Slide 1 of 3

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Total flexibility, no commitment

A world of unique, crafted gins

Easy, free and reliable delivery

Learn how to make the best Piña Colada recipe!

Learn how to make the best Piña Colada recipe!

Jun 7, 2023
How to make pina colada
Piña Colada on the rocks

We all know that Piña Colada song, with those iconic lines, “If you like Piña Colada, and getting caught in the rain”. It’s literally called “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes and it was released in 1979, for all those music aficionados. But do you know how to make the perfect Piña Colada cocktail?

Do you know where the cocktail originated? Or which ingredients make it so special?

Fear not, in this feature we are revealing everything you need to know about Piña Coladas. Including an amazing recipe for the best Piña Colada and the full history of the cocktail, we have you covered.

Scroll down to reveal all, but be warned, this Piña Colada recipe guide may make you very thirsty!

When and where was Piña Colada invented?

As with many popular cocktail recipes, it’s hard to pin down the exact, true origin of the Piña Colada, although it seems most likely that the drink comes from Puerto Rico originally.

One tale tells of a Puerta Rican pirate named Roberto Cofresí inventing the cocktail to boost his crew’s morale in the 19th Century.

Another tells of a Spanish bartender named Don Ramon Portas Mingot inventing the Piña Colada in Puerto Rico in 1963.

The most widely excepted origin story for this classic rum cocktail is that it was invented by Ramón “Monchito” Marrero in 1954 at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It is said that the drink was first made at the Caribe Hilton with pineapple juice, vanilla ice cream and coconut milk and was served as a milkshake at the hotel’s snack bar. Rum was added to the recipe later and the cocktail became a hit. It has since been refined and the ice cream removed.

Whichever origin story you prefer, Puerta Rico now claims the Piña Colada as its official national drink.

Where the Pina Colada comes from
Puerto Rico is a tiny island in the Caribbean

What is a “Piña Colada” in English?

“Piña” is Spanish for “Pineapple” and “Colada” is Spanish for "Wash”.

The direct translation of “Piña Colada” from Spanish to English is “Washed Pineapple” or “Strained Pineapple”.

The title references the pineapple tones that play a large part in the Piña Colada’s flavour profile.

What does a Piña Colada taste like?

The classic Piña Colada has a wonderful mix of coconut and pineapple flavours, which are complemented by the rich, caramel and spice notes of rum.

The overall flavour profile is vibrant, creamy, tropical and refreshing, making it the perfect cocktail for hot summer days - especially if you are lucky enough to find yourself on the beach this summer!

We also think those flavours are a great way to inject a little summer sunshine into cold winter days too. Really, they are great at any time of the year.

What's in a Piña Colada?

Today, Piña Colada is made with three core ingredients: rum, cream of coconut or coconut milk and pineapple juice.

Pina Colada ingredients
Pineapple, coconut and rum are the core ingredients in a Piña Colada

Where to buy coconut cream for Piña Colada:

Coconut cream or “cream of coconut” is available to buy in most major supermarkets and online.

The original Piña Colada recipe is thought to have been made with the Coco Lopez brand of coconut cream and that is still available to buy online.

What’s the best rum for Piña Colada?

If you were to order a Piña Colada at a bar then it is very likely you will get one made with rum from household rum brands like Malibu, Bacardi or Havana Club.

But Piña Coladas can work well with light, dark, spiced and flavoured rums of all kinds - it really is down to personal taste.

Two of our favourite craft rums for making Piña Coladas are Twin Fin Coconut & Lychee Rum and Twin Fin Pineapple & Pink Grapefruit Rum. With their unique flavour combinations, both of these rums help to accentuate those delicious coconut or pineapple flavours in the Piña Colada, heightening the whole experience.

If you would like a more traditional craft rum for your Piña Colada then we think Whitby Rum and Mermaid Spiced Rum are fantastic in this cocktail too.

Are Piña Coladas dairy free?

