Small-batch premium spiced rum from the Devon Rum Company.
The piña colada is one of the world’s best-loved cocktails, a creamy, frothy concoction of rum, pineapple juice, and coconut cream. The piña colada was created in Puerto Rico in the 1950s, but the identity of the bartender who first mixed up this iconic rum-based cocktail is still not certain. It quickly became such a popular drink that several bartenders claimed they had invented it. At the Caribe Hilton, one of the premier luxury hotels in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, it is reported that Hollywood legend Joan Crawford declared after tasting one of the hotel’s piña coladas, that it was “better than slapping Bette Davis in the face.”
A more romantic story claims that the piña colada was the brainchild of the 19th-century Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi, who was said to have boosted the morale of his crew by giving them a pick-me-up drink of white rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk.
However, it seems likely that this modern-day tropical cocktail couldn’t have been developed until the 1954 invention of a key ingredient, Coco Lopez, a pre-made cream of coconut, which was developed by University of Puerto Rico agriculture professor Ramon Lopez-Irizarry, who blended cream from the hearts of Caribbean coconuts with natural cane sugar, very soon the island started using Coco Lopez as an integral part of their piña coladas. Coco Lopez even supplied the Caribe Hilton with blenders and hired a piano player to perform while bartenders served up complimentary piña coladas to hotel guests, according to the “Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America”.
My own first taste of this Caribbean beach cocktail was in the ’80s and feeling somewhat nostalgic I thought I would try my hand at restoring the tropical glamour of the piña colada cocktail by making this classic at home.
I recently received a bottle of small-batch premium spiced rum which is expertly and ethically crafted in Devon by the Devon Rum Company.
The Devon Rum Company was founded by David Seear, who after thirty years in the city working in recruitment decided to up sticks and head to the seaside. After conducting extensive research that showed that although once reserved as the favoured tipple of sea dogs and Cuban bartenders, rum is increasingly appreciated by a new generation of tastemakers who are flexing their taste buds in new directions. Thus, Seear set about creating a premium spiced rum that celebrates the rolling seas of the South West.
This rum is a delicious drink in itself, a tipple of all tipples. It’s bright burnt amber in colour, smooth and warmly spiced with wonderful aromas of charred orange peel, notes of caramel, hints of cardamom, and a smack of zesty peppercorn.
The Devon Rum Company’s unique blend of pot and column-stilled rum is created in close partnership with one of the world’s leading blenders and importers of traditional Caribbean rum sourced in Jamaica and Guyana. Made by mixing distillery strength nectar with soft Devon spring water to bring it down to a drinking strength of 40% ABV, it is then infused with a unique blend of aromatic spices, pepper, and citrus zest.
Unlike many alternative spiced rums, they add no vanilla, sugar or colouring and have concentrated on the quality of the base rum, a carefully crafted recipe and sourcing quality natural ingredients to deliver this delightful spirit.
Devon Rum is excellent on its own but it also great as a piña colada cocktail base. I rather like dark golden rum in my piña coladas, with the sunny, spicy flavours shining through.
I used Devon Rum Company’s golden rum, coconut milk, and fresh pineapple, however, this classic rum cocktail recipe can be adapted to your taste. You can substitute the dark rum with white rum if you prefer and coconut cream is just as good as milk. You don’t have to blend in the fresh pineapple, but I liked the extra fruity taste. It’s quick and easy to make, all you need is rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk, ice, garnish, and a blender.
The result was quite delicious…all I need now is to be transported to a beautiful sunny beach in Puerto Rico.
The delicious spiced rum from the Devon Rum Company is crafted with passion, using quality, ethically sourced products and is available to buy online for home delivery, and in select artisan shops.
- 120 ml pineapple juice
- 60 ml dark rum
- 60 ml coconut milk or cream
- A few chunks of diced fresh pineapple and a wedge to garnish
Pulse all the ingredients together with some ice in a blender
Pour into a highball or tall glass and garnish with pineapple.
For an alternative Spiced Rum cocktail, try this Spiced Rum Mojito recipe