Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If You Like Pina Coladas....

 Sorry to get that old song stuck in your head, but I wouldn't want to be the only one humming Rupert Holmes' "Escape."  I wanted to make a frozen treat for my husband, since he accomplished the major task of taking down a nasty old tin shed on the corner of our property yesterday afternoon.

Here's a video of Rupert & his dancing lady friends that I'm sure will make you want to plan an escape of your own, but feel free to skip it if you'd like!

I had to share this recipe, since it was really simple and yummy.  I know what goes into a Pina Colada, but didn't have a recipe on hand - so I had to experiment a bit!

The first batch was a bit heavy on the pineapple and very light on the alcohol, but my goal was to give Hubby a pick-me-up after working all day in the hot sun, not to get him drunk and dehydrated.  However, the heavy work's all done now and I've got a big bottle of Malibu just waiting in the freezer.

I do not claim to be a rum connoisseur.  I might be able to tell the difference between the cheap and the expensive brands, but I cannot tell you which cane was used or what island it grew on.  I merely know what I like, and since I do not drink often I would prefer not to waste my money on the less-expensive brands.  Rum has a natural sweetness to it, since it is a product of sugar cane (or more precisely molasses, in most cases).  Wikipedia has a well-cited article that has more info on how rum is made.  In my humble opinion, Malibu coconut-flavored rum is the best for making a Pina Colada.  Bacardi light is also good, but I like the added coconut flavor and lower alcohol content.  I do not suggest using cheaper brands, but that is my own personal preference.  Pina Coladas should be made with light rum, not spiced rum such as Captain Morgan.  Morgan's great with Coca-Cola or pineapple juice, but I think the spice tends to overpower the coconut in a frozen drink.  That's just my two-cents on rum.  If you drink more often than I do, you will probably have your own ideas on what alcohol goes better with coconut, but that's the lovely part about food and drink:  we are all entitled to our own opinion, and taste is a matter of personal preference.

**If you decide to use my (or any) recipes with rum or other alcohols, please abide by the laws of the land where you live.  Plan to enjoy your alcohol in moderation, either at home or at a friend's home where you are welcome to stay if you need to so you will not be tempted to drink and drive.  Thanks!**

Alright, now down to the nitty gritty (which I am sure will start a whole new slew of songs flowing incessantly through my brain, but I digress) here's the recipe for Sandi's Pina Coladas (or Pina Coldadas if you've already had a few).


These are the basic ingredients:

Of course I am not going to be a foodie-snob, but I do prefer organic.  If Dole is on sale, however, our economy dictates I buy commercial over locally-grown & organic.  Actually, I'd be rather surprised to find local, organic pineapples at local Minnesota farmer's markets.  Minnesota is a great reference for finding some of these growers and markets, if you are in the area and looking for things that actually do grow here.

I used half a 13.6 ounce can of coconut milk (this does separate, so you may want to blend it and then take out half)        
half of the big 20-ounce can of pineapple (tidbits or crushed - it's going in the blender anyway)
half of the orange-pineapple-banana juice concentrate - NOT prepared, just scoop the frozen concentrate out of the can (or just orange-pineapple or pineapple will work, too)
6 oz light rum or prepared pineapple juice

Blend all together in an electric blender and freeze for at least six hours (overnight works great).  The alcohol will keep the mix from freezing solid; if you use prepared juice in place of alcohol it might get a bit more solid.  This is the concentrated mix:

Add 2 cups of this mix to a blender with about 5-6 cups ice (fill the blender 1/2-full of ice) and as much juice or rum as you would like.

I used 12 ounces of rum, and it wasn't too thick, but not too liquid.  However, I would recommend only using 4 to 6 ounces and then adjusting for taste.

  The finished product, garnished with a sprinkle of coconut.  Mix the garnish in before drinking unless you like the look of a flaky, sugary mustache.

*Alcohol-free tip:  If you put a scoop of the frozen concentrate mix into a cup, top it off with a lemon-lime soda like Sprite or 7-Up.  It's a refreshing drink to serve at showers or brunches.