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Pina Colada Wars

My friend thinks his pina colada is amazing..it's ok..mine are sublime BUT..we are doing a Pina Colada Wars inviting three other master blenders and I want to share my recipe and ask for tips how to ramp it up

Gosling Dark Rum (to top)
Coco Lopez
Dole Pineapple Juice
Bacardi White
fresh grated Grenada nutmeg on top
Marachino Cherry

Thanks for your recommendations...I have to beat this fat ^%$#@!&


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  1. Canned pineapple chunks (or fresh pineapple) instead of just juice, and adding maybe a quarter of a banana would be my only suggestions!

    1. I use fresh pineapple. It's a very sweet drink because the principal ingredients are both so sweet, so the Gosling and nutmeg are a good idea. Good luck with your showdown; play a little Rupert Holmes and Warren Zevon background music at war time!

      1. I'll only suggest dumping the Bacardi for a better white rum.
        Diplomático Rum Blanco
        El Dorado
        Flor de Cana
        Just to name a few better white rums

        2 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          Thanks all..love the fresh fruit idea...might try Brugal Rum...cannot get the others in Bonaire although Appleton maybe..

          1. re: phelana

            Fresh pineapples in the USA are sometimes good, sometimes not.

            What you need is canned Lotus pineapple juice from Puerto Rico. Amazing stuff.

        2. I agree about a better white. How about Wray & Nephew overproof from Jamaica? This would raise the alcohol of the final drink, reducing the "spiked pineapple/coconut juice" aspect. If you're in Bonaire, how about fresh pineapple?

          I don't care for this drink, but my friend uses a small amount of sour cream to mitigate the acid in the pineapple.

          www.kindredcocktails.com | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

          1 Reply
          1. re: EvergreenDan

            evergreen, I have W and N Overproof but thought that was for shots and medicinal purposes..I need my guests to get home safe..LOL...sadly Bonaire's fresh fruit options remain imported BUT I will certainly add some fresh imported pineapple. Now, if I were back in Antigua, man I'd use some nice Black Pineapple...sour cream? Yuck...keep it simple..I think my fresh nutmeg will do the trick...nite all

          2. You got everything but the pineapple juice right.

            You have to track down Lotus pineapple juice (available at some Latino groceries) from Puerto Rico. Far far better than than any other pineapple product for Pina Coladas.

            On the rum front I would nuke the Bacardi and go with Don Q or any of a dozen others. On the dark side, Gosling, or Myers, or many others are great.

            1. I know Coco Lopez is traditional, but I just find it too sweet. Instead I use coconut cream along with heavy cream and sugar to create a creamy coconut base and then proceed as normal. The nutmeg is a great garnish -- I personally like the effect of a little orgeat and some allspice. Rum is a combination of Don Q and Gosling's.

              9 Replies
              1. re: JungMann

                Rachel Maddow -- who, whether you agree with her politics or not (I do, mostly), happens to be a surprisingly gifted cocktail enthusiast -- has rightly dubbed Coco Lopez a "chemical slurry" and recommends replacing it with a mixture of equal parts unsweetened coconut milk and orgeat. She's absolutely right about this.

                1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                  I've made pina coladas with coconut milk when I didn't have coconut cream on hand and the results are a little too watery. The coconut cream has a thicker consistency which is preferable if you want a pina colada with body.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    is there a substitute for Orgeat? Not sure they have that in Bonaire...

                    1. re: phelana

                      It is not terribly difficult to make, but you can substitute a little amaretto. It's the hint of almond that makes the difference.

                      1. re: phelana

                        Monin and the other makers of Italian-style flavoring syrups all make almond-flavored versions, at varying quality levels. I like Monin's almond syrup quite a bit, actually.

                      2. re: JungMann

                        If you use caster sugar instead of simple syrup, I find that using coconut milk works fine, and the drink is not too watery.

                      3. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        Sorry, don't agree.

