In a piña colada renaissance, La Gigante rises at Warwick

In a piña colada renaissance, La Gigante rises at Warwick
La Piña Colada Gigante at Warwick, for two to four, served in a pineapple. (Betty Hallock)

When was the last time you had a piña colada?

When was the last time you had a piña colada served in a pineapple?


When was the last time you had a piña colada served in a pineapple at a nightclub in Hollywood?

It sounds like an improbable scenario, but mixologists Damian Windsor and Jason Bran have introduced La Piña Colada Gigante to the Warwick on Sunset Boulevard, a slushy $35 oversize cocktail for two to four served in a hollowed-out pineapple, complete with pineapple leaf garnish.

And they're going through 18 cases of pineapples a day because the bottles-and-models crowds are downing piña coladas like it's Tru Blood in Bon Temps.

The piña colada, after all, has come back hard this summer. Caña Rum Bar is serving its blended Caña Colada in large format. For $50, it's a pitcher full of the house blend of Papa's Pilar rum, coconut cream and fresh pineapple. The new Venice Whaler serves a piña colada with Appleton rum, fresh pineapple and toasted coconut.

"Our most popular mixed drink is almost always anything with pineapple," Windsor said, "because pineapple tastes so good."

Because he and Bran, who work from a production kitchen dubbed the Warwick Workshop, were using so much fresh pineapple juice, "it seemed unconscionable to waste" so much of the rest of the pineapple, Windsor said. So they decided to serve piña coladas in the cored fruit. "Who serves a cocktail in a pineapple?"

You do.

La Piña Colada Gigante

From Damian Windsor and Jason Bran of Warwick. Serves two to four. Like the original piña colada first served in Puerto Rico in the '50s, this recipe calls for Coco Lopez cream of coconut. To create a pineapple chalice, try a pineapple slicer. And to make pineapple juice, use a juicer or blend the fruit and double strain. Note: Not tested by the Times Test Kitchen.

1 cored pineapple

5 ounces fresh strained pineapple juice

4 ounces Coco Lopez cream of coconut

4 ounces Caña Brava rum

Fill a shaker with crushed ice. Add the pineapple, cream of coconut and Caña Brava rum. Strain the mixture into the cored pineapple and add more crushed ice. Serve immediately.


6507 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 460-6667,

If you like piña coladas, follow me on Twitter: @bettyhallock