Piña Colada: the best recipe for the classic summer cocktail

Total time: 5 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 1 person
By Cookist

The piña colada is an ultra-refreshing drink to enjoy when the weather is hot in summer. With its sweet coconut and pineapple flavor, this Puerto Rican classic cocktail is perfect for any occasion. It has a beautiful balance of sweetness, tanginess, and a wonderfully rich, creamy texture.

Piña coladas contain two ounces of crisp rum, which works out to about 13 percent alcohol content when you factor in the other ingredients. You can make your piña coladas either shaken or blended – make whichever you prefer! No tiki party is complete without a piña colada in hand, so serve it in a tiki or hurricane glass and garnish it with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.

Whether you're looking for an amazing drink to serve at get-togethers or simply want a tasty cocktail to help cool you down when the temperatures creep up, the piña colada is perfect!

Piña Colada Origins

The piña colada (“strained pineapple” in Spanish) hails from Puerto Rico, but like any good cocktail, it has several origin stories. One popular tale states that it was first created in 1954 at San Juan's Caribe Hilton by one of the hotel's bartenders, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero.

However, some legends say that the piña colada was created by the 19th-century pirate, Roberto Cofresi. He gave the delicious drink to his crew to keep up morale. Whatever the origins, the piña colada is an incredible drink loved by people from all over the world.

Piña Colada Ingredients

The classic piña colada only contains three ingredients. You'll need white or light rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut like the Coco Lopez one . Canned pineapple juice is the best option, but you can use fresh instead.

Should You Blend or Shake a Piña Colada?

The classic piña colada is served shaken, but you can easily make a tasty blended version. Add cream of coconut, pineapple juice, frozen pineapple chunks, rum, and ice into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Tips for the Best Piña Colada

For a less sweet piña colada, squeeze a little lime juice into the cocktail shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Cream of coconut can be tricky to find. You can substitute it with coconut cream plus some sugar or simple syrup. Cream of coconut is sweetened, coconut cream is unsweetened, so you'll need to sweeten it yourself to give your piña colada the right flavor.

Don't use coconut milk. It's too thin, and the texture of your piña colada will be runny.

To make your piña colada lighter, serve it over crushed ice.

You can use vodka or tequila instead of rum to make delicious variations on this classic summer drink.

Use spiced rum instead of white rum to put another tasty twist on your piña colada.

To make a virgin piña colada, simply leave out the rum.

Can You Store Piña Colada?

Yes! You can mix up your piña colada and store it in the freezer. It'll last for up to one month. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so before serving.

More Summer Drinks You'll Like

White rum
2 ounces
pinapple juice
2 ounces
cream of coconut
1 1/2 ounces
pineapple wedge, for garnish
maraschino cherry, for garnish

How to Make Piña Colada

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut.

Shake well for about 30 seconds.

Strain into a chilled hi-ball glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry and pineapple wedge.


Your piña colada should be creamy and foamy after shaking it.

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