I was supposed to have been at the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans this week. It wasn’t until the day before take-off I realized I had only reserved—not booked—my $200 flight. The new price of cocktail enlightenment was now $1024.
Reminds me of Albert Brooks in Defending Your Life. As he’s reviewed for entry into heaven, he is credited with only one courageous act on earth: upgrading to first class (to the tune of $6,000 he doesn’t have) when he discovers he’s been assigned a middle seat in coach to China. Wish I could have said, “Screw it, I’m going.”
But I didn’t. So instead of sipping fresh fruit breakfast martinis yesterday morning, I’m perusing the Washington Post food section. A Pina Colada article catches my attention. It seemed like my kind of cocktail—simple, clean, straightforward, made with booze I really use and ingredients I theoretically have.
Here’s the recipe for 4: blend 12 ounces fresh pineapple puree, 4 ounces white rhum agricole (no such thing at the PA state store–Barcardi would have to do), 4 ounces canned coconut water, and 3 to 4 cups of ice until smooth.
The mix produced a pretty, pale yellow drink, which unfortunately tasted like a weak pineapple smoothie (duh! 1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple puree and 3 cups of ice). The rum was faint, the coconut flavor practically undetectable.
I don’t need more than one, but if I’m having a cocktail I want it to kick my kisser. And I don’t want the calories of three weak drinks when one will do. I went into my culinary “fix it” mode. The mission: develop a pina colada in martini form. A pina-tini!
Forget prissy pineapple puree. I went for the potency of juice, which I mixed in varying ratios with rum and: coconut water, coconut juice, coconut milk, cream of coconut, and pina colada mix.
Of the five mixers, light, clear coconut juice offered just enough sweetness to balance the pineapple juice but not so much the drink tasted like dessert. Here’s my take.