Most Piña Colada recipes are dairy free as they contain only plant-based products: pineapple juice, coconut milk or coconut cream and rum.

However, many people personalise their Piña Colada recipes, so it is always best to double-check that the Piña Colada will be free from dairy before ordering it.

Most Piña Coladas are also vegan-friendly too but, for the same reason given above, it is always best to check.

Is Piña Colada alcoholic?

Most Piña Colada recipes are alcoholic because they contain rum. Rum is commonly around 40% ABV (Alcohol By Volume).

There are many non-alcoholic Piña Colada recipes out there too though. So it is easy to find a Piña Colada without alcohol. Often, it is the same recipe as an alcoholic Piña Colada but with the rum removed.

Virgin Pina Colada recipe
Virgin Piña Coladas can be just as tasty!

Does Piña Colada get you drunk?

As Piña Coladas normally include rum, which is a type of alcohol, they can indeed get you drunk. As such, we recommend drinking responsibly.

How much alcohol do you put in Piña Colada?

The average Piña Colada is around two parts pineapple juice, one part coconut cream or coconut milk and one part rum. That means that for every 100ml of pineapple juice, you would add 50ml of rum and 50ml of coconut cream.

Therefore, alcohol constitutes around one-quarter of the liquid in a Piña Colada.

That balance of ingredients gives you a cocktail that is bursting with flavour with just the right amount of booze.

How to make a Piña Colada:

For us, the ultimate Piña Colada recipe uses craft rum, like the ones mentioned above, and cream of coconut rather than coconut milk. We prefer coconut cream because it gives the cocktail a sweeter, creamier, richer and more luxurious finish. A Piña Colada with coconut milk will be much lighter yet just as fragrant.

The recipe below can be done as a Frozen Piña Colada recipe or a Piña Colada “on the rocks”. We prefer the “frozen” recipe as it is closer to the original “milkshake” recipe from 1954.

The difference between the two serving suggestions is that one is blended with ice and the other is poured over ice in the glass. Both ways are delicious!

The best Piña Colada recipe:

pina colada recipe UK
Frozen Piña Colada

Piña Colada Ingredients

50ml craft rum
50ml coconut cream
100ml pineapple juice
Pineapple, to garnish

Add all of the ingredients to a blender with a large handful of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a Hurricane glass. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

To turn this into a Piña Colada pitcher recipe, simply multiply the quantity of each ingredient by the number of people you may want to serve from the pitcher or jug and construct the cocktail in that vessel.

If you would like to serve a Frozen Piña Colada from a pitcher, wait until the last possible moment before blending the ingredients with ice otherwise the texture of the cocktail could be compromised.

If you would like to serve a non-frozen Piña Colada from a pitcher, mix all the ingredients in your pitcher or jug and keep the Piña Colada mix in the fridge until you are ready to pour. Then fill individual glasses with ice and pour into those - do not add ice to the pitcher itself.

Pina Colada pitcher recipe
A pitcher of Piña Colada is great for any get-together

More delicious Piña Colada ideas:

There are lots of fun Piña Colada ideas out there, from Piña Colada cake to Piña Colada nail polish (yes, it’s a thing!). But our favourite Piña Colada ideas come in the form of creative twists on the Piña Colada cocktail.

These twists could come in the form of adding a banana to the frozen version of the cocktail to make it more of a Piña Colada smoothie or by adding Baileys for a Baileys Piña Colada.

We’ve talked about a virgin Piña Colada recipe already (just remove the rum!) but we haven’t talked about Craft Gin Club’s Gin-A-Colada yet…

Craft Gin Club’s Gin-A-Colada is made with a mouthwatering mix of gin, pineapple juice and our very own Piña Colada syrup. Served over ice and garnished with lime and fresh pineapple, it is utterly divine.

You can find the recipe for this fab Piña Colada idea here!

Best Pina Colada ideas
Gin-based Piña Colada idea

Find even more fun summer cocktails!