What is in a pina colada: Piña colada recipe | BBC Good Food

Classic Piña Colada (Ingredients & Method) – A Couple Cooks

Here are the ingredients for the BEST classic piña colada! It’s the sophisticated, grown up version of this frozen tropical drink.

When it comes to frozen cocktails, the piña colada is up there! It’s got those nostalgic 1990’s chain restaurant vibes, and it’s hard to find a resort that doesn’t have on on the menu. But did you know it’s actually a classic cocktail invented in the 1950’s? It’s gotten so popular that most restaurant versions stray far from the essence of the real thing. So what ingredients are really in this tropical frozen mixed drink? Here’s how to make a piña colada…the real way! It’s so full of sophisticated, intriguing flavor that it will become your go-to. (It is here!)

Piña colada ingredients

The piña colada is a popular classic cocktail invented in Puerto Rico made with pineapple juice, rum, and coconut, served blended or with crushed ice. The name means “strained pineapple” in Spanish. The original drink was invented in San Juan in 1954 by a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero. It became an instant favorite and was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.

This drink is on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which means it has an official definition. Our version on the classic has one additional ingredient to the official definition: we’ll explain more about that below. The piña colada ingredients are:

  • Rum
  • Cream of coconut (not coconut cream)
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Frozen pineapple
  • Lime juice

The IBA definition of a piña colada is the first three ingredients. Lime juice is traditionally added by many bartenders to add even more tangy flavor. We added frozen pineapple here to enhance the frozen texture and heighten the pineapple flavor.

Don’t want to buy cream of coconut? Go to Frozen Piña Colada.

Cream of coconut vs coconut cream

Here’s an important note about the piña colada ingredients. If you remember one thing, this is it. Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream. What’s the difference between these similar sounding products? A lot. Here’s what to know about cream of coconut vs coconut cream:

  • Coconut cream is made from chilling coconut milk and then skimming off the layer of cream that floats to the top. It is very thick and tastes like coconut, but is not sweetened. It’s typically sold in cans next to the coconut milk.
  • Cream of coconut is coconut cream with lots of sugar added. It’s used to sweeten tropical drinks like a classic piña colada. Because it’s used in drinks, it’s sold in handy squeeze bottles. Cream of coconut is easy to find online or at your local liquor store. A popular brand is Coco Real.

What happens if you buy coconut cream for this drink? Well, it won’t taste sweet at all. If you make this misstep and want to save your drink, you can add simple syrup to taste.

More with cream of coconut? Try popular coconut cocktails like the Piña Colada, Painkiller, Coconut Martini or Bushwacker!

Variation: make a coconut milk piña colada!

Don’t want to bother with cream of coconut? Don’t worry: we’ve got a simplified version for you! Our frozen piña colada ingredients are much simpler. Gather these ingredients and go to the Frozen Pina Colada recipe:

  • Frozen pineapple chunks
  • White rum
  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Lime juice
  • Maple syrup or simple syrup

Another idea? Try the Painkiller Cocktail, a super sophisticated spin on the piña colada with orange juice and aged rum. Or the Chi Chi, a piña colada with vodka!

Aged rum gives the best flavor to a piña colada

Many piña colada recipes call for white rum, or both white rum and aged rum. But want to have the best flavor in your piña colada? Make it with just aged rum! Here’s why:

  • Aged rum is also known as golden rum, amber rum, or añejo rum (meaning “aged”). Aging gives it a complex flavor, more like a Cognac. It has undertones of vanilla, coconut, almond, citrus, or caramel. The aged rum that we used here was Brugal Añejo Rum.
  • White rum is more straightforward in flavor, with less nuance. It gives more of a classic rum “burn” to this piña colada. But it tastes great and you can use it if that’s all you have on hand!

Where to get drink umbrellas

Of course, what’s more fun than serving a piña colada with drunk umbrellas? It adds just the right festive flair: though of course, it tastes the same without them too. It tastes great no matter how you serve it! We found our drink umbrellas online here: buy drink umbrellas on Amazon.

