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Piña colada

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Piña Colada
IBA official cocktail
Base spirit
ServedFrozen: blended with ice
Standard garnishslice of pineapple with a cocktail cherry
Standard drinkware
Poco Grande glass
IBA specified
  • 50 ml white rum
  • 30 ml coconut cream
  • 50 ml fresh pineapple juice
PreparationBlend all the ingredients with ice in an electric blender, pour into a large glass, and serve with straws.
NotesHistorically a few drops of fresh lime juice or bitters were added to taste. 4 slices of fresh pineapple can be used instead of juice
Piña Colada recipe at International Bartenders Association

The Piña Colada (/ˌpnjə kˈlɑːdə, -nə-, -kə-/;[1][2] Spanish: piña [ˈpiɲa], "pineapple", and colada [koˈlaða], "strained") is a cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with either a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry, or both. The drink originated in Puerto Rico.


The name piña colada (Spanish) literally means "strained pineapple",[3] a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink's preparation.


Ramón Portas Mingot is one of two bartenders credited with creating the drink in Puerto Rico

Legendary origins[edit]

The earliest known story states that in the 19th century, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, to boost the morale of his crew, gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple, and white rum.[4] This was what would be later known as Piña Colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the beverage was lost.[5]

First mentions[edit]

In 1922, a travel magazine described piña colada as sugar, lime, and ice mixed in with pineapple juice and Bacardi rum.[6]

In 1924, National Geographic magazine, reporting from Puerto Rico, mentioned a pineapple juice and crushed ice beverage, known locally as piña fría (cold pineapple).[5]

In 1950, The New York Times reported that "Drinks in the West Indies range from Martinique's famous rum punch to Cuba's pina colada (rum, pineapple and coconut milk)."[7]


In 1954, University of Puerto Rico Professor Ramon López Irizarry invented a new, improved method for the extraction of coconut cream. He patented the process and created Coco López, a sweet, creamy coconut cream, which was used in the invention of the Piña Colada in Puerto Rico. This product, sold today as Cream of Coconut, is widely available around the world, and is most commonly used to make the cocktail.[8]

The Caribe Hilton Hotel claims Ramón "Monchito" Marrero created the Piña Colada in 1954 while a bartender at the hotel. According to this account, Marrero finally settled upon the recipe for the Piña Colada, which he felt captured the true nature and essence of Puerto Rico.[9] The hotel was presented with a proclamation in 2004 by Puerto Rico Governor Sila M. Calderón celebrating the drink's 50th anniversary.[10][11]

A Spaniard by the name of Ricardo García also claims to have invented the drink in 1953, while working at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan.[12][13]

Barrachina, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, says that "a traditional Spanish bartender Don Ramón Portas Mingot in 1963 created what became the world's famous drink: the Piña Colada."[14][15]

In 1978, Puerto Rico proclaimed the cocktail to be its official drink.[5][16]


Piña colada

As recounted by his friends in José L. Díaz de Villegas's book, the original Monchito recipe was to pour 85 grams of cream of coconut, 170 grams of pineapple juice and 43 grams of white rum into a blender or shaker with crushed ice, blend or shake very well until smooth, then pour into chilled glass and garnish with pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.

There are many recipes for piña colada. The International Bartenders Association specifies it as:


  • (5 parts) 5 cl (1.7 US fl oz) white rum
  • (3 parts) 3 cl (1.0 US fl oz) coconut cream
  • (5 parts) 5 cl (1.7 US fl oz) pineapple juice


Mix with crushed ice in blender until smooth, then pour into a chilled glass, garnish and serve. Alternately, the three main components can simply be added to a cocktail glass with ice cubes.[17]

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, a different recipe is used:


  • 1 US fl oz (3.0 cl) heavy cream
  • 6 US fl oz (18 cl) frozen freshly pressed pineapple juice
  • 1 US fl oz (3.0 cl) cream of coconut
  • 2 US fl oz (5.9 cl) rum


Freeze pineapple juice before use. In a blender, combine cream of coconut, frozen pineapple juice, heavy cream and rum. Pour in a desired 12-ounce container and use a cherry and fresh pineapple for a garnish.[16]


Different proportions of the core ingredients, as well as different types of rum, may all be used in the piña colada. Frozen piña coladas are also served. Other named variations include

  • Lava Flow or Miami Vice – strawberry daiquiri and piña colada layered in one glass.[18]
  • Scotsman colada – substitute Scotch for rum.[19]
  • Tepache colada – a piña colada variation using tepache developed by JungleBird in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Recipe calls for 1.5 oz gold rum, 2 oz tepache and 1.5 oz coconut cream.[20]

In popular culture[edit]

In the United States, National Piña Colada Day is celebrated on 10 July.[21]

The cocktail gained worldwide fame after Rupert Holmes' 1979 song, "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)", became an international hit.[22][23]

Piña coladas are referred to in the 2023 Eurovision entry Cha Cha Cha by Finnish rapper Käärijä, in which he describes drinking piña coladas after an exhausting week, before letting himself go on the dancefloor.[24][25] The song led to an increased popularity of the drink in Finland.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "piña colada". Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  2. ^ "piña colada". Oxford Dictionaries UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Pina colada definition and meaning". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Con diez cañones por banda... y una piña colada en la mano". El Nuevo Diario (in Spanish). 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Pérez Rivera, Tatiana (10 August 2014). "Nuestra piña colada cumple 60 años". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  6. ^ "The Piña Colada". gotrum.com. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  7. ^ "AT THE BAR". The New York Times. 16 April 1950.
  8. ^ "Coco Lopéz: About Us". Cocolopez.com. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  9. ^ "Puerto Rico Hotels on the Beach". Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  10. ^ "History of Caribe Hilton". Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  11. ^ Marcus, Lilit (2 May 2019). "Celebrating the piña colada's birthplace". CNN Travel.
  12. ^ "The Backpage". The Independent. 28 December 2003. p. 24. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Piña Colada history". Difford's Guide. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Best Restaurant in Old San Juan Puerto Rico". Barrachina.
  15. ^ "A Caribbean Tale Of Two Piña Coladas". Puerto Rico Herald.
  16. ^ a b Klein, Christopher (16 June 2015). "The Birth of the Piña Colada". History. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Pina Colada". IBA. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Lava Flow". Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2007.
  19. ^ Hubbard, Lauren (17 July 2019). "The Best Whiskey Cocktails to Shake Up Your Bar Cart – Scotsman Colada". Town & Country. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  20. ^ "Celebrate Piña Colada Day with the Tepache Colada at Jungle Bird". thirsty. 10 July 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  21. ^ "NATIONAL PINA COLADA DAY – July 10 – National Day Calendar". nationaldaycalendar.com. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  22. ^ Emma Stokes (18 April 2017). The Periodic Table of Cocktails. ABRAMS. p. 138. ISBN 978-1-68335-045-3.
  23. ^ Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books. p. 528. ISBN 978-0-8230-7677-2.
  24. ^ Savage, Mark (10 May 2023). "Käärijä is Finland's Cha Cha Charmer. Eurovision Q&A". BBC.
  25. ^ Palmer, Katie (9 May 2023). "Finland Eurovision 2023 song lyrics: Kaarija's Cha Cha Cha is branded 'crazy'". Express. Retrieved 13 May 2023.
  26. ^ Dayana (6 March 2023). "Finland's Käärijä boosts interest in the Piña Colada with "Cha Cha Cha"". Wiwibloggs.

External links[edit]