The Pina Colada Recipe

Posted in Rum on March 4, 2014

pina colada

The Pina Colada is probably the most famous tropical cocktail. It is rum based and it has a sweet taste thanks to the pineapple juice. This cocktail is basically a combination of rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut. The result is a sweet and fruity drink which is very popular worldwide. However, the birth place of the cocktail is in Puerto Rico and ever since 1978, this has been THE official Puerto Rican drink.

There are numerous apocryphal stories regarding the invention of the Pina Colada and it is almost impossible to find out the truth nowadays. Three different bartenders claim to have created the cocktail and in the 50s and the 60s. Nevertheless, other stores confirm the existence of this drink even sooner. Some say that it was created in the 19th century by a pirate who was looking for a way to lift the spirits of his crew. A Pina Colada recipe also appears in the Travel magazine in the year 1922, long before those three bartenders claimed to have invented it. What matters most is the fact that this cocktail is famous ever since the 70s. The Pina Colada Song of Rupert Helmes in 1979 increased its popularity even more.

Nowadays you’ll find numerous different recipes for the Pina Colada. The bartenders are often experimenting with the ingredients and their proportions. However, one of the earliest references concerning the original recipe states that the cocktail calls for 6 oz. of pineapple juice, 3 oz. of cream of coconut and 1 ½ oz. of rum. Other recipes might use different proportion such as 1 part rum, 2 part pineapple juice and 2 part cream of coconut.

The taste of the Pina Colada highly depends on the choice of cream of coconut. This is an essential ingredient of the cocktail and it should not be mistaken with coconut cream. Cream of coconut is made of coconut juice, sugar, citric acid and some other ingredients and it is sold in cans. One can is usually enough for over 20 cocktails. It can be kept in the fridge after opening, but cold thickens it, so it might be good to gently warm the cream before using it.

How to Prepare the Pina Colada

You can easily make this cocktail at home if you have all the ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of pineapple juice.
  • 2 oz. of light rum.
  • 1 ½ oz. of cream of coconut.
  • A maraschino cherry and a pineapple wedge for garnish.

As mentioned, you can also use other proportions for the recipe. Start with this version and see how you like it. If you want to, you can continue experimenting with different ratios.

Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain in a cocktail or a highball glass and garnish with the cherry and the pineapple wedge.

You can also create a Frozen Pina Colada if you add one ounce of cream and blend the ingredients together with ice. Serve it in a hurricane glass.

If you are making this cocktail for a party and some guests are not serving alcohol, you can make Virgin Pina Colada for them. This is the variation without rum.

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