Want a virgin piña colada? We’ve got that too

Mixing up drinks for mixed company? We’ve got a version that works for kiddos, pregnant moms or anyone who wants to avoid alcohol. This zero proof mocktail is mighty tasty! Hey, it might be closer to a pineapple smoothie than a cocktail, but who’s counting? Go to Virgin Pina Colada.

When to serve a piña colada

When not to serve a piña colada is the question! This classic version of the piña colada is sophisticated with its aged rum and cream of coconut. It’s great as a:

  • Summer drink
  • Bridal shower drink or bachelorette party drink
  • Girls night drink
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Beach party drink or lake house drink


Classic Piña Colada


4.2 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x

color h4-transform.text-transform»>Description

Here’s how to make a classic piña colada: the sophisticated, grown up version of this tropical drink! For a simplified spin with a smoothie-like texture, go to Frozen Piña Colada.

  • 1 ½ cups frozen pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups ice
  • 5 ounces (½ cup plus 2 tablespoons) aged rum
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream of coconut (not coconut cream; see notes*)
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lime juice
  • For the garnish: cocktail cherry

  1. Blend pineapple and ice until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with a cocktail cherry and drink umbrellas.

color h4-transform.text-transform»>Notes

*Cream of coconut is a special coconut product made for sweetening drinks, whereas coconut cream is unsweetened (read more at Cream of Coconut vs Coconut Cream). Don’t buy coconut cream or the drink will not taste sweetened! If you make this misstep and want to save your drink, you can add simple syrup to taste. You can also make a simplified version of this drink with coconut milk instead: go to Frozen Pina Colada. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: piña colada, piña colada ingredients

More classic rum drinks

There are so many tasty rum drinks to make with the rest of a bottle! Here are some of our best rum cocktails to try:

  • Make an ultra classic Classic Daiquiri with lime and white rum
  • Grab some mint and mix up that classic Cuban cocktail, the Mojito
  • Make the easiest 2-ingredient Dark and Stormy or Cuba Libre
  • Mix up a fruity and tropical Mai Tai
  • Go sophisticated with the fusion-inspired Jungle Bird
  • Make a boozy spin on the Manhattan, the El Presidente
  • Go classic New Orleans with a Hurricane

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

About Us


Easy Pina Colada Recipe (Only 3 ingredients)

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.

My Pina Colada recipe is an easy cocktail you can make at home with just THREE ingredients! You can also serve it as a mocktail – just omit the rum! 

This is a sweet and fruity frozen pineapple drink that take just a few minutes to make. Take yourself to the tropics in under 5 minutes!

Table of Contents

  1. EASY Pina Colada Recipe
  2. Piña Colada Ingredients – Just 3!
  3. What Rum is best for Pina Colada?
  4. How to Make Piña Colada
  5. Make it a Piña Colada Mocktail!
  6. Can I Double or Triple this drink?
  7. How to garnish Piña Colada
  8. Pina Colada Recipe Recipe

EASY Pina Colada Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I could use a beach vacation right about now. Sun, water, sandy beaches and tropical drinks sounds like heaven. Especially, the drink part! I just love a cold frozen cocktail.

Since we won’t be taking a tropical vacation anytime soon, I’ll be making this easy frozen piña colada recipe. When I have one of these in my hand and close my eyes, I can almost feel those warm ocean breezes! This is the perfect cocktail to pretend you’re on the beach.

Plus it has just THREE ingredients and you can make it non-alcoholic easily!

Piña Colada Ingredients – Just 3!

You don’t need one of those premade pina colada mixes you can buy at the store – making it from scratch is super easy. This is the best pina colada recipe and I always have the ingredients on hand so I can whip one up whenever I want.

  • Pineapple juice
  • Coconut cream (Coco Coconut Cream or Coco Lopez)
  • Light rum

For the coconut cream, I use Coco Real Cream of Coconut which is sold in squeeze bottles. I like it because it tastes great and it also keeps well in the refrigerator and doesn’t separate.

For some freshness you could add a squeeze of lime!

