Pina Colada

In the mid-1980s, lacking the wherewithal to party as regularly as we might have wished, my partner Norman and I struck on an extremely popular and successful plan.

Every 2 - 3 months we would host an exclusive cocktail party on a Sunday afternoon. We'd invite eight people, each of whom had to arrive exactly at the appointed hour bearing whatever ingredients we had asked of them. People who were well-off brought the spirits; those less so brought the mixers or fruit. Once everyone had arrived, we had the makings to create a progression of four different cocktails throughout the course of the afternoon, serving the ten of us.

The first was usually a champagne cocktail, which was quick to produce and bought me time to start prepping the second offering of the afternoon: nearly always a fruit-based drink, such as a Pina colada.

As with Ika Mata, Pina coladas require coconut cream. If there's a tinned variety you trust, fine. Once again I'm going to make my own equivalent from a block of creamed coconut.

In theory, 1 part of creamed coconut to 4 parts of water (e.g., 40g grated creamed coconut to 160mls of water) should do the trick. It takes quite a while (a few hours) for the coconut to swell and thicken the water, and I wouldn't store it in the fridge - the fat floats to the top and sets as a solid lump. The result was okay, if a little gritty from the larger bits of coconut. It's not the same as tinned coconut cream, but I'll still make it again. Once it has thickened, it's probably best to store it in the fridge.

Finally, a word or two about crushed ice.

Norman and I had an ice crusher (slightly bigger than the one pictured, I suspect), which I found on the secondhand barrow by our local shops, and which probably cost me 10p (I would have paid 20p!!!). You put ice cubes in the top and crank the handle, which turns some blades and shaves the ice into the bucket below.

I no longer have it, and I'm guessing you don't have one either.

Fear not! You can make a reasonable facsimile to crushed ice in a blender (NOT in a food processor though - it will dull those razor sharp blades!!!). Simply pop in some ice, cover it with water, and set the machine running.

A minute or so later, everything will have frozen over and the ice cubes will have turned to frozen mush. Strain if necessary and spoon it into your glasses.

Makes 3 - 4 drinks depending on the size of the glasses (or even 2, come to that).


3/4 cup white rum

3 tablespoons coconut cream

3 heaped tablespoons of fresh pineapple chunks

3/4 cup pineapple juice

crushed ice to serve

a portion of a slice of pineapple, skin on, to garnish

If you're unfamiliar with creamed coconut, find out more about it here:



Make your crushed ice as described above - but ONLY in a blender if you don't have an ice crusher. If you make it in a food processor it will blunt your machine's blades.


Place the rum, coconut cream, pineapple chunks, and pineapple juice in your blender and give it a good whizz.


Pour over the crushed ice, decorate with a bit of pineapple, serve with straws, and enjoy!

Any questions? You can use the comments form at the bottom of the page.

Did you know?

You'll find recipes at the back of all the books in the Send for Octavius Guy series:

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