Piña Colada

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Cocktail History

The Piña Colada is a classic cocktail that is believed to have been created by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The drink was originally based on a Cuban recipe for a refreshing pineapple slushy called the Piña Fria and, after the addition of coconut to its rum, pineapple, and lime template, went on to become a staple when it was mentioned in not one but two hit songs in the late 1970s. It has since stayed on many restaurant and bar menus from the “cocktail dark ages” to today.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

White Rum: This is a type of rum made with molasses or sugar cane juice and alcohol that is filtered and bottled right away without the aging process. We used BACARDÍ Superior White Rum because it has a soft and slightly sweet rum flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum.

Pineapple Juice: This is the liquid juice of a pineapple. We used fresh pineapple juice.

Cream of Coconut: This is a thick cream made with coconut milk, sugar, citric acid, and other ingredients. We used Coco Lopez Real Cream of Coconut because it has a rich flavor and silky texture.

Coconut Milk: This is a thin, milky liquid made extracted from the pulp of coconuts. We used So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk because it has a smooth texture and light taste.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Pineapple Slice: This is pineapple flesh that has been cut into a slice.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Chef’s Knife: This is used to cut larger fruits and vegetables into slices for the garnish. We used the OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Chef’s Knife.

Pineapple Corer: This is used to remove the core of the pineapple before it’s juiced. We used the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus, fruits, and vegetables. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer for the lime and the Hamilton Beach Large Juicer for the pineapple.

Blender: This is used to blend up ingredients. We used the Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPowder Electronic Bar Blender.

Tasting Notes

The classic Piña Colada begins with sweet aromas of coconut and pineapple and leads into a very balanced flavor of both, offset just a bit by the tart lime, before finishing with a slight coconut nuttiness.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Now to answer the ultimate question… Do we, in fact, like Piña Coladas? It’s hard to mess up such a simple combination of good flavors, so yes, we did both enjoy it. But honestly, we were left a bit wanting. After trying so many complex tiki recipes recently, we realized that the Piña Colada is on restaurant menus for a reason: it offers little surprise or nuance. We’d definitely make it again, just probably with some bitters, an aged rum, or even a bourbon or rye split base to dress it up.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐
“This quintessential coconut drink certainly does live up to its fame, as the frozen blend of pineapple and coconut flavors is inoffensive and goes down very easily. From a cocktail enthusiast’s perspective though, the drink is pretty uninteresting. It’s easy to see why this is on the drink menu at every Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s, and Chili’s you can find. I would maybe try spicing it up with other ingredients if we made it again.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“Like Alex said, I understand why this cocktail is on every mid-level chain restaurant’s drink menu now. It tastes like coconut, and that’s about it, which means it’s very likely to appeal to the masses. After trying so many unique tiki cocktails first though, I found the Piña Colada to be surprisingly boring. Maybe if it had been my gateway to tiki like it is for most people I would’ve liked it, but I much prefer Alex’s Greena Colada to this one.

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

Sale
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks with 150 Recipes
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 352 Pages – 09/05/2017 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$13.05 Amazon Prime

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail Book

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz White Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 1 oz Cream of Coconut
 1 oz Coconut Milk
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 3 Pineapple Fronds
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Method
1

Add rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, coconut milk, lime juice, and cubed ice to a blender.

2

Blend until desired texture.

3

Pour into a hurricane glass.

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and wedge.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz White Rum
 1 oz Pineapple Juice
 1 oz Cream of Coconut
 1 oz Coconut Milk
 ½ oz Lime Juice
 3 Pineapple Fronds
 1 Pineapple Wedge

Directions

Method
1

Add rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, coconut milk, lime juice, and cubed ice to a blender.

2

Blend until desired texture.

3

Pour into a hurricane glass.

4

Garnish with pineapple fronds and wedge.

Piña Colada

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic White Cane Spirit in place of the rum to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey 3717 Embassy 13.25 Ounce Poco Grande Glass - 12 / CS
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SELPONT tion 4 Piece Glass Set – For Drinking Brandy, Bourbon, and Wine (Bran Garden sculpture outdoor decoration
Set includes 4, 11 oz clear hurricane glasses that will enhance your drinking experience.; care instructions: Machine Wash
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef's Knife
OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Contoured handle design provides control while chopping and cutting; Soft, comfortable handle ensures a safe, non-slip grip, even when wet
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Pineapple Corer & Slicer,Silver/Black
Cores and slices whole pineapples quickly and easily; Measurement markings help prevent piercing the bottom of the shell
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Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Hamilton Beach Juicer Machine, Big Mouth Large 3” Feed Chute for Whole Fruits and Vegetables, Easy to Clean, Centrifugal Extractor, BPA Free, 800W Motor, Black
Source: Circana/Retail Tracking Service, US Unit Sales, 12 Months Ending May 2024.; CUP NOT INCLUDED
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OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Pairing Knife,Black/Silver,3-1/2-Inch
Sturdy, stainless steel blade; Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle ensures a safe grip; Hand wash with warm, soapy water and promptly dry
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Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
Cuisinart SPB-7CH SmartPower 40-Ounce 7-Speed Electronic Bar Blender, Chrome
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More Coconut Cocktails

If you like this coconut-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Painkiller Cocktail Recipe

Painkiller: A rum cocktail made with pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut, grated nutmeg, and a pineapple wedge

Angostura Colada Cocktail Recipe

Angostura Colada: A rum cocktail made with Angostura aromatic bitters, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, lime juice, an orange slice, pineapple fronds, and grated nutmeg

Paradise Lost Cocktail Recipe

Paradise Lost: A rum and sherry cocktail made with coconut water, lime juice, orgeat syrup, Angostura aromatic bitters, and a mint sprig

Amaro Di Cocco Cocktail Recipe

Amaro Di Cocco: A rum cocktail made with Campari, sweet vermouth, coconut cream, and pineapple juice

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