What Rum is best for Pina Colada?

The best rum to use is a light rum. Choose one that you like to drink! Avoid using dark rum because the flavor is a little too caramel-y and rich for a piña colada. This drink is all about fresh and fruity flavors so the light rum works best.

How to Make Piña Colada

This piña colada recipe is so easy! Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Add some crushed ice and then blend until it’s well combined and slushy. 

Pour into glasses and, if you’re feeling extra-beachy, garnish with fresh pineapple. 

Make it a Piña Colada Mocktail!

You can easily leave out the rum and have a non-alcoholic piña colada. Just make the drink as directed and just skip the alcohol. My daughter LOVES having a fancy cocktail that’s safe for her to drink.

If I have friends over, I’ll blend the juice, coconut cream and ice and then serve the virgin ones to my friends who want one. Then I’ll add the alcohol, blend again and serve up the regular ones. Or, just add the rum right on top in the serving glass, like they do at the fancy resorts.

Can I Double or Triple this drink?

If you want to make these for several people you can double or triple the recipe! Because it’s a frozen, slushy drink you will want to make the batch and serve it right away. It doesn’t hold well because the ice melts pretty quick.

I see quite of few of these piña colada in my summertime future! Until we can book that vacation, I know I can bring a little bit of the tropics to my own backyard. If you need a little tropical break you should definitely try it!

How to garnish Piña Colada

Pineapple Wedges: Cut the pineapple into slices and then cut each pineapple slice into 4 pieces. Use the wedge as garnish.

Cherry: Maraschino cherries add nice color.


Is pina colada dairy free?

If you use the Coco Real then this drink is completely dairy free.

Is piña colada vegan?

Yes this recipe is vegan!

Can you use canned pineapple for Pina colada?

If you want to swap ice with frozen pineapple for a fresher taste you can freeze canned pineapple. But don’t use it straight from the can – the ice is what makes it frosty.

Can I use pineapple in this recipe?

If you prefer to use real pineapple, just use frozen pineapple chunks in place of the ice. Works great!

Is pina colada always frozen?

You can have this drink blended or on the rocks! If you prefer a piña colada over ice, just add the coconut, juice and rum to a shaker and pour it over the ice in your glass.

Other tropical recipes

  • Rum Punch
  • Hawaiian Martini
  • Mai Tai
  • Pineapple Lush

Have you made this recipe?

Tag @crazyforcrust on Instagram or hashtag it #crazyforcrust

Prep Time 5 minutes

Total Time 5 minutes

Yield 1 servings

Serving Size 1 serving

Save RecipeRate RecipePrint Recipe

  • 6 ounces (178ml) pineapple juice
  • 3 ounces (89ml) coconut cream coco real cream of coconut
  • 1 ½ ounces (45ml) light rum
  • 1-2 cups crushed ice
  • Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glass and serve garnished with pineapple slice and cherry.

To make it a mocktail just omit the rum.

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

My Pina Colada Recipe is such an easy cocktail! This drink is like a tropical smoothie and can be made virgin. There are just 3 ingredients in a homemade pina colada, 2 ingredients in the non alcoholic recipe!

Last Updated on September 14, 2022

recipe for cooking at home

In fact, of course, cocktail « Pina colada » is correct to call «piña colada», this is how the Spanish piña is read, but let’s not contradict established traditions.

History of the cocktail

The name of the cocktail comes from two Spanish words: piña — «pineapple» and colada — «strained», «filtered». The term first appeared in Cuba and has long been used for a soft drink, just freshly squeezed pineapple juice without pulp.

Only one thing is clear in the history of Pina Colada: it appeared in Puerto Rico, a state associated with the United States and homeland of Ricky Martin. Three Puerto Rican bartenders are fighting for the laurels of the inventor of the cocktail. Ramon Marrero Pérez, bartender at the country’s first luxury hotel, the Caribe Hilton, claims that he invented Pina Colada in 1952 (according to other sources — in 1954) using a then-new product on the market — Coco Lopez coconut cream. His colleague, Ricardo Garcia, says that Perez only borrowed Garcia’s recipe.

