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
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.
Back in the late 1980s I used to throw a “Dacqueri” party at my house every summer when my parents were out of town. I don’t know what’s worse: the fact that I misspelled the word daiquiri on party invitations, or that my daiquiris — being too-sweet and neon-coloured and slushy — were, in fact, poor shadows of Cuba’s classic cocktail.
And don’t get me started on the misplaced apostrophe! (But I love this invite and the fact that I drew my dad serving beer from a keg.)
Of course, my high school pals drank my “dacqueri’s” anyway and didn’t seem to care that they were abominations. I blame it on the 80s. And my poncho from Mexico. And also those frozen Bacardi mixer canisters you could buy at Safeway (just add rum!).
Contents of the yellow cup? Neon-pink strawberry “dacqueri”. (Please excuse the photo resolution — it’s what happens when you take a photo of an old Kodak print with your iPhone.)
The good news is I finally have a chance to redeem myself a quarter century later through the written word. I’m writing about real daiquiris for an upcoming issue of up! magazine, and it’s given me a grand excuse to learn about the tropical tipple and try my hand at making this simple sip.
And simple, it is. Lime juice, granulated sugar (or simple syrup) and aged white rum. Since I love sours I took the liberty of adding egg white to help bind the ingredients and smooth out the flavours. Not only is the resulting daiquiri sour perfectly balanced between strong, sweet and sour, it looks much better served in a martini glass.
In my opinion, adding egg white to the classic daiquiri smooths out its edges and helps the flavours co-mingle.
Classic Daiquiri Sour
- 2 oz Havana Club 3-Year-old white rum
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1/2 oz egg white
Method: Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with two ice cubes and shake until ice has dissolved and shaker feels heavy. Pout contents into a coupe glass or martini glass.