If you love piña coladas, you’re not alone: ​​Pandemic boosts sales of tropical drinks | Cocktails


Piña coladas and other retro cocktails are back in vogue, and many Britons are keen to capture the vibe of a tropical beach holiday with umbrella-topped drinks after two years of holidaying in the UK.

Bars and supermarkets said the growing demand for kitsch drinks, such as mai tais, blue lagoons and tequila sunrises, reflected a post-pandemic desire among consumers for fun experiences and the appeal for Instagram colorful drinks.

Waitrose’s latest drinks report said feel-good fruity cocktails have made a comeback among drinkers keen to make up for lost holiday time abroad due to the pandemic.

Searches on the supermarket’s website for the piña colada, a rum cocktail made with coconut milk and pineapple juice, are up 40% from last year.

The drink, invented in a luxury hotel bar in Puerto Rico in the 1950s for wealthy tourists seeking a taste of the Caribbean, is now the third most popular cocktail in the UK, after negronis and mojitos, according to a new survey.

Jamie Matthewson, beverage business manager at Waitrose, said: “I think what drives this is that people want something fun. These kinds of experiences with friends that we have missed so much for two years.

A survey of 1,000 people by Drinks House 247 found that the piña colada was most popular among people aged 25-44 and 55+.

Kerry Maisey, owner of Ridley Road Market Bar in Dalston, east London, said sales of the kitsch cocktails were booming among millennials as their bright colors made the drinks popular to share on Instagram and TikTok .

“Our frozen cocktails, which are our retro cocktails – the blue margarita and our pink colada, a pina colada with pink food coloring – have always been popular, but since October they have been the most popular drinks,” he said. she declared. “Our sales have almost doubled.”

Maisey said the drinks appealed to younger drinkers because they matched their interest in the 70s aesthetic. “One-color suits for women, elements of 70s leather or denim going into what people wear,” she added.

But she said the call wasn’t just ironic. “Young people see them in a different way than people in the past. There is no sense that they are overwhelmed. They have that visual element. We have customers who have seen the drinks online and want to drink the same. »

The appeal of the drink is national. The Drinks House 247 survey found piña coladas to be the most popular cocktail in Yorkshire, the Humber and the East Midlands. Meanwhile, Northwich in Cheshire has a drinking festivalin tribute to Rupert Holmes, singer of the 70s hit Escape (The Piña Colada Song), who was born in the city.

Adam Gerrard, organizer of the August 20 festival, said: “Most bars [and] now even some of our traditional pubs are starting to sell cocktails. It’s a bit odd that you see grown men standing in a pub drinking a piña colada, but it does happen. Even the Wetherspoons sold them last year.

How to make a pina colada

[From Felicity Cloake’s recipe]

Piña coladas are made from rum, coconut cream (or coconut milk), and pineapple, mixed or shaken with ice. They are often garnished with a pineapple wedge, a maraschino cherry, or both.

(per drink)
50ml coconut milk
50ml golden rum
75ml fresh pineapple juice
1-2 tablespoons of sugar syrup (2 parts white sugar for 1 part water)
Juice of ½ lime
Slice of pineapple, maraschino cherry, cocktail umbrella etc, to garnish

Using enough ice to fill your glass two-thirds full, run it through a blender until crushed, then put it in a shaker. Stir in the coconut milk, then add to the ice cream with the rum and pineapple juice. Whisk or shake until well blended, taste and add sugar syrup and lime juice as needed. Pour into a cold glass. Make a small notch in the pineapple and the cherry and nest them on the edge of the glass. Serve immediately.


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