If blender drinks are your thing, you’re gonna love this key lime colada. Like a frozen piña colada but with real key lime juice instead of pineapple. These boat drinks will have you crooning to your favorite Jimmy Buffett tunes!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve naturally considered frozen piña coladas to be the ultimate summer vacation beverage. Whenever we’d travel during the sweltering summer months, it wasn’t a vacation until I’d had my first piña colada. In South Florida, however, there’s a spot that makes a Key Lime Colada and I think it may have knocked the original off its lofty perch.
I don’t claim to be the originator of this cocktail, just an avid fan. When we visit my parents in the Keys we always visit the Lorelei. It’s a very casual spot perched on the edge of the Florida Bay with spectacular sunsets, live music on the weekends awesome grilled fish sandwiches and ice cold margaritas and of course these spectacular key lime coladas. They are sweet and tangy and so good that brain freeze is almost guaranteed!
At Lorelei, they’ve got multiple blender drinks dispensed from industrial frozen drink machines. All it takes is the pull of a lever to dispense their icy Key Lime Coladas, Bushwackers and Rum Runners. In my own kitchen, I turn to my trusty Vita-Mix for blender drink recipes. Naturally, Key Lime Coladas start with real key lime juice — each drink gets about 3 tablespoons of juice or 3 whole key limes.
Next comes the rum. There are so many different varieties and price points of rum out there. If I’m sipping rum or mixing it in a ‘Ti Punch, I go for Rhum Agricole from Martinique, but if I’m blending it with Coco-Lopez, I don’t feel I need to be as picky. Mount Gay rum is moderately priced and gives this Key Lime Colada the flavor profile and kick.
Instead of pineapple juice I use key lime juice in a different ratio than you would for a frozen piña colada. Pineapple juice is sweet after all, and these key limes are pucker-your-lips tart. Three parts cream of coconut to one part key lime juice gives you a lightly sweet, tangy and smooth libation.
In a nod to the world famous key lime pie – I’ve included a graham cracker rim (they do that at the Lorelei too) .
Finish the Key Lime Colada with a floater of rum and a thin slice of key lime for the glass. The paper straw gives this cocktail a beach-vacation feel. Just turn on Pandora and queue up Jimmy Buffett’s “Boat Drinks” to be transported to your idyllic island getaway. Happy va-cay!
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Key Lime Colada
Straight from the Florida Keys and perfect for a sweltering summer day, Key Lime Coladas are a perfect blend of sweet and tart with a kick!
- 2 cups ice
- 2 1/2 ounces dark rum (divided)
- 1 ounce key lime juice from about 3 key limes
- 3 ounces cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez) Do not use coconut milk or coconut water
- 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs optional
- thin slice key lime
- sprinkle toasted coconut
- sprinkle graham cracker crumbs
Dip the rim of a glass in a shallow bowl of water to wet the rim. Add Graham cracker crumbs to a shallow dish and lightly shake so it's a thin even layer. Dip the rim of the glass into the graham cracker crumbs until they stick. Set aside.
Add the ice, rum, key lime juice and cream of coconut to a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into the prepared glass. Top the Key Lime Colada with the remaining 1/2 ounce of rum (a floater) and garnish as desired.
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