Tag Archives: fruity drinks

Pina Colada

Most people think of Saint Patrick’s day when the 17th of March rolls around but I’m reminded of my older sister, Cynthia’s, wedding anniversary.  Almost 40 years ago I was working in Puerto Rico with Delta Airlines and  being away from home had missed all the wedding planning and preparations.  Unable to leave work until the afternoon of the rehearsal dinner, I flew into Fort Lauderdale in time for the rehearsal dinner after-party which I was hosting.  This was almost 40 years ago, when tropical drinks were thought of as exotic and slightly dangerous.  My post-dinner party was to be a Puerto Rican pina colada celebration and I arrived well prepared.  My suitcase was loaded with small cans of Coco Lopez cream of coconut, a product almost unknown here in south Florida at the time, my blender and a blender I had borrowed from a friend.  I had boarded the flight with two handles of golden Puerto Rican rum…one in each hand.  My only instructions for Mama were to stock up on ice, pineapple juice and limes.  Knowing my flight would touch down at about the same time the dessert course was being served I had told Mama I would take a cab to the house; there was no need to send someone to fetch me.  The taxi driver helped me to the front door with all my goodies.  The house was quiet.  I opened the front door and gaily called out, “Hi, everybody!  I’m home!”  My eyes swept the high ceilinged living room and quickly accessed the mood.   Mercy.   Every guest was sitting quietly…politely…ram rod straight.  I turned to my little brother and sister and murmured their orders.  They understood the tragedy of a flat party and the importance of their chores.  Within minutes we had salsa playing, both blenders whirred away offering up a frosty concoction to the waiting crystal goblets which were whisked out of the kitchen and served to the waiting guests.  My brother Tommy, sister Pamela and I happily buzzed about the kitchen mixing batch after batch of rum drinks while enjoying the laughter, cocktail chatter and music from the rest of the house.  We all had a delightful time.  The following day the weather was glorious, the bride was beautiful and glowing and the wedding was exquisite.  We had done our jobs and done them well.  All these years later I wish you a happy anniversary, Cynthia and Wash!

If you’ve never tried making this cocktail at home you must.  This pina colada may be served over ice or with the ice blended in as with a “slushy”.  Either way you’ll find, unlike many mixed and served in bars, hotels and restaurants, it’s not too sweet and much lighter than the aforementioned drinks.  It is best mixed in your largest pitcher or an empty plastic gallon jug then chilled.  If you plan on serving the iced “slushy” version, pack your blender half full of ice, pour in the already mixed drink then blend until liquified.  This recipe doubles or triples well.  Your cocktail will also inspire tropical trade winds when garnished with fresh pineapple spear.  But beware.  They go down quite easily!

Pina Colada

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) cream of coconut
  • 2 cups golden rum
  • 4 cups pineapple juice, canned is fine
  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large pitcher and set in the refrigerator to chill until serving.
  2. Just before serving mix again then pour over ice or pour into blender half packed with ice and blend until liquified.
  3. Serve immediately.



Tropical Fruit Bellinis


There are several thing we moms enjoy receiving on Mother’s Day.  Massages, facials, manis and pedis are consistent winners.  Jewelry is ALWAYS exciting especially when handmade out of macaroni and string.  I have an artisanal necklace handmade by James which I treasure made of string and beer can tabs.  However, a summer bag or cute, strappy sandals are always appreciated.  I think what we all want is the perfect day…you know…the one where everyone is home and getting along.  Dad is happy and sweet to everyone and the kids are cheerful and act as though they’re thrilled to spend the day with Mom and not with their friends at the beach.  It’s the day when moms want to feel a little like a girl again.  Yes, we LOVE, L.O.V.E., opening homemade cards from our children and seeing how excited they get when preparing us breakfast in bed.  But part of the day is the girly thing and that’s where the husbands come into play.  I realize I’m not my husband’s mother; he is quick to point that out as we get closer to Mother’s Day.  But if Mom is running behind the children getting them ready for church, brunch and the beach she’s not relaxed.  Mama doesn’t want to man the grill or mix the cocktails.  Nor does she want to think about what she’ll pack for lunches the following week while standing in line at the grocery store Sunday night.  No.  What she’d really like is to be pampered a bit and not have to lift a finger.  For just one day.  Just one.  Bottles of champagne will bring big smiles as will pretty cocktails.  Even better in the pool.  On a float.  With James Taylor, Jack Johnson or John Mayer singing away in the background on the outdoor speakers.  Those are my thoughts.  So to all my moms, Happy Mother’s Day.  You bring us joy!

How I miss my mom! Look at her tiny waist, rockin' that one-piece. She was one phenomenal lady!
How I miss my mom! Look at her tiny waist, rockin’ that one-piece. She was one phenomenal lady.


This drink is a marvelous concoction from the book “Essentially Lilly” published by Harper Collins.  It’s a great book on entertaining by our wonderful Lilly Pulitzer, replete with photos of vibrant, brightly colored Lilly prints and fabrics, Lilly’s family and her legendary Palm Beach pool parties.  It’s a fun, fun read.  As she states in her book, if you wish to make this Bellini alcohol-free substitute the Prosecco with either sparkling apple cider or ginger ale.  Also, leave out the sugar.  The fruit puree can be prepared one day ahead of serving, covered and refrigerated.  It will then be mixed with the sparkling wine just before serving.  Mama will be so happy!


