Monday, July 9, 2012

July 10th is Piña Colada Day

Wednesday is the day to celebrate! But what do you celebrate when you commemorate Piña Colada Day? According to Intoxicology, the Piña Colada (Spanish for Strained Pineapple) got its start in the 1800s when the Puerto Rican pirate, Roberto Confresi, boosted his crew's morale by adding pineapple and coconut to white rum. When Confresi died in 1825, his recipe was lost. But the bartender at Caribe Hilton's Beachcomber Bar in San Juan (who was said to be Ramon "Monchito" Marrero) reinvented the drink on August16, 1954. This begs the question, why isn't August 16th Piña Colada Day? Oh well. Another bartender, at Barrachina Restaurant in Puerto Rico, brought a Piña Colada recipe home from South America in 1963.  There may be other stories of the origin, too.

Now they are filled with strawberries and bananas and who knows what else? Nevertheless, it's the official drink of Puerto Rico.

I had the great good fortune to be invited to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands a few years ago and toured a rum factory. I won't tell you that the vats of fermenting sugar are open to the air, shield only by a fabric sort of tent cover. The alcohol surely kills anything that falls into the roiling brew. It all turns out all right in the end.

Which bring us to fiction! We can put all sorts of stuff into our brews and sometimes they come out all right and sometimes they don't. Then we rewrite, right? I'm putting a tiny bit of paranormal into my next amateur sleuth, the one coming out in October. According to Wiki, paranormal has to do with unexplained phenomena. Supernatural means phenomena not subject to the laws of nature.

Paranormal, according to this article means ghosts, extraterrestrials, and weird animal-type critters like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, unicorns, werewolves. I think vampires are classified supernatural by these criteria. Personally, I'd put werewolves and vampires in the same category, since I've seen them appear in the same stories.

You can put some horror into romance, some thriller into fantasy, some vampires into a travelogue if you want to. There's no end to the blending you can do. You can even use bananas and strawberries in your plot. The only question is, will it work? Will the reader buy into it and want to read to the end? If you've written it that way, let's hope so.


  1. Oh man! I need a pina colada now! Great post. You're absolutely right. You can put anything in the story, but will it blend into something delicious that works? I've certainly cranked out a failed drink or two and the same can be said for a few of my stories!

  2. I'm picturing throwing a story down the drain. Hmmm....

  3. Good luck with your idea of blending, Kaye. I think the trick with mysteries is making the blend fun and funny, and I know you can do that. I'll be interested to read how it's going as you write. Hope you post here about it every once in awhile.

  4. I probably will--here and at Travels with Kaye. Thanks for stopping by, Jan.