What do you put in a pina colada: Piña colada recipe | BBC Good Food

Pina Colada Cocktail Recipe




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Updated 11/3/20

340 ratings


Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

The Piña Colada has a bit of a bad rap among cocktail connoisseurs. For years, this now-classic drink was the poster child of the blender boom, a symbol of poolside bars and booze cruises. But the tropical cocktail—a mix of rum, coconut, pineapple and lime juices—dates to the 1950s and has been satisfying vacationers and Tiki aficionados since.

As the story goes, the Piña Colada debuted in 1954, when it was first mixed by Ramon «Monchito» Marrero, the head barman at the Caribe Hilton in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Perez had blended up a winner, and the tropical drink enjoyed its place in the sun for decades, finding its way to American shores and faraway isles. However, the quality took a nose dive around the 1970s when barkeeps began making Piña Coladas with cheap, bottled mixers and serving them in comically large glasses.

Fortunately, the drink has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, as craft-focused bartenders reclaimed the original recipe, once again focusing on solid ingredients and proper proportions. Some also opted to sub shaker tins for the traditional blender, creating a lighter, less-icy cocktail.

This recipe follows that tack, silencing the blender blades and employing a nice, sturdy shake. This technique keeps the cocktail from becoming overly diluted, and serving it over pebble ice ensures a cold drink.

The new-wave Piña Colada will make you forget about the bad examples served on Bourbon Street and at all-inclusive resorts. This Colada is sweet, but balanced, with crisp rum and tart fruit complementing the rich coconut. Whether you’re on vacation or just making drinks at home, don’t neglect the Piña Colada. Put one of these in everyone’s hand, and good times are imminent.

Click Play to Learn How to Make a Pina Colada Cocktail

  • 2 ounces light rum

  • 1 1/2 ounces cream of coconut

  • 1 1/2 ounces pineapple juice

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • Garnish: pineapple wedge

  • Garnish: pineapple leaf

  1. Add the rum, cream of coconut and pineapple and lime juices to a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds.

  2. Strain into a chilled Hurricane glass over pebble ice.

  3. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf.

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The Best Frozen Pina Colada Recipe!

Frozen Piña Coladas are the best cocktail recipe for refreshing tropical flavors. Ready in just 5 minutes and 5 ingredients in your blender, it couldn’t be any simpler to get sunshine in a glass!

Our Piña Coladas have a velvety-smooth texture and explode with all the tasty flavors of the tropics! If you have ever been on a warm tropical vacation you have probably sipped one of these while soaking up the sun. That isn’t happening so much right now with all the limitations we have so we are making these at home to bring vacation to you!

I love drinking these wonderful cocktails when I’m hanging out in my backyard on weekends or warm Friday nights. And let’s be honest adding the cute little fancy colorful umbrellas and all the garnishes to this makes me stupid happy.

What is a Piña Colada?

Piña Colada cocktails are a classic drink that hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. They are the national drink of Puerto Rico too! They are traditionally made….like this! The ultimate frozen cocktail, or alternatively they can be served over ice versus blended.

The important defining quality for the classic drink is that it uses Coco Lopez cream of coconut.

What Is Cream Of Coconut?

Cream of coconut is the most commonly used base for piña coladas and it turns out…it’s for good reason. It is NOT coconut cream as is commonly confused (let’s be honest we even confused it the first time we made this recipe).

We tested coconut milk, coconut cream (different than cream of coconut), sweetened condensed milk and other variations of coconut cocktail mixers thinking we could improve upon it. Turns out it’s a classic for good reason. This stuff is legit!

Basically cream of coconut is coconut plus a bunch of sugar. There’s some ways to make this healthier (which we talk about below) which back in the day I would have righteously suggested.

But I gotta tell you, we taste tested 12 different kinds of these drinks and even though I want to be snobby and say you don’t need it…you need it. They also should have come up with a more unique name for this ingredient but I digress.

You can get this at most grocery stores or buy it on Amazon here: Coco Lopez 4 pack.

Our original recipe called for coconut cream and while you can absolutely use coconut cream (especially if you don’t like it too sweet). But even a non-sugar lover like me still picked the cream of coconut or coconut milk versus plain coconut cream.

If you want to skip the artificial sugars, be sure to bump up the volume of pineapple to compensate for the massive reduction in sweetness.


So what are we throwing down in this easy piña colada recipe? Just the basics here!

  • Cream of Coconut: As discussed above, this stuff is legit
  • Frozen pineapple: Buy it at the store like a normal human, or go super extra and freeze your own
  • Rum: White rum or vodka in a pinch, I don’t personally want to taste the alcohol so I skip the spiced rum
  • Pineapple juice: I buy the tiny cans of it so I don’t end up wasting an entire big bottle
  • Ice: Crushed ice, nuff said

Once you are done mixing it up you’ll want some fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries and I like to toss on a few lime slices just because I put lime on literally anything I can. A paper straw and paper umbrella aren’t required but let’s be honest…they kinda are.

