As I sit in my seat, hovering over 30,000 feet above the ocean, I can hardly consider myself an explorer. I lack the adventure of Marco Polo or Lewis and Clark, and I certainly lack the seemingly glamorous lifestyle of our modern day gustatorial explorers, (if I may call you) Tony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern. Perhaps this applies better to my brother in his travel writing days, armed with his backpack, moleskin notebook, and occasional Wi-Fi cafe.
Instead, my explorations are generally mundane. I sit here, surrounded by crying babies (thankfully not my own, though my heart genuinely feels for their parents), returning from some very needed rest and relaxation in my little piece of paradise.
We Californians joke that Hawaii is our playground, much like the Caribbean is to New Yorkers and Thailand to Australians. It’s where many of us escape when we crave the island life. Where we find hammocks calling our name.
On my latest trip to paradise, as I wandered around the resort’s grounds, I stumbled upon a wee little garden tucked among the gorgeous landscaping. To my delight, I found fresh herbs and the youngest pineapple. It was steps away from one of the restaurants by the beach and pool—within easy reach of the chefs and mixologists who were creating all forms of mai tais and frozen drinks.
While the mai tai is absolutely the classic Hawaiian drink, I have a soft spot for its rum cousin, the pina colada.There is to me, nothing more relaxing than having a frosty glass of slushy tropical goodness in hand. Perhaps the only thing better is having it served in a coconut or pineapple. With a sip of coolness and the sun on my skin, it’s a wonder I ever make it back to the airport for the return trip home. Perhaps knowing that I can make this slushy drink whenever I wish in my own kitchen is the comfort. Marco Polo brought back pasta as a souvenir, I have my frozen cocktail. This pina colada will take me back to the island life in no time.
There’s nothing better than the taste of the island life! Beat your summer heat with a frosty pina colada.
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
- 1 cup good quality light rum (such as Malibu Caribbean Rum or Bacardi Puerto Rican Rum)
- 3/4 cup cream of coconut (Coco Lopez is the best)
- 3 cups ice
Place pineapple juice, pineapple, rum, cream of coconut and ice in a blender. Blend well.