It seems like such a natural pairing: sweet pineapple and creamy coconut. You probably assume it has been enjoyed for generations on tropical islands, right? But its official origins really aren’t that distant.
Although no one knows for sure when and where the first piña colada (which translates as “strained pineapple”) was served, the Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico claims they made the first one in 1954. No matter who invented it, that flavor combination is now popular around the world.
This summer we debuted an herbal tea named Cabana Beach that pays homage to the Puerto Rican national drink (July 10 is National Piña Colada Day). This version features not only pineapples and coconut, but also tangy hibiscus, which provides a hot pink color.
In addition to making a fantastic glass of iced tea, Cabana Beach also works surprisingly well as a base for cooking meats. We’ve used it for both chicken and pork, and the flavor is fantastic.
We’re also planning to use it to make a batch of Pineapple Jam, as well as to infuse a cake. So many possibilities!