Twonya Bookert-Smalls is a seasoned bartender and is known for whipping up something sweet and original based off of patron’s requests. She currently works weekends at one of New Haven’s newest restaurants for the mature crowd.  If you want something sweet, Twonya just may blend up a strawberry margarita. For something with a kick, a special ciroc blend may be in order. But one of her top tropical drinks is the frozen piña colada. The perfect drink for a hot summer day when you’re hanging out with or grilling with friends and family.
Twonya Bookert-Smalls
Thirty Plus Bar Restaurant
50 Fitch St.
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 780-8140

Bookert-Smalls has been a native of New Haven, CT for all of her 39 years of life, and for a little under a decade she’s bartended for some of New Haven’s hot spots. As a way to earn extra cash, Twonya began bartending for the parties of family members and friends. Then she went to serving her drinks at private parties and events. She has shaken and stirred many drinks behind the bars of several New Haven restaurants, bars, grills and cafes and has served every type of customer and countless specialty drink needs. She believes each customer prefers something different, so she had to master each kind of drink. When the weather gets warmer, she finds that patrons tend to ask for more of the frozen drinks — which is why her top frozen is the frozen piña colada.

Ingredients: you will need 3oz of pineapple juice; 1oz White rum; 1/2 oz of coconut rum (optional); and 1oz of coconut cream a blender and ice.


  • Fill blender halfway with ice
  • Pour all the ingredients into the blender
  • Blend until smooth; do not exceed one minute
  • Decorate glass with fresh fruit
  • Drink and enjoy
Choosing The Right Brand Of Rum

Although the basic recipe calls for white rum, and there are several generic types available, Bookert-Smalls recommends staying a way from generic brands. Although it may save you a little money, it won’t do much for the taste and quality of the drink. She recommends Bacardi for the white rum choice and Malibu for the coconut rum.

Ensure The Pineapple Juice Is At Room Temperature 
The pineapple juice does not have to be frozen for this mixture.  Some people buy the frozen pineapple juice that you would normally add water to for your drink. This recipe does not call for that choice. Room temperature with regular canned or bottled pineapple juice works well when adding it over the ice for blending.
Crushed Ice Is Recommended

Although you may have a tray of cubed ice sitting in the freezer, try to use the crushed ice.  Fill the blender halfway with the crushed ice so that you may have enough room to add the remaining ingredients. Also, the consistency of the drink will become a lot smoother with the crushed ice as opposed to cubed ice, which may result in large chunks of the ice remaining in the drink.

Related: Ask A Connecticut Bartender: Your Top Martini Recipe

Blend No More Than One Minute

Bookert-Smalls suggests that blending should not exceed one minute.  With the right blender you should not need any more time. Otherwise the mixture can become extremely loose and a milky consistency rather than a thick slushy frozen drink.

Do Not Add More Ingredients Than Required
The taste of the drink is very important, and adding more does not give you more.  Twonya suggests that adding a little more of the required ingredients can be okay — a little more rum or a little more juice. However, adding anything additional can alter the taste of the drink and create something entirely different. Follow these recommendations and you will enjoy a nice frozen piña colada

Related: Top New Cocktail Bars In Connecticut

Wanda Coppage is a resident of New Haven, CT where she works as a Music Director and On-Air personality for anUrban/AC radio station. Her passion for life, music and great entertainment is reflected in all of her endeavors, as a radio personality, thinker and writer, and all things that allow her to creatively express herself. Read more of her work on