And the third person involved in the story, Ramon Portas Mingot, claims that he invented the popular cocktail in 1963 in the Barrachina restaurant in the old quarter of San Juan, the capital of the island, where today, by the way, there is even a memorial plaque dedicated to this event. Perhaps all three had a hand in inventing the cocktail and its name. Be that as it may, for the first time in the reference books of cocktail recipes «Pina colada» appeared only towards the end of the 1960s. In 1978, the cocktail was honored to become the national drink of Puerto Rico.

Today, the International Bar Association (IBA) classifies Pina Colada as a modern classic. Some mistakenly classify it as a tiki cocktail, but this is not true. Inspired by the Polynesian culture of Hawaii, tiki culture originated in California in the 1930s, long before the «invention» of Piña colada. In addition, tiki cocktails are rich in flavors and rich textures, while tropical ones, such as Pina Coladas, are refreshing and light drinks with a fruity accent.

Piña colada © Alev Takil/Unsplash

Pina colada glass

The cocktail is traditionally served in a hurricane glass. It takes its name from the cocktail of the same name and is used for many tropical cocktails, including Singapore Sling and Blue Hawaii. The peculiarity of the glass is its large volume (400-600 ml) and the shape in the form of a tornado whirlwind. Also used for Pina Colada is a Poco Grande glass, similar to a Hurricane, but with a longer stem and a shorter bowl.

Pina colada recipes

There are many ways to make this popular cocktail. Unfortunately, many bars still use not the highest quality premixes, so Pina Colada lovers may be interested in learning how to make their own cocktail at home.

Pina colada can be prepared in a blender or shaker. In the latter case, it will turn out to be more concentrated, but less airy. However, most established recipes use a blender to create a creamier, smoother texture.

Preparation Instructions

Pina Coladas typically use light rum, but both dark and spicy rums will work. They will add richness and fullness of taste to the cocktail.

Fruit is naturally best used fresh, but in our latitudes they often arrive not too ripe. In the case of pineapple, you can opt for a good quality packaged juice with a good balance of sweetness and acidity. Professionals do not recommend using canned pineapples, as they often have an unpleasant tin can flavor.

If you plan to add milk cream, its fat content should not exceed 20%, otherwise there is a risk that it will curdle due to the acidity of the pineapple and the cocktail will lose its visual appeal.

Usually for Pina Kolada use light rum © Brenda Godinez/Unsplash

Original recipe Piña Colada

from the Caribe Hilton Hotel

  • 60 ml of light roma 900 ml.
  • 30 ml cream
  • 180 ml of freshly squeezed pineapple juice
  • 70 g of tattered ice
  • pineapple slice with peel and red cocktail cherry (for decoration)
  • Cocktel tube

Preparation Technology:

Place all inhens within 15 seconds. Pour the contents into a glass, decorate the glass with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

Classic Pina Colada © Caribe Hilton

Author’s recipe “Pina Kolada” from Ricardo Garcia

One of the alleged inventors Cocktail

  • 1 Fresh pineapple
  • 1 fresh coconut
  • 60 ml of light roma
  • 90 g of crushed ice

Cooking method:

Open the coconut and pour the juice into a blender, add a spoonful of coconut pulp. Cut off the top of the pineapple and scrape out the flesh with a knife or spoon, place the pulp in a blender with the coconut. Whisk ingredients thoroughly, add rum, add crushed ice and beat until creamy. Pour cocktail into pineapple. Serve with a cocktail tube.

Pina Colada by Ricardo Garcia © Shutterstock

IBA Recipe

International Bartending Association

The International Bartending Association was founded in 1951. One of its main goals is to bring cocktail recipes to the same standards. To do this, she created a list of official cocktails, which today includes 77 recipes. It is assumed that a guest, having ordered a cocktail from the IBA list in any bar in the world, will receive a drink identical in terms of ingredients and method of preparation.

