Whither Piña Colada?

So, it’s Christmas Eve Day. It’s cold outside. It’s raining. Blegh. And so obviously, I get to thinking about tropical cocktails, and piña colada drifts through my brain.

I know that piña means pineapple in Spanish. But colada? I mean, as far as I know, it means wash, with a kind of connotation for laundry. Washed pineapple?

And so down the rabbit hole I go.

It turns out the most literal translation would be something like strained pineapple, which goes to show how poor my Spanish really is. But “strained pineapple” certainly makes sense.

Puerto Rico named this rum-based concoction their official drink in 1978, around the same time that the cocktail became synonymous with cheating spouses and attempted adultery. I swear, I don’t know why people play that at wedding receptions. It’s not romantic.

It’s a simple drink containing rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream; Coco Lopez, a pre-made coconut cream, was introduced in 1954, which is when the piña colada we know today was created.

All the reminded me that I really prefer daiquiris, especially the “original” lime version: tons of lime juice, rum, and some 2:1 simple syrup. Not frozen, please. Said to have been invented in Cuba by a US mining engineer in the late 1800s, and named after a district or village in eastern Cuba.

A Gin Ricky is similar: gin, soda, and again, lots of lime juice, but no sweetener. Try asking a bartender born in the 90s to make you a Gin Ricky, and good luck.

It’s still gray and rainy outside, so I’m getting the rum out.