Endless summer, in a glass: Five bars, five different takes on the tropical cocktail
Welcome to the monthly feature in which we investigate and rate the way one cocktail varies from bar to bar (to bar to bar to bar). Up this month: The Piña Colada.
Few cocktails are more situation-specific than the piña colada. Say you're lounging on a tropical beach, soaking up sunshine: Why, it's a perfect time to slurp that creamy, boozy blend of coconut milk, ice, pineapple and enough rum to incapacitate a horse. But back in New York, the piña colada can be a sickly sweet cruelty, a cocktail that doesn't quite jibe with the harsh concrete jungle. Hence, piña coladas are typically relegated to the tacky confines of tiki bars—their natural habitat, if you will.
But in recent years, piña coladas have been reappearing on cocktail menus in guises not found in Cancun. From sake-kissed coladas to piñas incorporating aromatic Thai basil, here's one woefully underappreciated cocktail, done five brain-freezing ways. Endless summer, in a glass.
By Joshua M. Bernstein; photos by Melissa Hom