The legend of the Piña Colada dates back to the 1800s. The tale states that the Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí -better known in Caribbean folklore as ‘El Pirata Cofresí’- supposedly served a form of cocktail in which he mixed white rum, coconut milk, and pineapple juice. Sadly, Cofresí died in 1825, and the recipe was forever buried with him.
However, a more documented story started on August 15, 1954, with a man named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, a professional bartender who worked at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Caribe Hilton was the most famous luxury hotel of the day in San Juan, and the Hollywood scene would frequent there. Therefore, management encouraged Don Monchito to create a signature drink for this exclusive clientele.
For three months, he experimented with all sorts of rums, liquors, fruits, and mixers with one goal in mind: to capture all the traditional flavors of Puerto Rico in a glass. All the hard work resulted in one of the most popular and ubiquitous cocktails on the planet, the Piña Colada. The original recipe created by Don Monchito included coconut cream, pineapple juice, and aged Puerto Rican rum. Even though a lot of recipe variations have been produced in other tropical destinations, if it doesn’t have this combination of ingredients and rum from Puerto Rico, it cannot be considered a real Piña Colada. More than 20 years after its conception, in 1978, Puerto Rico declared the Piña Colada its national drink and forever cemented its place in bars worldwide.
Here you will find the Original Piña Colada recipe to kick-start your tropical vibes parties.
- 4 oz of Coconut Cream
- 4 oz of Pineapple Juice
- 3 oz of Puerto Rican Gold Rum
- 2/3 cups of ice
- In a blender, add the coconut cream and pineapple juice. Mix well.
- Add the ice and pour the rum.
- Blend it until the ice is crushed and mixed to perfection.
- Garnish with the tiny umbrella, a cherry, or a pineapple chunk (or all).
- Serve and enjoy!
Paul E González Mangual is an author of four books, founder of FOODIEcations, columnist for Sabrosía Puerto Rico, TEDx speaker, Guinness World Record Holder, whiskey enthusiast, coffee addict, and producer of the Coffee & Chocolate Expo.
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