The piña colada cocktail is the quintessential summer drink that makes us feel like we're relaxing on a beautiful beach. It's a refreshing tropical drink made with rum, coconut cream, and pineapple, and any great piña colada recipe looks pretty incredible as well.
The piña colada was invented in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the 1950's. The head bartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel was trying to come up with a drink that would impress the guests. He wanted to capture the spirit and beauty of the island with one drink.
During this time, Coco Lopez was invented. Coco loco is simply cream of coconut sold in a can. The bartender mixed Coco Lopez with pineapple juice and ice to create a milkshake. Later on, Puerto Rican rum was added and the piña colada became the national drink of Puerto Rico.
Ingredients Used In a Piña Colada
A piña colada is very simple to make because it only has five ingredients. To make a classic piña colada, you'll need rum, fresh pineapple juice, coconut milk, lime juice, and a maraschino cherry.
Most tropical drink recipes, like mojitos and daiquiris, call for white rum or light rum. This recipe also calls for white rum, which has a milder flavor. However, if you like the flavor of dark rum, feel free to substitute it with that.
If you want to add a nice garnish, there's nothing better than a pineapple wedge and an adorable tiki umbrella.
Some piña colada cocktail recipes call for additional mixers like brown sugar and Angostura bitters. These add more sweetness and depth to enhance the flavors.
If you're in the mood for a virgin piña colada, the ingredients remain the same, minus the rum. You can make this mocktail by shaking up pineapple juice, lime juice, coconut milk, and pouring it over a glass with ice.
Shaken or Blended?
There's some contention over whether a piña colada should be served blended or shaken. If you've ever been to a resort, you've probably only seen blended piña coladas being consumed out of their signature hurricane glasses.
A shaken piña colada is a creamy and frothy version of the frozen drink. The main difference between the two is the shaken version is poured over ice cubes, while the other is blended with ice. A blended piña colada has a similar texture to a smoothie.
A piña colada's nutritional information doesn't change based on if you drink shaken or blended.
The pineapple juice provides a good amount of vitamin C and potassium, while the coconut milk provides some calcium. Unfortunately, this sugary beverage is quite high in carbohydrates. On the plus side, it has no cholesterol.
This sugary, sweet drink is probably best consumed as a once in a while treat if you are concerned about the nutritional value.
How to Make a Piña Colada Without a Blender
We've got the best piña colada recipe for you to try at home. The prep time and total time is only five minutes, making this perfect to whip up for your guests.
If you're making this drink in the summer, you can probably find fresh pineapple at the grocery store. You can also purchase pineapple juice in cans in you prefer.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine four ounces of pineapple juice, coconut milk or cream, rum, and lime juice. Shake and strain into your glass of choice. Don't forget to top with a maraschino cherry and some fresh pineapple slices!
If you're in the mood for a frozen cocktail, you can easily turn this into a frozen piña colada recipe. Simply add one cup of ice into a blender with the rest of the piña colada ingredients and blend. You could also add frozen pineapple chunks to amp up the pineapple flavor.
If you're having a large get-together, this drink is great to make ahead. Simply mix all the ingredients, pour into an airtight container, and store in the fridge. When ready to serve, mix and pour into individual glasses.
Here's How To Make the Best Pina Colada Recipe Without a Blender
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 shot rum
- ½ lime squeezed
- 1 Maraschino cherry
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine the pineapple juice, coconut milk, rum, and lime juice.
- Transfer into a glass and top with a maraschino cherry.