The Cocktail Diaries: Pina Colada

Last updated 12:00 25/01/2013
TROPICAL TASTE: The coconut and pineapple concoction that is the pina colada is best sipped in the sun.

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Main ingredient Rum
Type of dish Cocktails
Course Drinks
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 1
Special options None

The infamous pina colada, national beverage of Puerto Rico, is possibly the most hated of all cocktails by bartenders around the world.

It's a Pacific Island holiday favourite for many Kiwis, which makes drinking one an experience that's very hard to match down at your local bar.

Bartenders hate making them for a number of reasons. Firstly, the customer is never going to enjoy it as much as the one they drank pool-side in Fiji and they're more than likely to tell the barkeep all about it. Secondly, most bars don't stock the coconut cream or freshly pressed pineapple juice that are essential to a quality pina colada - so you'll probably end up with dairy cream and artificially flavoured coconut rum liqueur. Lastly, the pina colada is messy to make and a difficult drink to get right. To blend or not to blend? Cubed, crushed or no ice? Worse still is that once you make one, everyone else in the room wants one.

But with tiki cocktail culture thriving and retro 80s drinks slowly becoming more acceptable, the pina colada may be poised for a comeback. Here's how to get it right.


60ml Bacardi Superior white rum

45ml coconut cream

45ml fresh pineapple juice

5ml fresh lime juice

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over ice. Alternatively, put all ingredients into a blender and blend with one glass of ice cubes. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge.


90ml Stolen white rum

45ml Wray & Nephew OP Jamaican rum

45ml Mozart white chocolate liqueur

180ml coconut cream

90ml fresh pineapple juice

15ml fresh lime juice

Put all the ingredients in an isi espuma gun. Shake vigorously and charge with two cannisters of N02. Refrigerate over night to create a thick pina colada whipped cream (almost like ice cream). Inject into a vintage milk bottle and top with soda, gingerbeer, lemonade or carbonated coconut water to create a ice cream spider style cocktail. Garnish with a flower.

Jason Clark is the bartender at Hummingbird Eatery and Bar.

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