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Piña Colada

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 217
homemade piña coladas in glass tiki cups

The quintessential drink of summer—and tropical vacations—yes, we love piña coladas! And our creamy, frozen piña colada recipe (which can be easily made into a mocktail) is the best of the best.

Yoga Is OK. Getting Caught in the Rain Is Not Our Fave. But Piña Coladas? We Will Never Turn Down a Piña Colada!

Well, that’s not quite true. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad piña coladas in the world—watery piña coladas, or super sticky piña coladas—and those we turn down. But a really creamy, frosty, frothy, ice cream-like piña colada with just the right balance of coconut, pineapple and rum? Yeah, we’ll take one of those just about anytime! Originally created at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico (where you can still enjoy the cocktail to this day) our piña colada recipe is inspired by the version of this classic tiki cocktail that is served up at the perpetually-packed Hale Pele in Portland, OR. They mix up classic mid-century tiki drinks with the very freshest ingredients and attention to detail and, well, they really take these notoriously boozy cocktails to the next level. That said, at its core, even the very best piña colada recipe is really quite basic. It’s not complicated and (unlike so many classic cocktail recipes) it does not require multiple trips to the fanciest liquor store in town. Our piña colada recipe is classic, simple and made from super easy to find ingredients. Stick to the ingredients called for—no swaps, please!—and you’ll end up with a truly perfect drink. Plus, this piña colada recipe is a two-for-one—we’ve got two methods listed in the recipe below. One for how to make a rum-free, virgin piña colada (aka a piña colada mocktail!) and one for how to make a classic piña colada (aka one with quite a lot of rum!).

ingredients for Piña Colada from scratch pineapple, coco lopes, pineapple juice, lime juice, light run, dark rum and bitters

Piña Colada Ingredients

If you’re planning to make yours a piña colada mocktail, just skip the rums! And if you’d like a drink that’s boozy but not super strong, go ahead and skip the dark rum. And as for you, die hard cocktailers, you’ll want to get both the light rum AND dark rum! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this piña colada recipe:

  • Frozen pineapple

  • Coco Lopez brand cream of coconut. The one & only! And no, you cannot substitute coconut milk for cream of coconut. It is not the same at all. For a true piña colada, you’ve just got to use Coco Lopez. You can find it in the mixer section of most grocery stores, along with tonic water and grenadine. Liquor stores carry it, too.

  • Fresh lime juice

  • Pineapple juice

  • Ice. For a drink that uses as much ice as a piña colada does, it’s a great idea to just grab a bag of ice from the store.

  • Rum! Light rum and (optionally) dark rum.

How Do You Make a Piña Colada From Scratch?

Grab your blender and your favorite tiki mugs, and let’s make piña coladas! If there’s an easier classic cocktail in the world than a piña colada, we’ve never encountered it. Your blender will basically do all the work, and the method is the same whether you’re making a piña colada mocktail or a boozy piña colada! Here’s how to make the very best piña colada in the whole world:

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a blender!

  2. Blend! Start on a low speed, and gradually work your way up to high just until the drink looks slushie and cohesive. Don’t over-blend—you want it nicely icy.

  3. Pour into glasses—2 (for a strong piña colada) or 4 (for a more low-key piña colada)— garnish & enjoy!

frozen pineapple and pineapple juice, coco lopez, lime juice, light rum and dark rum bitters in a blender
frozen pineapple and pineapple juice, coco lopez, lime juice, light rum and dark rum bitters blended in a blender

What Rum Is Best for Piña Coladas?

For a cocktail like the classic piña colada—and just in general, for that matter—it’s always a good idea to steer clear of the bottom shelf. Trust us—you’ll pay for that really cheap rum when morning rolls around. That said, a piña colada is not the place to use a really nice, expensive aged rum. Blended with cream of coconut and all that pineapple, any nuance in the rum will definitely be a bit hidden. So! The best rum to use for piña coladas is a middle-of-the-road rum! $20-$25 bottles will be your sweet spot. Plantation white rum is usually a great rum for the money, as is Flor de Caña. As for the dark rum, regular old Myer’s dark rum is the classic pick. And speaking of rum....

Can You Get Drunk on Piña Coladas?

Why beat around the bush? YES! You can definitely get drunk on piña coladas. Most of us figured that out in college, right? But seriously, particularly if you opt to add the (optional) extra two ounces of dark rum, and decide to split this drink between two people, then yeah, you will be feeling this drink! Like most tiki drinks, the piña colada is basically designed to sneak up on you. Do not be fooled by all of that creamy, fruity, frothy, blended goodness—with light rum and dark rum in the mix, this piña colada recipe packs a punch. If you’re serving the drink to friends, keep in mind that people’s alcohol tolerances really can vary. You might opt to stick with just the light rum when you blend the piña coladas and then let people who’d like their drink a bit on the strong side (and who aren’t driving) stir in some dark rum to taste. If there are kids or non-drinkers in the mix, you might even mix up a batch of virgin piña coladas, too, since you’ll have all of the ingredients around, anyway! It’s always nice to offer options.

2 homemade Piña Coladas garnished with a pineapple wedges

Tools You’ll Need:

More Cocktail Recipes To Try

2 homemade Piña Coladas garnished with a pineapple wedges
homemade piña coladas in glass tiki cups

If You Have Half a Brain, You’ll Love This Piña Colada Recipe!

We promise that is our second and final reference to the “Escape (the piña colada song)” by Rupert Holmes. But we couldn’t not reference it in a post about piña coladas, right? It had to be done. Anyway, what’s done is done. And now it’s time for you to go make a piña colada! Will you make yours virgin? Or are you an extra-rum kind of person? Whichever version you opt for, and whoever you share your piña colada with, we’d love to hear all about it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Piña Colada

  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 217

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Frozen pineapple
  • 2 cups Ice
  • 3 oz Coco lopez
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz Lime juice
  • 4 oz Light rum
  • 2 oz Dark rum (optional)
  • Splash of bitters (optional)
  • Pineapple wedge for serving

Method

  1. In a large high speed blender add all of the ingredients. Starting on low blend for 10 seconds, slowly turn the blender to high until all ingredients are fully blended. Divide into 2-4 cups and top with a fresh pineapple wedge.

** For a virgin Piña Colada that serves 2 add 2 cups frozen pineapple, 2 cups ice, 3 oz Coco Lopez, 4 oz pineapple juice, 2 oz lime juice to a high speed blender. Starting on low blend for 10 seconds, slowly turn the blender to high until all ingredients are fully blended. Divide into 2 cups and top with a fresh pineapple wedge.