To make the best frozen Pina Coladas you want to use frozen pineapple in addition to ice. You can buy frozen pineapple from a store (let’s be honest I have 3 kids and that’s what I do 99% of the time) but if you are feeling quite fancy, you can make it yourself.

When freezing your own pineapple, you start by removing the outer skin and cutting the pineapple into appropriate sizes.

Place pineapple pieces in a resealable plastic bag and remove as much air as you can. Make sure to lay them flat in the freezer. Freeze until solid, at least 3 hours. Especially if pineapples are super ripe and in season this can give you an elevated experience.

I am exhausted, so just making a cocktail feels like being elevated but you do you boo.

How to make pina colada?

Super easy! You make this recipe by adding cream of coconut, pineapple juice, rum, frozen pineapple and ice into your blender.

Blend until creamy and frosty…you don’t want big chunks of frozen pineapple or ice lurking in your drink!

While we use a high powered blender, you can absolutely make this in any halfway decent blender. If you are concerned with your blenders power: add half the ice to start and blend once, then add the remaining ice and blend again!

Cream of CoconutPineapple JuiceWhite RumFrozen PineappleIceBlend!

Finally pour this delightful drink into glasses and garnish the rim with sweet pineapple slices. Enjoy!

How Do I Make This A Virgin Pina Colada?

All you need to make this a non alcoholic pina colada is to skip adding the rum! It’s absolutely delicious without alcohol and makes a fantastic baby shower drink to whip up for a mama who is tired of boring seltzer water drinks!

What Can I Substitute For Cream Of Coconut?

If you can’t find cream of coconut you can use coconut cream or the thick part off the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. Keep in mind it will have almost none of the sweetness that the cream of coconut does so you will want to increase the pineapple or add a sweetener to compensate for that. In a pinch you can also substitute sweetened condensed milk but you won’t get any coconut flavor in there.

Can I Make Pina Coladas Ahead Of Time?

Yes! This is a perfect make ahead cocktail and it can be mixed ahead of time to enjoy later. The important thing to know is that the ice will melt so it will be more watery. I recommend reducing the ice to 1/2 a cup and blend, then serve with ice at the beach or poolside to help compensate for that fact!

BEST Easy Frozen Piña Colada Recipe! {Alcoholic & Virgin}

This Piña Colada is an easy recipe full of refreshing tropical flavors along with tasty rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Servings 1 serving

Print Pin Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple frozen
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces white rum, (omit for virgin version!)
  • Pineapple slices garnish
  • cherries garnish
  • umbrella garnish
  • Alcoholic version: Put the ice, frozen pineapple, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and rum into a blender.

    Virgin Pina Colada: Simply omit the rum from the recipe!

  • Blend until smooth and frosty.

  • Pour the drink into 1 large hurricane glass or 2 small glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices and cherries. Enjoy!

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 448kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

Author: Dani Meyer

Course : Drinks

Cuisine : Carribean

rum, Pina Colada, easy recipe, cocktails, frosty drinks, Summer, Summer drinks, pool party drink

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Pina Colada — Science Of Drink

The problem is that my rum is really stale, the bottles are dusty, the labels are faded. Big names — Eldorado, Matusalem, Havana Club, Varadero, Bacardi have not been heard on my blog for a long time. It’s time to fix this, especially since the heat is under 35, which has been standing for a couple of weeks and promises to stand for at least another week, this is very conducive to this. So, at the request of the workers, and also at the call of rum, today we will consider the most classic of all tropical and the most tropical of all classics — the most famous, even legendary Pina Colada cocktail.

In general, Pina Colada (or Piña Colada) is a tropical drink that consists of rum (usually white, but some bartenders prefer gold, dark, or a mixture of light and dark), pineapple juice (fresh or canned pineapple), and coconut cream . Coconut cream (coconut cream / cream of coconut, not to be confused with creme de coconut — coconut liqueur) is a specific product that is made from fresh coconuts. The most famous brand (including in terms of making Pinacolada) is Coco Lopez. However, do not focus, it is not available in Ukraine 🙂 It is noteworthy, but at serious literary sources in the recipes of Pina Colada coconut liquor does not occur at all (coconut liqueur in M. Jackson is most likely a translator’s mistake), so those who like to put malibushkas in Pina Colada — wake up! In addition to the above three ingredients, heavy cream is a common ingredient in this cocktail. DeGroff (and some other pros) also add Angostura.

