A frosty Piña Colada is as much a summer icon as sandy beaches and swimsuits. First blended in Puerto Rico (where it remains the island’s signature drink), the Piña Colada is an impossible-to-argue-with frozen combo of rum, pineapple, and coconut. And while enjoying the original formula is always a good idea, these three riffs prove you don’t need a beach to drink in some sunshine.
The Cantina Colada
To prepare the drink, add 2 oz. of mezcal, 2 oz. of pineapple juice, 2 oz. of fresh lime juice, and 1 oz. of Coco López coconut cream to an ice-filled shaker and shake to combine. Double strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice, then garnish with a lime wheel and a pineapple leaf. Alternatively, combine all of the ingredients in a blender with approximately 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth.
To make the drink, add 2 1/2 oz. of rum (Sally Roots uses a house blend of 11 rums, but a 1:1 blend of white and aged rums does the trick, as does a blended Jamaican-Martinique rum such as Denizen Merchant’s Reserve 8 year), 1 1/2 oz. of fresh pineapple juice, 1 oz. of fresh orange juice, 1 oz. of pink guava juice (Sally Roots uses Mira brand), 3/4 oz. of Coco López, and 1/4 oz. of fresh lime juice to a blender. Add enough ice to fill a 12 oz. glass, and blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Serve in a 13 oz. Poco Grande glass, and garnish with a pineapple frond. “One sip and you’re forever changed,” Freeman adds.
Piña Colada Kinda
In a blender, add 4 oz. of pineapple juice, 2 oz. of rum (“Any good quality rum will do; we like something with a bit of funk,” Nelson says. “If you don’t have rum, experiment! Kahlua and Bénédictine are cool.”), 1 1/2 oz. of Coco López, 1 oz. of heavy cream or heavy coconut cream, 1/2 oz. of overproof rum, and 1/2 cup of ice (or 3/4 cup “for a less assertive experience”). Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. of fine ground coffee, then blend until uniform and silky. Pour the drink into your favorite tropical glass and top with whipped cream (preferably coconut-based), then do like Nelson and garnish with a sprinkle of bee pollen, which he describes as “not essential, but hella cool.”