By Samantha Dellilo

Whether you’re coming or going, it is so fitting that Gilbert’s Resort is either your first or last available option for a stop in the Keys. It’s fitting because they have the best piña colada, dare I say, in the world.

What better way to kick off a Keys visit, or say goodbye to the islands, than with the world’s best offerings. For credibility, may I add, I’ve had a lot of piña coladas in my time. If you’ve had a lot of frozen daiquiris as well, you know they can go very wrong. They can be icy or watery. The liquor-to-mix ratio can be off.

Gilbert’s, however, has it down to a science. The piña coladas at Gilbert’s are creamy like a milkshake, and that part is always consistent. It’s sweet but not too sweet. You feel equal parts guilt and pleasure while drinking it. A few key tips to consider. Always ask them if their piña colada machine is working, that’s the only piña colada I vouch for. Second, splurge on a floater. Specifically, Myers’s rum. It cuts the sweetness level down to just right and elevates the taste. It gives it almost a light nutty back flavor. 

And sure, while you’re at it, extra cherries please. Now depending on the time of year is how long you have to drink this bad boy until it’s melted. My guess is, unless it’s one of our two cold fronts, it’s hot outside.

So, get sipping. You can get this drink by land or sea. Gilbert’s has a large parking lot for visitors as well as plenty of dockage. Cue the song. … “If you like piña coladas.”