You want to sing it, right? ♪ Do you like Piña Coladas?♪ It’s definitely an ear worm, and once it gets into your brain, good luck getting rid of it. I’m not a fan of the song, but love the beverage. Its rich, creamy texture and tropical coconut-pineapple flavor take me right back to vacation mode. And who doesn’t need a getaway to the beach right now? Here’s the issue: one 8 ounce serving contains an average of 56 net carbs!
Amy, Andrew, Mike and I took a 4 day weekend trip to Turks and Caicos during the MLK holiday. We’d heard from other guests that the beachfront bartender was amazing, and his Piña Coladas were out-of-this-world fantastic. We knew we were stepping into carb-laden territory, but hey, we were on vacation, and if I was going to try and make a keto version at home, research was definitely in order.
After extensive questioning by my husband, Mike, our friendly bartender gave up his recipe, or so we thought: coconut milk, heavy cream, pineapple juice, Bambarra Black Rum and Bambarra Coconut Rum. The Bambarra rums are known as “The Spirit of the Turks and Caicos.” Since they’re not available in the US, Mike found great replacements in Bacardi Black and Coconut rum. Sounded simple enough.
Back in Atlanta to the test kitchen, ketoizing Piña Coladas was a bigger challenge than we thought. With each new batch, we got closer to the flavors we were looking for. We wanted the freshness of real pineapple juice, but at 30 carbs per cup (and that’s the no sugar added varieties) we settled on 1/4 cup, just enough to brighten up the pineapple flavor. Then to ramp up the flavor without adding any carbs, we found Jordan’s Pineapple Skinny Syrups on Amazon and decided to give it a try. I was afraid we’d end up with a super-sweet, syrupy taste that we didn’t want, but were pleasantly surprised at how authentic the flavor was!
Initially, we used 1/2 cup of no-sugar-added coconut milk. But later we found coconut cream with no added sugar on Amazon. You can use either coconut milk or coconut cream, but we prefer the taste and texture of coconut cream.
Our biggest hurdle was getting the viscosity just right. We wanted a thicker consistency, and ours was simply too thin. As all chefs and mother-in-laws know, when you pass on a recipe, you leave out one or two critical ingredients. Was it ice cream? Probably.
The solution was in my pantry all along: xanthan gum. I’ve used it as a zero net carb thickener for soups and sauces, but never thought it would work as well in cocktails. But thankfully, it did. ♪ If you like Piña Coladas, and getting lost in the rain ♪ (sorry), I promise you will love this luscious, tropical libation.
Here’s a few links to more delicious low carb/keto cocktails:
Keto Piña Coladas
- 2 cups ice
- ¼ cup pineapple juice unsweetened
- ¼ cup pineapple syrup unsweetened
- 3 ounces coconut rum
- 2 ounces rum black
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Gather ingredients: pineapple juice, syrup, rums, coconut cream, heavy cream, and xanthan gum.
- Put ice, pineapple juice, pineapple syrup, coconut rum, black rum, and xanthan gum in blender. On medium speed, blend for 30 seconds.
- Add coconut cream and heavy cream. Blend on medium for 20 seconds.
- Pour into frosty glasses, drizzle in a splash of dark rum and enjoy!