Make Ahead

Best-Ever Piña Colada

August 13, 2016
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

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
  • 1 pineapple (3 to 4 cups chunks)
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar, plus more to taste
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus more juice to taste
  • 1 cup (scant) scant cup pure, whole fat coconut milk
  • Pinch said
  • 1/2 cup mild rum, such as Don Q gold
  • 1/2 cup Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
  • Pineapple leaves or mint sprigs, for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. If you are using a canister ice cream maker, such as a Cuisinart like mine, freeze the canister at least 24 hours in advance.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Freeze in a pint container, or serve immediately, garnished with a cocktail umbrella and a pineapple leaf or sprig of mint.
  5. 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.

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What does a farm girl in Brooklyn do with a painting degree from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and an obsession with food? Start a visually rich culinary publication! Write about cooking, develop recipes, and become a food stylist. Grow vegetables even if it's one scraggly tomato plant hanging from a fire escape, and find a way to keep chickens whether on a rooftop, in a neighbor's empty lot, a community garden, or the rare urban backyard (I've tried them all). On our small family farm in Washington state, I learned how food grows—and a deep respect for nature and agriculture—by helping to cultivate vegetables and raise chickens, goats and sheep. I continued to study food by working my way through the chain of production: harvesting herbs on an organic farm, selling specialty produce, serving farm-to-table food, baking artisan pastries and selling them at farmers markets, creating artful wedding cakes, developing and implementing craft cocktail programs, and testing and developing recipes for publications.