Virgin Pina Colada
Piña colada is a sweet cocktail made with coconut and pineapple juice. I made it kid-friendly, but the authentic version requires a few shots of rum.
Les beaux jours sont de retour! "Sunny days are back" and I thought it would be a well-deserved drink to bring to my husband after a long day at work. When Lulu came home, I told him to lie down in a long chair outside on the deck and wait for me. I whipped up the cocktail for him (and for the girls as well) and brought a tray full of the piña colada drinks. His reaction was: "Oh, you read my mind, sweetie. This drink reminds me so much of our anniversary trip to Cancun!"
Yields: 8 servings1 quart pineapple juice
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 cups crushed ice
1 cup cane sugar (I used Turbinado raw sugar)
½ cup water
½ teaspoon banana extract (optional)
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup homemade whipped cream (optional)
2 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional), slightly dry toasted
Making simple syrup: In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in water. Bring to a near boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add both vanilla and banana extracts (if used). Let the syrup cool completely.
Assembly time: Combine the pineapple juice, crushed pineapple, coconutmilk and crushed ice in a blender. Blend all the ingredients for about 2 minutes. Sweeten the drink with the syrup. I only added 6-½ tablespoons of syrup but you could add all the syrup if you prefer it a bit sweeter.
Pour into 8 glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream if you like and toasted coconut flakes. Decorate with a little cocktail drink umbrella. You could also garnish the glass with a fresh pineapple wedges and a maraschino cherry.
Enjoy and relax!
This cocktail is kid-friendly since it's alcohol-free, but you can always add light rum. Count 1 part rum to 2 parts pineapple and coconut juice.
I prefer to use superfine sugar. It's a fine-grained sugar and it dissolves much more quickly than regular sugar.
I used the Vitamix blender for this recipe. It's kind of expensive, but so worth it. I got it as a wedding gift, and it's really powerful. It crushes ice into snow-cones almost instantly. It's perfect for smoothies. Just make sure there is some amount of liquid so that the motor does not burn. Vitamix also carries an additional container just for dry ingredients.
I used unsweetened pineapple juice so I can control the level of sweetness of the drink.
You can find coconut milk in Asian stores or even in the International Cuisine aisle of some local chain markets .Published By: on March 28, 2010.