Hannah Drake

Two Tropical Cocktails

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

I’m doubling up this month with TWO tropical cocktails. It’s funny, we’ve been talking more about doing all-inclusive tropical holidays in recent months and that’s totally what these types of cocktails remind me of. But the weather has turned a bit lately and it’s already starting to cool off while the rain picks up. Granted, it has still been in the (low) 70’s, but this week I don’t think has broken out of the 60’s yet. Needless to say, these drinks would have been better suited for that one day last month when it was nearly 100. Still, I had to make good use of these cups that are actually vases from the dollar spot at Target.

And no, even though it might look like this post is sponsored by Malibu Rum, I assure you it is not. I’m not that big time. I just chose to use it for both recipes.

PIÑA COLADA

  • 2 oz coconut rum

  • 4 1/2 oz pineapple juice

  • 2 oz coconut cream or coconut milk

  • ice

  • pineapple wedge, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, mix coconut rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and ice until blended and smooth. Poor into a tiki mug or poco grande. Garnish with fresh pineapple wedges (and a paper umbrella, if you so choose).

MAI TAI

  • 1 1/2 oz coconut rum or white rum

  • 1 oz dark rum

  • 1/2 oz Cointreau

  • 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice

  • 1 1/2 oz orange juice

  • 1/2 oz lime juice

  • 1/4 oz grenadine

  • pineapple wedge and maraschino cherries, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds until well mixed and chilled. Strain into a tiki mug or highball glass. Garnish with fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries (and a paper umbrella, if you so choose).

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PIÑA COLADAS

The name piña colada quite literally means "strained pineapple”, a reference to the pineapple juice used in the cocktail. The earliest known story of the drink dates back to the 19th century and a Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Cofresí, though the recipe was lost after his death in 1825. 125 years later in 1950, the New York Times mentioned “Cuba's piña colada”. The Caribe Hilton Hotel in Puerto Rico claims the drink was created there in 1954 by a bartender and 50 years later, the hotel was presented with a proclamation by the Governor celebrating its anniversary. Elsewhere in Puerto Rico, a restaurant called Barrachina claims a Spanish bartender invented it in 1963. Any way you slice it, Puerto Rico gets the credit and the island named the piña colada its official drink in 1978. And I bet you can’t think about piña coladas without singing the song to yourself. (If you weren’t before, you are now!)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MAI TAIS

Like many cocktails, the origin of the Mai Tai is a little unclear. It’s most commonly credited to Victor J. Bergeron, who claimed to have invented it in 1944 at Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California. However, Donn Beach, “the founder of tiki culture” who is credited with opening the first tiki bar during the 1930’s in Hollywood, says Bergeron’s Mai Tai was based on his own Q.B. Cooler cocktail from 1933. The name was allegedly taken from maita'i, the Tahitian word for "good" or "excellence". It is traditionally garnished with mint leaves and a lime wedge.

HOW TO SERVE THESE COCKTAILS

If you want to fully embrace Donn Beach’s tiki culture, by all means, pick up some tiki mugs or turn tiki vases into mugs. (My guess is the inside of the mugs would have fewer crevasses than the vases and therefore be easier to wash. However, you can go the more traditional route.

Piña Coladas are traditionally served in a poco grande, or what I’ve always heard referred to as a daiquiri glass. The big bowl bottom is perfect for frozen drinks and the small, flared opening is perfect for a tropical fruit garnish.

Mai Tais are traditionally served in a highball glass. With so many ingredients, the volume of the liquid starts to add up, so you’ll want a 12 to 16 ounce glass. Of course in a glass, unlike a tiki mug, you’ll be able to see the colours in the cocktail as well.

When my sister and I were younger, every year around Christmastime my mom would take us to Denver to see a show and we would go out to this Chinese restaurant near the theatre beforehand. She would let us order virgin cocktails and I think we almost always got daiquiris or Piña Coladas.

VIRGIN PIÑA COLADA

  • 2 oz coconut water

  • 4 1/2 oz pineapple juice

  • 2 oz coconut cream or coconut milk

  • ice

  • pineapple wedge, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, mix coconut water, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and ice until blended and smooth. Poor into a tiki mug or poco grande. Garnish with fresh pineapple wedges (and a paper umbrella, if you so choose).

VIRGIN MAI TAI

  • 1 1/2 oz water

  • 2 oz pineapple juice

  • 2 oz orange juice

  • 1/2 oz lime juice

  • 1/4 oz grenadine

  • pineapple wedge and maraschino cherries, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 20-30 seconds until well mixed and chilled. Strain into a tiki mug or highball glass. Garnish with fresh pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries (and a paper umbrella, if you so choose).

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