I had a serious hitch with coconut cream. Coco Lopez is not available in Ukraine, there are no other products with the name Coconut cream or Cream of coconut. What to do is unclear. Usually in such situations, I do not prepare a cocktail, no matter how famous it is — I do not like inauthentic recipes, I do not use inferior substitutes, I do not experiment with improvised means. But in the case of Pina Colada, it seemed possible to me to apply scientific approach. I decided to theoretically delve into the essence of Pina Colada, understand the purpose of each ingredient and perhaps cook something.

The name Pina Colada is Spanish for “strained pineapple” and was originally applied to strained freshly squeezed pineapple juice with ice.

The Pina Colada is the official cocktail of Puerto Rico, a small island nation in the Caribbean Sea not far from Cuba. The official version of the invention of the cocktail says that a certain Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, the bartender of the Beachcumber Bar at the Caribbean Hilton hotel in San Juan (the capital of Puerto Rico), created Pinot Colada. The cocktail was presented to the public on 16 August 1954 years old. The cocktail originally contained the “secret ingredient” Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut (Coco Lopez Coconut Cream), a product invented in the same year at the University of Puerto Rico by Professor Ramon Lopez Irizzari (after the invention of this product, Ramon Lopez, by the way, abandoned science and became a successful businessman ) [in fact, this is only one of the stories, and also the most commercial one — with the mention of specific brands. The strongest alternative story told about the invention of the Pina Colada cocktail mentions one Ramón Portas Mingota, who also «created» the Pina Colada at La Baraccina 1964, his cocktail included pineapple juice, coconut cream and condensed milk; there are earlier references to cocktails with the same name and similar compositions. For example, George Sinclair — aka Bourbon George, aka Thinking Bartender — in his article about Pina Colada cites several quotes that convincingly indicate that Pina Colada was invented much earlier than the official date, and the merit of Ramon Marrero is, most likely, only that he replaced the traditional coconut milk in this cocktail with a Coco Lopez product].

Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut is actually a very different product from traditional coconut cream. Coconut Cream — coconut cream is, in fact, a derivative of coconut milk. Coconut milk is a product obtained from the flesh of ripe coconuts by rubbing it through a cloth along with coconut water (the juice found in coconuts). When settling, coconut milk (like cow’s milk) is fractionated into two fractions, a fatter one with a lower moisture content (coconut cream) and a less fat one. Coconut milk has a significant fat content (17% and above) and a low level of carbohydrates, coconut cream is an even more fatty product. Unlike traditional coconut cream, the fat content of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut is relatively low (like coconut milk — 17%), but the product contains a significant amount of sugar (Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut is two-thirds sugar). Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut is a blend of traditional coconut cream and cane sugar, i.e. it is rather a rich syrup based on traditional coconut cream (or even literally — coconut cream). So historical logic dictates that there are two ways of Pina Colada — with traditional coconut milk and with Coco Lopez Coconut Cream.

Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut is not yet available to us. However, some other coconut products are available. We will use them to make Pinacolada. Vondrich generally believes that, in fact, any coconut sweet and fatty product with chemicals will do 🙂 . I came across just such a one — 100% Coconut Milk from the Thai company AROY-D. It was noted on the packaging that the product consists of 100% coconut milk, while the product hardens when cooled, the fat content is 30%, including solid fats 12.5% ​​(as in state-owned sour cream), the sugar content is low. The product tastes very fatty and coconut — just what you need [here be careful, under the name “coconut milk” we like to sell some kind of sweet, low-coconut “refreshing” water without fat at all, such bullshit will not work].

It turned out to be not difficult at all to determine the recipe for Pinacolada, the base is white rum, we add pineapple juice to it. The ratio of rum to pineapple juice is variable, Harry Regan in his The Joy of Mixology recommends 1:1, and Robert Hess in The Essential Bartenders Guide recommends 1:3. It all depends on what you want more — a rum cocktail or pineapple, I settled on a 1: 2 ratio. Coconut cream, most recipes advise as much as rum, it is accepted. I excluded the cream, the coconut product used is already quite fatty. But I added a simple syrup, it is necessary to somehow compensate for the lack of authentic Coco Lopez. The syrup is made from unrefined cane sugar.

Pina Colada (Pina Kolada)

50 ml of white roma
100 ml of pine -ocular juice
50 ml of coconut cream
200035 Bitter Angolature (Optionally)
Beat a blended ice blade from a crushed Ice Council until a homogeneous . Serve in a collins, large goblet, hurricane, or something similar (such as a glass of colada). Garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple (or orange) and a red maraschino cherry.