                        Coco Lopez ingredient list:


                        To quote this web site:


                        "polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, propylene glycol alginate, mono and diglycerides… all seemingly necessary to keep the coconut oil and water in a happy molecular marriage. guar gum and locust bean gum emulsify as well as thicken. so basically, Coco López is virtually guaranteed never to separate."

                        The first ingredient is coconut. The rest are emulsifiers. It tastes great. Do I need the Polysorbate 60, probably not. I might try coconut milk and orgeat, but in my book dairy (heavy cream) has no place in a Pina Colada.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Yeah, I concur. To my mind a pina colada is not a creamy drink.

                          Hey, does Mayfair carry Lotus? I'm suddenly dying for a pina colada...

                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                            Gosh, I don't think Mayfair has it, but know I have seen it in MA, sometimes in small single portion cans. Tropical foods in Rox? or Maybe Latino places in Lynn.

                    2. Pinnapple Gum Syrup is your secret weapon (i get mine from Small Hand Foods)

                      I use this recipe with Flor de Cana 4 yr white - I use .5 to 1oz more rum in my drink, however my wife likes the original version


                      Piña Colada

                      adapted from Ramon "Monchito" Marrero, Beachcomber Bar, Puerto Rico, 1954

                      2 oz white rum
                      1 ½ oz Cream of Coconut
                      1 oz pineapple juice
                      ¾ fresh lime juice
                      ½ oz Pineapple Gum Syrup

                      Shake ingredients together vigorously and strain over crushed ice.Garnish with ground nutmeg and a cherry-speared lime wheel.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Dapuma

                        Now that sounds like a good recipe.

                        1. re: Dapuma

                          Agreed with JMF, that sounds awesome.

                          What are your thoughts on using a somewhat richer white rum, e.g. Banks 5 Island or Oronoco? Too much?

                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                            The better the rum the better the cocktail.

                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                Banks rum makes amazing cocktails. It won two years in a row as best spirit for cocktails at the Ultimate Cocktail Championship.

                                Well, maybe it's because I am highly involved in the fine cocktail industry, but any premium spirit makes a better cocktail. I'm not talking about $100+ a bottle stuff, but up to the $40-60 range. Whistle Pig rye makes a damn fine Manhattan.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  I agree -- I'm a huge fan of Banks. And it's quite affordable.

                                  And I agree that a premium spirit makes a better cocktail.

                                  My main point was that there is a big difference between various premium spirits. For example, Flor de Cana vs. Banks: they're both what I'd call "premium" white rums, but Flor de Cana is dry and austere as compared with Banks. I think that Flor de Cana would be a better choice for a Daiquiri or a Mojito, whereas Banks makes a far superior El Presidente.

                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                    I have never had Bank's before, however I would certainly be willing to give it a try - I was kind of curious if there was anything out there that was a superior mixing white - now i generally make tiki drinks so would Banks be worth it for tiki drinks or will the other flavors overpower it?

                                    I have only had Oronoco in a Caprihina but is that not a sweeter rum? this drink is on the edge of the sweetness factor so it might be too sweet for this drink

                                    I like to use a luxardo cherry for my garnish because they are awesome, or if i ever make my own

                                    I have made it with Cruzan White and Flor de Cana - the Cana is a bit better IMO - Based on being able to get 1.75 L FDC for less vs the Bank's price for a fifth I am not sure it would be worth the difference, however if cost is no object...so to sum up: testing must be done! :)

                                    Last time we had people over when I made them...the first one was given out and then it was passed around like a free sample at Sam's then i was making a huge batch of them, so teach someone how to help make them because they go down pretty easily :)

                                    1. re: Dapuma

                                      If you ever get a chance, try Filthy Foods Black Cocktail Cherries. Wild, Italian Amarena cherries. Amazing.

                                      Banks is a VERY flavorful rum, a bit sweet. Tiki ingredients shouldn't overwhelm it.