Freezing this piña colada instead of blending it with ice has advantages (and you could treat it as a granita if you don’t own an ice cream maker). Since you don’t have to flavor the water added by ice, you can use a small amount of raw sugar and pure coconut milk instead of the slightly suspicious (if delicious) Coco Lopez. A puree of fresh ripe pineapple stands in for juice, making a thick, creamy texture and more intense flavor. I recommend buying pre-cut pineapple, because grocers usually use fruits that are super-ripe (too ripe to be pretty) for that purpose. Nonetheless, pineapples vary widely in sweetness and acidity, so you may need to adjust the lime and sugar to taste. I still like to decorate the finished drink with a cocktail umbrella and bendy straw! —Hannah Kirshner
- Makes 4 to 6 cups
pineapple (3 to 4 cups chunks)
raw sugar, plus more to taste
Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus more juice to taste
(scant) scant cup pure, whole fat coconut milk
mild rum, such as Don Q gold
Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
Pineapple leaves or mint sprigs, for garnish
- If you are using a canister ice cream maker, such as a Cuisinart like mine, freeze the canister at least 24 hours in advance.
- In a blender, puree the pineapple with the sugar, lime zest and juice, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker, add 1/4 cup of each rum and spin until thick and icy, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Add the rest of the rum—it will thin the mixture a little, so keep spinning until it get’s back to where it was. Taste, and add more lime or sugar as needed.
- Freeze in a pint container, or serve immediately, garnished with a cocktail umbrella and a pineapple leaf or sprig of mint.
- If you freeze the mixture, it will harden to a sorbet consistency. Simply thaw for 10 to 20 minutes at room temperature to soften, and whisk briskly to smooth it out before serving.