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Original Origins - Pina Colada

Pina Colada-02 smlIt may almost be weekend, time to relax and spend good times with special people, but this post is certainly not limited to a Saturday or Sunday of fun! The Pina Colada, this weeks focus Original Cocktail, can be enjoyed whenever you feel the need to escape.

The name Piña Colada literally means strained pineapple, a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink's preparation.

Three Puerto Rican bartenders contest the ownership of their national drink. Ramón 'Monchito' Marrero Pérez claims to have first made it at the Caribe Hilton Hotel's Beachcomber Bar in San Juan on 15 August 1952, using the then newly-available Coco López cream of coconut. Some say the drink did not acquire its name until the 1960s.

Ricardo García, who also worked at the Caribe, says that it was he who invented the drink, while Ramón Portas Mingot says he created it in 1963 at the Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan. The restaurant stands by his claim to this day.

We aren't really worried about who claims to have invented it because we feel we've perfected it. All you have to do is freeze a couple of sachets, snip it, pour it, garnish your glass with some pineapple and coconut and pretend you're on a romantic beach somewhere in paradise. Unless you're somewhere along our beautiful coastline, then you don't have to pretend!

National Piña Colada Day is celebrated on the islands on 10 July but we say celebrate it every day! So as Rupert Holmes sang "if you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape. You're the lady I've looked for, come with me, and escape."

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