Some bartenders shake pinacolades in a shaker. For me personally, a pina colada is just a ground cocktail, I definitely do not advise whisking — this is a dead end. Whipping Pinacolada, we lose one of its unique advantages — consistency. Not every tropical cocktail can boast such a light, thin whipped texture as Pina Colada.

In my first Pinacolada, I made a mistake with the ice. I used a 1:1 ratio of ice/ingredients (by volume) as for other frozen shakes. For Pina Colada, you need less ice, otherwise the cocktail is obtained with a “heavy” consistency.

Pinacolada is an easily and obviously scalable cocktail. Juice-out-of-the-pack, canned pineapple, ripe fresh pineapple. Regular white rum, rum blend, premium aged rum. After trying all these combinations, I settled on the following:

1. The problem of pineapple juice from a pack has been discussed more than once. In Pina Colada, it is even spicier than in many other cocktails, take the highest quality juice (by no means nectar!), But do not hope for more than satisfactory result. In the case of juice from a pack and ordinary white rum, I advise you to drip Angostura, this makes the taste more piquant. Many bartenders prefer to use a blend of rums instead of the classic Puerto Rican, this is very sound advice, give it a try. Pinacolada with juice turns out to be a pleasant sweet cocktail in a pronounced rum taste on a soft pineapple-coconut substrate. Very tropical taste. In general, of course, I prefer Pinacolada with an emphasis on the taste of rum.

2. In the case of a quality canned pineapple [which I spied at Calabrese], the result, in my opinion, is very good (I put 90 g of pineapple instead of 100 ml of juice). The main thing is that the pineapple is of high quality and does not stink of tin — the main sign of cheapness. Such Pinacolada produces a good consistency — somewhat thick, whipped. A very pleasant cocktail. With canned pineapple, it is not a sin to use very good rum, my Pinacoladas have been Havana Club Anejo Especial, Bacardi 8 and Matusalem 7 y.o. with simply excellent results.

3. If you manage to find a ripe and sweet pineapple (it’s not that easy, I’ll tell you) make an ultimate version of Pina Colada — the best result, of course, comes from using the highest quality ingredients. Ripe pineapple + good aged rum is my choice for this cocktail. In fact, if you remove the chemicals, then Pina Colada is a very good cocktail — a lot of rum and a couple of natural ingredients, what could be better? True, not everyone loves coconut…

My Pina Colada

50 ml aged rum
90 g fresh pineapple pulp
50 ml coconut cream
20 ml simple syrup then with ice). Serve in a wine glass. Garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and a red maraschino cherry.

My final version of the Pina Colada is a soft sweet cocktail with a creamy texture and a pronounced taste of good rum on a fruit base — a great choice for summer.

And once I forgot to add rum in the confusion 🙂 So I’ll tell you what, Virgin Pina Colada (Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada) is also an awesome treat!

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Light cocktail with pineapple, coconut cream and rum. We have prepared three versions of the Pina Colada cocktail recipe: classic, Cuban in pineapple with powdered milk and lime juice. Yes, we know that Piña Colada is correct, but it has taken root in the Russian language.


Classic Pina Colada (IBA)
  • White Rum — 30ml
  • Coconut cream — 30 ml
  • Pineapple juice — 90 ml
  • Ice
Cuban Pina Colada
  • Cuban light rum — 70 ml
  • Powdered milk — 3 tsp (or 2 slides)
  • Sugar (preferably cane) — 2 tsp.
  • Coconut milk — 200 ml
  • Fresh pineapple chunks — 100-150 g
  • Ice — 5-8 pieces
Pina Colada with lime
  • White rum — 60 ml
  • Lime Fresh — 15 ml
  • Pineapple juice — 45 ml
  • Coconut Cream — 45 ml (Original uses Cream of Coconut — basically 1:1 coconut cream with sugar plus a little bit of salt)


Classic Pina Colada (IBA)
  • Add rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice and ice to blender.
  • Grind.
  • Put a few pieces of fresh ice into a chilled glass and pour the resulting mixture into it.
  • Decorate with a pineapple leaf.
Cuban Pina Colada
  • Cut out the insides of the pineapple to serve in it (or you need a large glass — at least 400 ml).
  • Put milk powder, Cuban rum, sugar and coconut milk into a blender. Whisk lightly.
  • Add pineapple chunks (coconut milk may curdle if added all at once) and beat thoroughly again.
  • We put ice in the pineapple and pour the whole mixture into it.
  • Decorate with umbrellas and tubules.
Pina Colada with lime
  • Fill the shaker with ice and chill the glass.
  • Add white rum, lime juice, pineapple juice and coconut cream to a blender.
  • Shake well.
  • We get rid of the ice in the glass, pour fresh.
  • With the help of a strainer, strain the resulting mixture from a glass.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.

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