  • 50 ml of light rum
  • 30 ml of coconut cream
  • 50 ml of freshly squeezed pineapple juice
  • 80 g of lump ice
  • Pineapple with a peel and red cocktail cherry

9000 Preparation Technology: 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 blender with ice and shake thoroughly. Pour the contents into a Hurricane glass, garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry, serve with a cocktail straw.

IBA Pina Colada © Shutterstock

Malibu Pina Colada

Malibu was originally developed to make things easier for bartenders in high traffic establishments. Natural coconut cream is not very convenient to use, and a cocktail prepared with them quickly separates and loses its attractiveness. There are no such problems with coconut liqueur.

In Russia, Malibu gained popularity, as for a long time coconut cream, and even more so fresh coconut, were not available at all. The liqueur is made on the basis of Caribbean rum and coconut. Do not forget that its strength is 21%, and it contains at least 180 g / l of sugar, so the finished cocktail with Malibu will be stronger and sweeter than the classic version.

  • 40 ml of a light rum
  • 40 ml of the liquor Malibu
  • 30 ml Cream 15%
  • 100 ml of pine -ocular ok
  • 80 g of lump ice
  • pineapple slice and cocktail cherries

Preparation Technology: 9000 99

Everything is familiar to you. Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend. Pour the contents into a glass. Garnish the glass with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

Photo: © Shutterstock

Non-alcoholic Pina Colada

The pursuit of a healthy lifestyle has increased the popularity of non-alcoholic cocktails. And although even the virgin version of Pina Colada can hardly be called healthy, it is suitable for those who, for some reason, refuse alcohol. It’s basically a milkshake flavored with pineapple and coconut.

  • 15 ml coconut syrup
  • 30 ml cream 15%
  • 140 ml pineapple juice
  • 80 g ice cubes
  • pineapple slice with skin and cocktail cherry


Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend well. Pour the contents into a glass. Garnish the glass with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada © Yesmore Content/Unsplash

Banana Colada

There are many variations on the classic Pina Colada. One of the most popular of them is banana «Pina Colada» or «Banana Colada». Banana gives the cocktail a particularly delicate, creamy texture and balances the alcohol component well.

  • 25 ml of light rum
  • 15 ml of the Malibu
  • 75 ml of pine -ocular juice
  • 1 Banan
  • 80 g of lump ice
  • Coarse Coarse and red cocktail cherries
  • 9000

    9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000 9000

    all ingredients in a blender with ice and beat for 15-20 seconds. Pour the contents into a glass, decorate the glass with a circle of banana and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

    Banana Colada © Shutterstock

    Pina Colada with Ice Cream

    For lovers of sweets, we recommend Pina Colada with Ice Cream. The drink will end up being sweeter and thicker. A real summer dessert in a glass!

    • 30 ml of light rum
    • 10 ml of Malibu
    • 50 ml of pineapple juice
    • 2 scoops of vanilla or coconut ice cream0054


    Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend for 20 seconds. Pour the contents into a glass, garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

    Photo: © Jarritos Mexican Soda/Unsplash

    Strawberry Pina Colada

    The strawberry version of Pina Colada has gained popularity not only for its even more fruity, summery, refreshing taste, but also for its attractive color. Strawberries play a major role in this cocktail, so they should be as ripe and sweet as possible.

    Photo: © Shutterstock

    Chi-Chi Cocktail

    The Chi-Chi is the closest relative of the Pina Colada, replacing rum with vodka. Due to the absence of any pronounced taste in vodka, the result is a slightly less sweet cocktail, and the tropical note sounds even brighter.

    • 50 ml vodka
    • 30 ml coconut cream
    • 50 ml freshly squeezed pineapple juice
    • 80 g ice cubes
    • pineapple slice with peel and red cocktail cherry


    Place all ingredients in a blender with ice and blend for 15 seconds. Pour the contents into a glass, garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cocktail cherry. Serve with a cocktail tube.

    Chi-Chi © Shutterstock

    Cover photo: © Vitor Pinto/Unsplash.

    Pina colada. Pina Colada Ingredients, Verified Recipe & Cocktail Photo — Inshaker


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