  • Servings: ”4
  • Difficulty: ”easy”</p>
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Classic Rum Punch

It’s been oppressively hot lately and it’s only going to get worse. That’s how we know…it’s hurricane season.   As a child we loved hurricanes. It meant a hotel stay and much less adult supervision. It never, ever occurred to us that we could lose our homes and our safe, sheltered lives. No. It was party time.  When I look back now on those days I have to laugh. My parents would have us doing things like rolling up the Persian rugs and stacking them on the dining room table. Like that’s going to save anything? We lived on the water and the southern wall running the length of the house was all windows.  I don’t know if any of my compatriots had shutters but I know we didn’t.  Mama would hide the silver…she all but buried it in the back yard.  Mind you, she’s from Puerto Rico.  Did she really think Hurricane Sherman would be coming through?  We scurried about busily packing our necessities.  As little girls we packed the essentials…scizzors, paper dolls, coloring books, our favorite baby dolls and a couple of books. As teens we packed a little differently. Latest fashions from Dad’s store, “The Tack Room” and all the make up we owned.  Sometime in the still afternoon dad’s father, Grampa, would call.  The afternoon before a hurricane hits is always creepy-still. Maybe because you know how the violent the winds and waters are going to get.  Grampa lived a few islands away and would predictably call having a complete hissy fit. “Goddamnit, Jack. I need some help over here. I still have to go out for supplies. Where’s Tom?”  Dad’s fine, long fingers would sweep over his already balding head and in a weary voice answer, “Listen, give him a few more minutes here and I’ll send him over.” Grampa always answered the same way, “Right-o”. I was lucky. Grampa, for some unknown reason, liked me. Otherwise he could be mean. Really mean. But he liked me. Eventually Tommy would drive his jeep over to Grampa’s and in his teasing, playful way say, “Grampa! Hey! What’s going on?” Grampa would just glower. “Dammit, let’s go. There’s no time to waste.” And Tommy would always reply, “Sure, Grampa. Where do ya wanna go? Grocery store? Hardware store?” “Crown, goddamnit!! We need to get to Crown’s!” Uh. That’s Crown Liquor.  Crown Liquor Store. And off they’d go to get necessities.  Rum. Good rum. That’s all Grampa needed. No mixers, no ice, no nothing. Rum from the British Virgin Islands. Greater and Lesser Antilles – rum. Leeward and Windward Islands, more rum. Four or five cases later Tommy carried all the liquor in and stacked it outside of Grampa’s bar closet. He would have stored it inside except the bar was packed with rum from all his travels.  Pamela and I often wistfully long for the contents of that ever so magical bar.  Row after row of bottles lined up neatly on self after shelf.  The labels on those bottles were just magnificent!  Some were rustic but beautiful in their simplicity.  Others were opulent with lavish swirls and curlicues.  But they’re gone now.  Pamela and I agree that Dad, who never imbibed much, probably threw them out. I shudder to think.  Anyway, Tommy would head back home after finishing his most important chore where we would be waiting. The house was closed and ready for the big storm. We were leaving for the safety of our hurricane shelter.  Everyone we knew would be there.  The Riverside Hotel.  We laugh now because the Riverside is not only just a mile and half down the road from our houses but it sits directly across the street from the water! Well, we felt safe. After unloading the car I’d sneak whatever alcohol I thought wouldn’t be missed and head out to see who was already there. I’d run into everybody’s parents and try as quickly as possible to wiggle away after the obligatory chit-chat. “Hi, Mrs. Doddridge.  Hi, Mr. Doddridge. Just fine, thank you. And you? Yes, ma’am, they’re here. I think Daddy’s getting their drinks and then they’ll be right down. Good to see y’all, too!”, “they” being my parents. It was a huge hurricane party.  Cynthia would take off to find her friends.  I’d locate bff,  Andrea, we’d pool our purloined booze and settle in with our friends. It was wonderful fun.  Kids ran all over the place and grownups smiled and waved, catching up with each other during this unexpected respite.  The following day everyone packed up, collected their children and made the mile and half journey back home.  And a fun time was had by all!

Dad and Grampa. Hard to believe, but that land behind them is Sunrise Key.

This is a great recipe for Rum Punch. I use it through the year and always Christmas morning. It guarantees that all will get along. Feel free to change the juices to your liking. The original recipe calls for just pineapple juice but I like pineapple-mango mix. An empty plastic water jug is perfect so if you think you’re going to be making this try to remember to keep the top. Make it a day ahead of when it will be served so it has plenty of time to chill. Respect it…it WILL knock you on your tail!

Classic Rum Punch

  • Servings: 1 gallon
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 clean, empty, plastic jug with top
  • 1 liter dark rum, more if you like
  • 1-2 cups good bourbon, I like Wild Turkey or Maker’s Mark
  • 1 46 ounce can pineapple mango juice
  • 1 15 ounce bottle Whiskey Sour mix
  • 2 ounces grenadine
  • orange juice topper, one of those single serving bottles is perfect
  1. Combine all ingredients in jug.
  2. Making sure lid is on tightly, shake well to combine.
  3. Chill overnight in refrigerator.
  4. Right before serving shake jug well.