AlcoHOLidays | Pina Colada Day | Van-Pina Colada



When I was very young and we lived with my grandmother, one of the many things I remember about her house was the wet bar in the living room. Tucked away to the right of the televisions and closed off by some bi-fold doors, I just thought (still think) it was one of the neatest things. And some nights my aunt would mix-up some pina coladas for the family and I would get my own (before the rum was added, of course) in a cute little glass that sort of looked like a miniature of those old fashioned sundae glasses.

So you can imagine that pina coladas have a special place in my cocktail-loving heart (or should I say liver?).

Strangely enough, I don’t make them very often. I’m not a huge fan of blender drinks in general and I almost never have Coco Lopez (the coconut cream necessary for a good pina colada). But for Pina Colada Day (July 10) I will certainly make an exception.

What turns me off of most blender drinks, though, is the little shards of crushed and blended ice. Seldom are they truly smooth enough to be pleasant and the brightness of the melting ice sometimes interferes with the taste of the frozen drink itself. The better the blender, I’m betting, the lesser this problem, but I wondered if there was something I could use instead of just plain crushed ice.

Of course there was.

Van-Pina Colada

3.5 oz Pineapple Juice
2 oz Coconut Cream
1.75 oz Aged Light Rum
1.5 cups Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Combine the juice, cream, and rum in a blender and puree until smooth and combined. Add the ice cream and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker colada, add more ice cream.

Pina Coladas usually call for white rum but I find white rums brassy and harsh in so many cases so I took advantage of my new-found love of Aged Light Rum (like the Cruzan I review last week) and used that instead. The ice cream I used was Breyers Vanilla Bean (Lactose Free) and the result is a rich, creamy, colada-cum-milkshake that gives me the flavor I was looking for without the unpleasant texture despite having a less than top-of-the-line blender (mine was actually a thrift store purchase many years ago for all of $5).

Adding more of any one mixer would usually dilute the flavors of the drink too much, but I think with the flavor enhancing properties of vanilla in the ice cream, you could safely increase the ice cream by quite a bit to stretch this drink to several servings.


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