Meet the IPA Piña Colada. Yes, I made one.
Because it is still summer and in the nineties daily. We still go to the pool after I pick up kiddo from school and they still don’t serve IPA mango slushies (I’ve given up on them and have a beer once we come home). And… all summer long I have been complaining about how sweet and practically undrinkable Piña coladas are.
I don’t like complaining, it leaves me empty and exhausted and changes absolutely nothing. Also wires my neurons all wrong, predisposing me to negativity. Enough!
I do like researching, creating and getting good at new things though. I took the matter of the overly sweet Piña colada into my own hands and in result, I am ready to offer you the IPA Piña Colada. A brand new craft beer cocktail, which I will file under craft beering twists on classics.
The IPA Piña Colada respectfully references the original cocktail, but is made with less sugar and with added hoppy zing and tropical flavors from the almighty India pale ale. For this post I chose Stone Brewing Co. Delicious IPA. It happens to be a gluten-reduced ale (not at all what drove my choice) and has a respectable ABV 7.7% and IBU 75. Bursting with flavor – it has the fruity juiciness of oranges and pineapple (wink) as well as dank and citrus. It finishes both bitter and dry and I loved how that played in the cocktail. Loved it.
As a quick refresher, classic Piña colada is mixed with 3 parts pineapple juice, 1 part cream of coconut and 1 part rum (frequently dark rum). The mixture is typically blended with ice for a frozen drink.
Remember when we made a Game of Thrones themed flambe dessert? Still had some dark rum left from that day. We don’t exactly drink this kind of rum, any rum really, but I did use it up in this IPA meets Piña colada experiment. All three rounds of it, leading to the present recipe:)
Introducing the IPA bitterness and zing was not enough to tune down the overly sweet factor though. I made two more changes.
Piña colada stands for ‘pineapple strained’, basically strained pineapple juice. Because the juice is naturally quite sweet you either need to reduce the quantity and alter the classic ratio referenced above, or use freshly strained juice (less sweet than the canned from concentrate juice) or do both. I did both. I used fresh pineapple which I blended and then strained plus I reduced the quantity of it in favor of adding the IPA.
The next thing I tackled was the cream of coconut ingredient. Notice that cream of coconut is not the same thing as coconut cream. It is important to distinguish between the two, as the first one is waay sweeter. Cream of coconut is made by blending coconut cream with cane sugar. It is very, very sweet and is perhaps even more reason for Piña coladas to taste so shockingly sugary than is the pineapple juice.
On the other hand, coconut cream is made by simply simmering the tender flesh of the coconuts with a little bit of water (4 to 1). If the water is increased relative to the coconut flesh, you get coconut milk.
After this post I am definitely not going to be mentioning pineapples and tropical flavors for a while:)
Bratwurst season is upon us friends! And Oktoberfest brews, and wearing my dirndl.
Wrapping up and leaving you with the recipe, in case like me, you generally like the flavors in a Piña colada but not the sugar content. Hoppy drinking!
- 4 large, 1 inch thick slices of fresh pineapple, cores removed or 3 oz of pineapple juice from concentrate
- 3 oz coconut cream (not cream of coconut, there is a difference:)
- 2 oz of rum (dark recommended)
- 6 oz IPA (half a bottle, the rest is for you to ensure the IPA tastes good)
- 8-10 ice cubes
- 1 slice of fresh pineapple for garnish (optional)
- Blend the pineapple slices and strain. You should derive about 4 oz of pineapple juice (or use the 3 oz of concentrate pineapple juice).
- In a blender drop the ice cubes, add the pineapple juice, coconut cream and rum. Blend.
- Split the Piña colada mixture between two glasses and add IPA.
- Stir to blend with the mixture (there will be some beautiful IPA lace on top, yum).
- Garnish with pineapple slice or not and enjoy!