Friday right?

I can hear my blender calling to me from the kitchen. It is saying,"Fill me with rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and ice." I canalmost feel the sea breeze on my face and feel the fuzzy coconut shellfilled with this creamy rum concoction in my hand. Jimmy Buffet's voicefloats through the air, and the waves wash up at my feet.

Legendhas it that a 19th-century Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cafresi, serveda beverage containing white rum, pineapple, and coconut to his men asan effort to boost morale. When Cafresi died in 1825, he took therecipe with him. But it wasn't gone for good! Ricardo Garcia, abartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, serendipitously reinvented thepiña colada in 1954. Garcia was serving complimentary "coco-locos" toguests when he ran out of coconut shells. Thinking fast, he startedpassing out the cocktails in pineapples. Guests liked the flavor thepineapple gave to their coco-locos so much that the innovativemixologist made a few adjustments and put piña coladas permanently onthe menu within a week. Their popularity made the piña colada (whichmeans "strained pineapple") the official drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.

Inhonor of the cocktail's official day (or weekend!), pair it with somefresh boiled shrimp for an instant trip to tropical shores. Or try a piña colada cheesecake-allthe flavor of the classic treat, plus icing ... sounds good to me! Saveme a piece. I'll be in the kitchen, answering the blender's demands.


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