Let us begin shall we? So, a Puerto Rican Pirate and Three Puerto Rican Bartenders…hey-hey now, this is not the beginning of some sketchy joke, people!! This begins the tale of the birth of the so festively fresh, creamy and delicious Pina Colada. Let’s get one thing straight – the story of this #TBT cocktail is no punchline, rather a short but sweet tale that provides a glimpse into one the world’s most exotic cocktails.

So, as I was saying… a Puerto Rican Pirate and three Puerto Rican bartenders…contest the ownership of Puerto Rico’s national drink! Let’s study the deets:

Dating back to the 19th century, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, to boost his crew’s morale, gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum. This was what would be later known as the famous piña colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the piña colada was lost — so was this written on a map somewhere???

It seems possible, right? We’ve got pirates, rum, fresh coconuts and pineapple from whatever island they happened upon, easy right? Maybe not…

Remember those three bartenders??

Bartender #1 – Ramón ‘Monchito’ Marrero Pérez claims to have first made his Pina Colada at the Caribe Hilton Hotel’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan on August 15,1952, using the then newly-available coco lópez cream of coconut. Coco lópez was developed in Puerto Rico in 1948 by Don Ramón López-Irizarry, hence the Puerto Rican connection and the 1952 account of the drink’s creation. Some say the drink did not acquire its name until the 1960s.

Bartender #2 – Ricardo García, who also worked at the Caribe, says that it was he who invented the drink, while bartender #3 – Ramón Portas Mingot says he created it in 1963 at the Barrachina Restaurant, in Old San Juan. The restaurant stands by his claim to this day.

So WHO KNOWS! What do we know? It’s name means “strained pineapple,” and it’s made with some of the world’s most desirable dark and white rums born from the sugar canes of Asia, succulent and delicious pineapples native to southern Brazil and Paraguay, and the sweetest, most rich, coconut creams and milks that were born from some of the most pure and untouched islands of the world. So to me, I’m thinking that only a pirate would have gained virgin access to these exotic ingredients. Therefore, the pirate tale sounds a bit more plausible, and exciting…

Anywho, here’s how you make it…

1 ½ cups of ice
½ cup diced pineapple, frozen
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces Coco Lopez coconut cream
1 ½ ounces white rum
1 ounce dark rum
Pineapple slices

Put the ice, fresh pineapple, juice, coconut cream and the white and dark rums into a blender. Blend until smooth, creamy and frosty. Pour the drink into two glasses (or into one large “I’ma drink all this, by myself, right now” glass) and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.

I’ma jump in there and say, add some cherries, a rum rummer and turn on some Rupert Holmes – Escape (the Pina Colada Song) to finalize your frosty cocktail and begin your tropical adventure!!

Thank you Wikipedia, Taste of Rums, Delish, You Tube and Food Network for all the deets.

See you next week!


New at Jefferson

Fresh Whipped Cream Made Instantly! Make magnificent whipped espuma to compliment all of your dishes. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be easily processed to whip into a wonderful tasteful garnish and dip.whipcream

Enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste and elegant sophistication of drinks made with the Donato DiGiacopo Soda Siphon. Featuring a baked black enamel finish, this soda siphon adds the perfect amount of refreshing fizz to your water enabling you to create tasty drinks and cocktails! 1 Liter. Includes 10 Chargers. seltzer

Barrel Aged Bitters are Back!!


Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters
Freshly emptied oak whiskey barrels from America’s best distillers, interiors charred and soaked with aged whiskey, are used by Fee Brothers to age aromatic bitters. Savor the result of the mingling of these great flavors.


Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters
Oak barrels, which aged Old Tom Gin, take on a second life at Fee Brothers. They now age Orange Bitters, mingling it with gin-soaked oak. Crafting Orange Bitters has just been elevated to new heights.

Calvados Coqurel Fine


Calvados Coquerel Fine
Normandy has been famous for its apples for thousands of years. One myth from the ancient Gauls claimed that Venus sowed the seeds of the first apple orchards in the region. Calvados is believed to date back to the 16th century when distillers of wine began experimenting with cider, the traditional drink of Normandy. Then in 1588, a ship from the Spanish Armada ran aground in Normandy. It’s name, “El Calvador” became the namesake for this fine product. Located near the timeless Mont Saint Michel, Domaine du Coquerel was founded in 1937. It takes over 13 pounds of apples to make a 750 milliliter bottle of Calvados Coquerel. It is the #2 Calvados in the world. Coquerel Fine is a blend of calvados aged a minimum of 3 years. It makes a fine aperitif, digestif, and is also an excellent ingredient for cocktails.

Whiskey Dinner at Gerard’s in Des Peres!

whiskey 'round the worldJoin Randall’s Wines & Spirits and Gerard’s Restaurant for an evening tasting, learning and celebrating the wonderful world of whiskey!

Joe Cavatiao will be our guide, leading us from the hills of Kentucky to the distant shores of Ireland and Scotland, pairing a whiskey-based cocktail to each one of a four-course dinner showcasing the skills and talents of the award-winning chefs of Gerard’s in Des Peres. We’ll also have special whiskey-based apertif and digestif cocktails as well!

This is a dinner and event that is not to be missed! Seating is limited to 40 people, so Call Gerard’s at 314-821-7977 to reserve your place today!

Drink Recipe: All Betts are Off

all-betts-are-off1Matt Lanning, from the Bitter Bar in Boulder Colorado, came up with this intriguing cocktail featuring Sombra Mezcal, Dolin Vermouth, and Yellow Chartreuse.

  • 1.5 oz Sombra Mezcal
  • .75 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
  • .75 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 2 dashes Grapefruit bitters (The Bitter Truth)


Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze a grapefruit twist over the drink and use as a garnish.

This drink was named one of Gary Regan’s list of 101 best cocktails. The full list can be found here:!101bestnewcocktailsindex.html

Apple Brandy

lairds_bondedI know I’ve declared March as ‘Mezcal Month,’ but I have been on an apple brandy kick lately. Apple brandy isn’t so commonplace anymore, but it has a tradition in this country going all the way back to our founding fathers. George ‘the Man’ Washington himself was a fan, and if it’s good enough for him…

Of the few actually producers of apple brandy left in the US, Laird’s, from New Jersey of all places is the oldest and most widely distributed. The spirit they label ‘Applejack’ is a cheaper blend of apple brandy and neutral grain spirits, and that’s not really what we’re here to talk about today,

What we want to discuss is Laird’s 100-proof Bonded Apple Brandy. This is only slightly more expensive than their Applejack, but is 100% pure apple brandy. They claim that 20 pounds of apples are used for each bottle. On its own, the high alcohol content tends to overshadow all them apples, but when its mixed into a cocktail it makes for one rich drink.

The classic apple brandy cocktail is the jack rose, mixing apple brandy with lemon or lime juice and grenadine.

Jack Rose
1.5 Laird’s 100 proof Bonded Apple Brandy
.5 oz Grenadine (or 1oz if you like it sweeter)
.5 oz Lemon or Lime Juice (I prefer lime, personally)
Shake over ice and double strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.