I always feel like Memorial Day really marks the beginning of summer for us here in the States. Sure, it’s technically around a month before the actual first day of summer, but by this point in the year, most of us have already checked out of our day jobs mentally and are ready to get into vacation mode. You know, that time when we have to peel off the layers sweaters, jeans and jackets and all start realizing how much we’ve eaten over the past nine months.
And, for most cocktail writers, summer means that it’s once again that time of year where we attempt to ride this fine line between writing about delicious summer drinks that people actually want to drink, and those low-calorie, watered-down drinks that people think they should be drinking. So called “skinny” cocktails, I suppose.
But what if we imagine for a moment a world where one might have a single, decadent, over-the-top, in-your-face-with-its-full-fat-and-hundreds-of-calories cocktail in place of five or six Skinny Girl Margaritas? Beach bods be damned. Let’s face it, there isn’t a single person out there who’s ever actually enjoyed the taste of that garbage (and, I mean, screw Bethany Frankel’s bad booze empire anyway). What you really want is a Piña Colada, and you know it.
Nothing quite makes my mouth water like the sight of a beautifully blended, whiter-than-the-sand-on-a-Caribbean-beach Piña Colada, made the real way. Sure, there are calorie counters and carb checkers who will tell you that you can use unsweetened coconut milk or even—gasp!—coconut water in your Piña Colada. But if you want a Piña Colada you’ll enjoy, you’re going to have to suck it up and go with the original—Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut. This full-fat, super sweetened coconut cream is unlike anything you’ll find in the Thai food section of the grocery store, and is really the only thing designed solely for this drink.
So yeah, it’s full of calories and full of saturated fat, but maybe don’t have six of them, okay? Besides, do you really want to be seen drinking something called “skinny girl”?
• 1½ oz. Coco Lopez cream of coconut
• 1½ oz. fresh unsweetened pineapple juice (or canned, if you must)
• 1 oz. Puerto Rican rum
• 1 oz. Jamaican rum
Combine ingredients in a blender with 6 to 8 oz. crushed ice and blend on high until perfectly smooth. Pour into a chilled wine glass and garnish with an orange wheel or pineapple spear.
Jeffrey Morgenthaler is the bar manager at Pépé le Moko and Clyde Common, the acclaimed gastropub at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. He is also author of The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique.
ANOTHER DRINK FROM JEFFREY MORGENTHALER