The best, most legendary cocktails are often made by accident. The mai tai, for example, was created by “Trader Vic” Bergeron, Jr. when he was experimenting at the bar of his restaurant in 1944, and the margarita was possibly created in 1938 by Carlos “Danny” Herrera for a customer who claimed to be allergic to every spirit except tequila. The origins of both cocktails are, of course, famously controversial; however, the same cannot be said for the ultimate Caribbean classic, the piña colada.
It was in 1954 that a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero decided to shake things up, literally, by inventing a new cocktail that would welcome guests to the Caribe Hilton hotel. His original piña colada was non-alcoholic and shaken by hand (this was an era before blenders), but Marrero eventually made the brilliant decision to add local rum to his delicious drink, and it became so iconic and beloved that it was named the official drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.
Caribe Hilton, which has been a vacation spot for celebrities and prominent figures including Elizabeth Taylor and Barack Obama, celebrates this truly signature cocktail every day by keeping it at the top of the Caribar menu. Now, you can enjoy the original piña colada at home, and this is certainly a recipe you should know by heart. Master it and you maybe you can tackle the resort’s Pinold Colashioned next.
Caribe Hilton’s Original Piña Colada
- 2 oz rum
- 1 oz coconut cream
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 6 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
How to Make It:
- Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender.
- Add ice and mix for 15 seconds.
- Serve in a 12-oz glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.