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 can almost feel the sea breeze on my face and feel the fuzzy coconut shell filled with this creamy rum concoction in my hand. Jimmy Buffet's voice floats through the air, and the waves wash up at my feet.
Legend has it that a 19th-century Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cafresi, served a beverage containing white rum, pineapple, and coconut to his men as an effort to boost morale. When Cafresi died in 1825, he took the recipe with him. But it wasn't gone for good! Ricardo Garcia, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel, serendipitously reinvented the piña colada in 1954. Garcia was serving complimentary "coco-locos" to guests when he ran out of coconut shells. Thinking fast, he started passing out the cocktails in pineapples. Guests liked the flavor the pineapple gave to their coco-locos so much that the innovative mixologist made a few adjustments and put piña coladas permanently on the menu within a week. Their popularity made the piña colada (which means "strained pineapple") the official drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.
honor of the cocktail's official day (or weekend!), pair it with some
fresh boiled shrimp for an instant trip to tropical shores. Or try a piña colada cheesecake-all
the flavor of the classic treat, plus icing ... sounds good to me! Save
me a piece. I'll be in the kitchen, answering the blender's demands.