The name ‘Pina Colada’ translates to an ingredient in the drink. Piña means pineapple and colada means strained. So, this tropical cocktail actually means ‘strained pineapple’. It is more than a popular cocktail, it’s an iconic part of pop culture. The true essence of the Puerto Rican National Drink being captured by the chart-busting hit Escape or “the Pina Colada Song”.
This classic cocktail has caught the essence of tropical beaches in a handy glass, allowing us to be transported into “vacay mode” as we sip this sweet nectar of pineapple and coconuts in our favourite urban bars. The cocktail has a storied past, truly worthy of its legendary status amongst bartenders.
The origins of the Piña Colada are contested, but the widely accepted version highlights that it was created on August 16, 1954 by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The hotel asked Marrero to come up with a new signature mixed drink and, after three intense months, the Piña Colada was born.
However, the word in English language first appeared in 1922 describing a strained pineapple drink in Havana. It is only in the 1950s that coconut started getting associated with Pina Coladas. It is Coco Lopez, the world’s first “cream of coconut” that is said to be the main factor behind the increasing use of coconut in Pina Coladas.
Over the next few decades, the popularity of Pina Coladas waned and it was limited to a beach resort favourite. However, the 2010s and the rise of Tiki style bars across major metropolitan cities of the world, and a renewed craft cocktails movement has made it a favourite order at bars again. Here is an easy pina colada recipe you can try at home.
Here’s how to bring the Bar favorite to your home-
Recipe of Pina Colada
- 50 ml white rum
- 30 ml coconut cream/milk
- 90 ml pineapple juice
- Place all ingredients except the ice into an electric blender & blend for a few seconds.
- Add crushed ice to the blender & blend for a few more seconds.
- Pour the blended mixture into a Hurricane glass, garnish with the pineapple slice or ginger candy.
To make a Pina colada with coconut milk, check this recipe.
Tips and Tricks to make a perfect Pina Colada
- Here is a Pina Colada recipe easy preparation method. It should be an even textured pure white color that is absolutely not separated into froth & clear liquid.
- There are many ways to create this cocktail such as tinned pineapple juice, blended fresh pineapple (which can be strained). Another alternative is to use blended tinned pineapple for a silky smooth texture.
- For a sweeter and less grainy version, you can use blended tinned pineapple.
- Feel free to experiment with different rums – some bartenders prefer white or gold rum, while some prefer a blend of light & dark rums in their Pina colada.
- A smoother texture can also be achieved by crushing the ice before putting it into the blender as this will help avoid large gritty chunks remaining in the finished drink.
- Use unsweetened coconut milk in order to avoid a much sweeter version of the drink.
- For that extra, perhaps over-the-top Caribbean touch, serve your Pina Colada in a hollowed-out pineapple or coconut shell, the more the merrier.
- If you find your cocktail too sweet & rich, add half a fresh lime juice & garnish with a slice of fresh lime & a fresh sprig of mint.
- Taking into consideration the thickness of the drink, it is recommended to use crushed ice or you can also use ice-packed glasses.
If you like this cocktail, you might like to try its distant dark-rum cousin – the Painkiller cocktail. In order to master the art of making rum, you can check the Classic Rum Cocktails and Rum Cocktails which are easy to make at home. You can also check the Pina colada Smoothie recipe. Let us know if you like to read about easy frozen Pina colada recipes.