I’m still on tropics time and wanted to reintroduce your taste buds to a smooth and creamy classic: the Pina Colada. Banish from your memory the frozen Bacardi pre-mixed Pina Colada canisters popular in the ’80s. Those blended abominations were too sweet and tasted of artificial coconut.
The real deal, however, made with coconut cream, pineapple juice and rum, is delightful, especially if you’re enjoying it al fresco in Costa Rica. Oh, and the climate there is perfect for a blended, boozy coconut-flavoured slushie. We enjoyed this drink on the patio at Gingerbread restaurant in Nuevo Arenal. I didn’t get their recipe, but I searched up a great one, below.
Yes, I like Pina Coladas. Getting caught in the rain? Not so much…
- 1-1/2 oz coconut cream
- 1-1/2 oz pineapple juice
- 1 oz aged rum
- 1 oz coconut rum
- Splash coconut milk (optional)
- Garnish: Pineapple wedge
Method: Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a blender. Add 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth. Pour contents into a hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.
— Recipe courtesy Epicurious
Not only is “pura vida” (pure life) a greeting and way of life in Costa Rica, it’s also a fruity tropical cocktail. My friend spotted it on the menu at RipJack restaurant on Playa Grande, and he couldn’t resist ordering a Pura Vida to complete his holiday experience.
The Pura Vida cocktail is fruity and includes Cacique Guaro, which is a local spirit made from distilled sugar cane.
We all liked the drink’s presentation and agreed that the mason jar made it look less girly (it’s pink in hue and has a star fruit garnish). That certainly didn’t stop my friend from guzzling it down after everyone enjoyed a sip.
You can’t really taste the main spirit, Cacique Guaro (a local rum-like liquor made from distilled sugar cane), but in a smokin’ hot climate that’s not the point. You just want icy, fizzy refreshment — and perhaps a happy hour buzz — and the chilled orange and mixed fruit juice delivers. As they say in Costa Rica, “Pura Vida!”
- 1-1/2 oz Cacique Guaro
- Splash grenadine
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz mixed fruit juice (such as Dos Pinos brand)
- Top Sprite
- Garnish: star fruit and lime wedge
Method: Into a mason jar add Cacique Guaro and grenadine. Fill glass with ice and add juices and Sprite. Stir, and garnish with star fruit and lime wedge.
— Recipe courtesy RipJack
Here’s a tropical cocktail named for my friend Robin, who we’re travelling with in Costa Rica. I was tasked one evening with making her a fruity drink that didn’t have gin in it. So, I added some Dos Pinos Mixto de Frutas to a shot of Fleur de Cana rum, squeezed in some lime and ended up with this splendid cocktail, which Avery aptly called the Rumbin.
This fruity rum drink is best enjoyed by a waterfall in Costa Rica.
- 1-1/2 oz rum
- 3 oz mixed fruit juice (Dos Pinos is a combination of pineapple, papaya, mango, banana and orange juice)
- Squeeze lime
- Garnish: Tropical flower
Method: Build in a tall glass over ice and garnish with a tropical flower.