Amanda & Merrill

My Favorite Pina Colada

November  2, 2010

Pina Colada

- Merrill

Yesterday morning when I woke up, it was 38 degrees Fahrenheit in Brooklyn. Hard to believe that just ten short days ago, I was in sunny Florida (the trip was a surprise birthday present from my thoughtful husband), lolling by the pool and sipping a pina colada. Now that there's a distinct chill in the air here in New York, I thought it could be time to share my recipe for said pina colada, painstakingly perfected over the course of the four day trip.

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I like more pineapple than coconut in my pina coladas, so I thought I'd add some fresh pineapple as well as pineapple juice. And after a few experiments, I found that a combination of coconut milk and cream of coconut produced the right blend of sweetness and creaminess. A spritz of lime juice and a grating of fresh nutmeg were later additions.

Those of you living in more temperate areas can enjoy one of these poolside, and those who -- like me -- are on the verge of lugging your winter clothes out of storage can join me in a tropical fantasy, swathed in the warm cocoon of central heating.

My Favorite Pina Colada

Makes 4 cocktails

  • 3 oz light rum
  • 4 cups ice
  • 2/3 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 3 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces coconut milk
  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • Juice of 1/2 large lime
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a blender (use a good, strong one that can crush ice) and blend until smooth. Add more ice or liquid to taste. Serve in a pretty glass with a shower of grated nutmeg, a lime wedge and maybe even a cocktail umbrella.


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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Deb W. November 7, 2010
Here in Oakland California we have the occasional hot summer day and we always make a batch of these in lieu of air conditioning. I've made my own vanilla over the years by splitting 10-12 vanilla beans and letting them marinate in a bottle of good quality vodka. A generous slug of this added to the coladas seems to nicely marry the richness of the coconut with the tang of the pineapple and add another subtle tropical note.
onetribegourmet November 3, 2010
I share your sentiments, its chilly outside here in Philly too and I think I'm going to make this delicious pina colada drink in memory of summer! love that you garnished the drink with freshly ground nutmeg!
Merrill S. November 6, 2010
Thanks! I got that idea from a place my family and I used to visit in the Caribbean. The bartender made the best rum punches (for my parents) and excellent virgin pina coladas for me and sister, who were teenagers at the time. He grated a little bit of fresh nutmeg over both.
Sasha (. November 3, 2010
Mmmm! I became obsessed with Pina Coladas after my first trip to Mexico in '06. I'm looking forward to trying this "mix-free" recipe. It has to be 1000x better... now if I could just whip up a pool to go with it! :)
Merrill S. November 6, 2010
Tell me about it!
Soozll November 3, 2010
I imagine you could use an entire 8oz can of crushed pineapple in juice instead of the fresh and additional juice in this recipe. Strictly in the event of a pina colada emergency, of course!
Merrill S. November 6, 2010
Yes, I think that would be quite acceptable. :)
Midge November 2, 2010
Your version sounds delicious, even in overcast, 30-something degree-Boston.
Merrill S. November 2, 2010
drbabs November 2, 2010
Mmmm...I think I would like this frozen. Pina colada ice cream anyone?
Merrill S. November 2, 2010
Good idea. Might need to cut back on the rum so it freezes properly.
drbabs November 2, 2010
Good point...You could always pour some into the bowl before dishing it out. :)
testkitchenette November 2, 2010
I like your mixture of cream of coconut and coconut milk (less cloyingly sweet). My dad has always made a more fruit forward pina colada...I am going to try your version on him at our next family gathering.
Merrill S. November 2, 2010
Let me know how it goes over!