Piña colada recipe: how to make this popular holiday cocktail

This piña colada recipe is the best way to bring a sunny taste of Puerto Rico home. Find out how to make this sweet cocktail yourself

Piña colada recipe with cocktail making kit
(Image credit: Getty)

We aren't saying this piña colada recipe is a replacement for your annual getaway, but we promise that sipping one in the garden on a sunny day is the next best thing. Hailing from Puerto Rico, the tropical tastes of a piña colada make it one of the most popular cocktails – and a firm favourite of those with a sweet tooth.

The name means 'strained pineapple' (or washed pineapple if you want a literal Spanish translation) and it is a mix of pineapple juice, coconut milk or cream of coconut and white rum. Puerto Rico claimed it as their official national drink in 1978 and it was commonplace in 80s cocktail bars, but alleged origins go way back to the early 19th century and a Puerto Rican pirate who shared it with his crew to boost morale. We could all need a little morale boost too now, right?

It has acquired a reputation as being a bit of a kitsch cocktail – probably thanks to its presentation with cocktail umbrellas, sparklers and a certain Rupert Holmes song – but if you want a cool, refreshing long drink with a good dose of rum, give it a go. Best served in a hurricane or poco grande glass, the piña colada deserves a big wedge of fresh pineapple on the rim and a maraschino cherry if you have one.

Read on to learn how to make a piña colada, then check out our other cocktail recipes for more happy hours at home.

How to make a piña colada

Ingredients:

  • 50ml white rum
  • 50ml pineapple juice
  • 25ml coconut milk/cream
  • Handful of ice
  • Pineapple and/or maraschino cherry to garnish

Method:

1. Put the rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk/cream in a cocktail shaker with ice.

2. Shake well and pour into a hurricane glass.

3. Garnish with a wedge of pineapple on the rim and a cocktail cherry. Cocktail umbrella optional...

Alternative method: for a real nostalgia hit, pop all the ingredients (expect the garnish) in a blender and pulse until well mixed for a slushy style serving some might remember from the 80s.

Upgrade your piña colada recipe

Dead Man's Fingers Rum Piña colada recipe

(Image credit: The Drop Store)

Get your hands on flavoured rums to add extra taste (and booze) to your piña colada. The Drop Store shared this piña colada recipe upgrade using Dead Man's Fingers Rum with us.

Ingredients: 30ml Dead Man’s Fingers Coconut Rum, 25ml Dead Man’s Fingers Pineapple Rum, 50ml Pineapple Juice, 25ml Coco Lopez Coconut Cream, 10ml Lime Juice, 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters and Pinch of Sea Salt.

Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with cubed ice and shake well. Strain into a Tiki Mug or long glass and fill with cubed ice then cap with crushed. Add pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge as garnish.

More for cocktail lovers: