When done right and with the right ingredients, the Piña Colada Cocktail is a pure delight. However, it frequently gives cocktail lovers a hard time. Way too often, you get something heavy and overly sweet. So let's change that.
Quick Facts Piña Colada Cocktail
- Method: blended
- Flavor profile: sweet, tropical
- How to serve it: over ice
- Glassware: hurricane glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 13% ABV, 20 grams of alcohol per serving
Once you have tried a proper recipe, you will find that this Tiki cocktail is actually sensational.
- 1.5 oz Light Rum
- 1.5 oz Cream of coconut
- 1.5 oz Fresh pineapple juice
- 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
- 0.5 oz Aged Rum
- 0.5 cup Frozen Pineapple
- 0.5 cup Ice
- Blend the frozen pineapple and ice first until they are chunky.0.5 cup Frozen Pineapple, 0.5 cup Ice
- Add light Rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and lime juice.1.5 oz Light Rum, 1.5 oz Cream of coconut, 1.5 oz Fresh pineapple juice, 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
- Blend until well mixed.
- Strain into a Hurricane glass and float with the aged Rum.0.5 oz Aged Rum
Ingredients with Tips & Recommendations
The crucial part of making an excellent Piña Colada is the choice of ingredients. That means fresh and quality products and the right coconut product:
Cream of Coconut
The secret key to a perfect Piña Colada is cream of coconut - not coconut cream. That sounds like not much of a difference at first. But it is absolutely vital.
Using coconut milk or coconut cream won't work. But don't despair if you cannot find it in your supermarket. You can easily make it at home with this cream of coconut recipe.
The Fruits - Pineapple and Lime
For the fruity ingredients of this Piña Colada recipe, lime, and pineapple, I strongly recommend getting both fresh and juicing them a couple of hours before mixing the cocktails.
Further, you can see that our recipe asks for pineapple juice and frozen pineapple chunks. For this, cut half of the fresh fruit into small squares, and store them in the freezer until it's time to put them in the blender.
The pieces should be small enough, so your blender can handle them when frozen. Then take the remaining bits of pineapple to make freshly squeezed pineapple juice.
Additionally, I use a base of white rum and float the blended cocktail with aged dark rum for a more complex taste. My favorites are Havana Club 2 Years for the base and Havana Club Añejo Especial for the float- both from Cuba.
If you're in the US, you won't be able to get those, I can recommend Bacardi for the base and Diplomatico Reserva for the dark rum.
How to make a Piña Colada - blended or shaken?
The question might as well be: classic or modern? The short answer is: both ways work and deliver exquisite results. While the traditional recipe asked for blended Piña Coladas, the new wave made it a shaken cocktail.
Nevertheless, I prefer the blended version with quality ingredients. I'm often a traditionalist when it comes to cocktails, and it's no different here. I think the float looks nicer, it has a better texture, and the consistency is super smooth and silky when using a blender.
So, when it comes down to it, it is more a question of personal taste and whether you prefer classic practices. Yet, with our recipe, blending your Piña Colada delivers the best results. If you want to use a shaker, you should slightly adjust the measurements.
The Piña Colada recipe offers a few options for tweaks, even if the original is already pretty amazing:
- Our version is moderate on the booze, if you like your drink a little more rum-forward, I suggest increasing the white rum from 1.5oz to 2oz.
- If you want to try a shaken variation of the Piña Colada, adjust the measurements to 1.5 oz white rum, 2 oz pineapple juice, 1.5oz cream of coconut, and 0.5 oz dark rum
- And then there's one twist that counts as a stand-alone cocktail in its own right: the Painkiller Cocktail. The drink extends the tropical original with freshly squeezed orange juice.
The Pina Colada Recipe dates back to the 1950s. It was invented in a hotel bar on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico, from where it conquered North America and became part of the modern Tiki culture. Today, this tropical drink is a global household name.
If you want to know the whole story, read the entire history of the Piña Colada here.
You want to mix up more tropical rum cocktails at home? Try some of our favorite recipes: