Do you like Piña Colada?

By Laurie Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

A classic "Puerto Rican style" Piña Colada.
A classic "Puerto Rican style" Piña Colada.

Related tags: Piña colada, Rum

With national Piña Colada day two days away on Friday July 10 and the weather set hit the high twenties, there has never been a better time to cash in on this classic cocktail.

A Piña Colada is a rum based cocktail which when served in the traditional Puerto Rican style features coconut, pineapple and lime, translated into English Piña Colada means “strained pineapple.”

The Piña Colada has a rich history with bar legend saying that in the 19th​ century Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresi made a concoction of white rum, pineapple and coconut to keep his crew’s morale up while at sea.


In the 20th​ century, the first bartender to claim to make the Piña Colada was Ramón 'Monchito' Marrero Pérez, who claims to have first made it at the Caribe Hilton Hotel's Beachcomber Bar in San Juan in 1954.

This is disputed by Ramón Portas Mingot who says he created it in 1963 at the Barrachina Restaurant also in San Juan. The restaurant stands by his claim to this day.

Regardless of its origins the Piña Colada is now considered a ‘classic’ and most cocktail bars have the ingredients and equipment to whip them up to order.

The classic “Puerto Rican” style Piña Colada recipe as given by the International Bartender’s Association is:

  • 30 ml (one part) white rum
  • 30 ml (one part) coconut milk
  • 90 ml (3 parts) pineapple juice

Mix with crushed ice in blender until smooth. Pour into chilled poco grande glass, garnish and serve.

Pernod Ricard is currently running a campaign to boost awareness of Piña Colada day in the UK. July 10 is celebrated as Piña Colada day in its native Puerto Rico as well as in the US. Here’s their signature serve using Malibu coconut rum.

In case you missed that:

  • 50ml (2 parts) Malibu
  • 25ml (1 part) coconut milk
  • 25ml (1 part) pineapple juice

Shake with ice and strain into a chilled hi-ball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with pineapple juice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

A Cuban Style Piña Colada leaves out the coconut and adds lime:

  • 50 ml (2 parts) anejo rum
  • 120 ml (5 parts) pineapple juice
  • 10 ml (1/3 part) lime juice
  • 10ml (1/3 part) sugar syrup

Shake the ingredients and strain over ice in a hi-ball, garnish with a lime wheel.

Pina Colada (2)

The Cuban style misses out the coconut in favour of more pineapple and has similarities to a daiquiri. Probably closer to “strained pineapple” than a Puerto Rican Style, this is a useful recipe when coconut isn’t available.

The PMA house serve Piña Colada mixes things up for those with a taste for stronger drinks:

  • 25 ml (1 part) Wray & Nephew overproof white rum
  • 25 ml (1 part) Malibu
  • 25 ml (1 part) coconut milk
  • 37.5 ml (1 & 1/2 parts) pineapple juice
  • 10 ml (1/3 part) lime juice

Blend all ingredients with crushed ice, serve in a chilled hurricane glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

The overproof rum gives this drink a kick and the addition of lime juice takes the edge of the sweetness of the rum.

And finally a simple serve for those who don’t want to get in any special ingredients:

  • 50ml (2 parts) Coconut rum (Malibu/Koko Kanu)
  • 50 ml (2 parts) pineapple juice
  • 15 ml (1/2 part) milk

Shake hard with ice and strain into a hi-ball over crushed ice. Garnish with lime, pineapple or orange to preference.


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