July 10: Do You Like Piña Coladas?

Piña_ColadaGood day everyone and a happy National Piña Colada Day to you and yours. Yes, today is allegedly the day we honor this drink, whose name is Spanish for “strained pineapple.”

Obviously, we’ll have a Piña Colada recipe down below in a little bit, but first I want to talk to you about a really dumb song. Although the Piña Colada has existed in one form or another since the early 1920s, the Piña Colada only really became popular in the United States in the late 1970s, possibly because of Rupert Holmes’ pop song “Escape,” later subtitled as “The Piña Colada Song.”

The song tells the story of a man who has grown tired of his marriage, and puts out a personal ad listing some of his favorite things (Piña Coladas, getting caught in the rain). Soon enough, a woman responds and they get to chatting because they have so much in common. After much correspondence, they agree to meet up at a bar, but in a twist that even O. Henry would say is too damn obvious, it turns out that the woman the man’s been talking to all this time was his own wife! The couple share a laugh and realize that neither one of them needed to have an affair, because despite the fact that they seem to know nothing about their common interests (Piña Coladas, getting caught in the rain), they were made for each other! Honestly, it makes you wonder why these two idiots ever got together, let alone got married.

Mystery Science Theater 3000‘s Tom Servo really had the best analysis of this piece of musical dreck:

And if this couple–well, we’ll call them “Rick” and “Julie” for the purposes of this argument–if Julie and Rick have been together for any amount of time, well, doesn’t each of them have a responsibility to communicate to the other his or her dissatisfaction with the relationship?…And although the song tries to paint a rosy picture of a relationship reborn, it is human nature that either Rick or Julie–maybe both, I don’t know–would harbor at least a fragment of resentment that the other set out to cheat on him or her, which would unleash itself in fits of passive-aggressive behavior and bitter recrimination!

Enough about that dumb song, let’s get back to the drink we’re supposed to be honoring. Although I said up above that a cocktail called the Piña Colada has been around in one form or another since the 1920s, what we now call that dates back to the mid-20th century. The drink’s key ingredient Cream of Coconut wasn’t invented until 1948 by Puerto Rico’s Don Ramon López-Irizarry who sold it under the name Coco López. There are many bars that claim to be the birthplace of the modern Piña Colada, so all we can definitively say is that it was created sometime during the 1950s or early 1960s in a bar somewhere in the Caribbean.

Piña Colada

  • 1 ounce White Rum
  • 1 ounce Cream of Coconut
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice

Lightly blend with crushed ice until smooth, pour the drink into a chilled tulip glass and garnish with a pineapple slice and cherry.

Tomorrow: Ugh, brainfreeze!

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