Pina Colada’s have a bad rap. They are not the overly sweet, frivolous concoction that history and the Pina Colada Song from the ‘70s made them out to be. A proper pina colada is perfect and amazing. They can be sweet but not cloying; they are also refreshing, delicious and just plain fun. There is a reason it’s the national drink of Puerto Rico.
Making Pina Colada’s from scratch never crossed my mind until my sister brought it up a few weeks ago and piqued my interest. It turns out they are simple to make and require few ingredients. Jax – this post is for you.
Here are the main ingredients in a Pina Colada:
- Pineapple – This version uses pieces of fresh or frozen pineapple, as opposed to pineapple juice. To freeze pineapple yourself, peel and cut the fruit in ½-inch pieces. Place the pineapple pieces in a resealable plastic bag and lie them flat. Freeze until they are solid, about three hours. The frozen pineapple will last about three months in your freezer.
- Coconut – A combination of sweetened cream of coconut and unsweetened coconut milk is ideal. You can find the cream of coconut at most grocery stores, including Walmart, with other canned fruit and vegetables or the international aisle. I like using Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut when I can find it.
- Rum – White rum is typically the standard here. If you love coconut flavour, try using Coconut Rum. To make this drink virgin, substitute the rum with pineapple juice (it’s equally as delicious).
Optional garnishes include a maraschino cherry, pineapple wedge, or one of those tiny, neon-coloured plastic monkeys that hangs off the side of the glass. I love those. I also like pouring an extra splash of rum right over the top.
The Best Pina Colada Recipe
Makes four cocktails
3 cups of frozen or fresh pineapple, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (about ½ a medium pineapple)
6 oz. sweetened cream of coconut
2 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
8 oz white or coconut rum
2 tbsps lime juice
3 cups ice
2 oz. dark rum (optional, for serving)
Maraschino cherries, pineapple wedge, or lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- Puree the pineapple, cream of coconut, coconut milk, white rum, line juice, and ice in a blender until smooth (it should be the consistency of a milkshake). Make sure you shake the cream of coconut and coconut milk in their cans before measuring.
- Divide the mix between four glasses. Top with ½ oz of dark rum (optional), and garnish with a cherry, pineapple wedge or lime wedge.
Note: to make ahead of time, blend the pineapple with rum, cream of coconut, coconut milk and lime juice. Store in the fridge for up to one day. Add the ice and blend again just before serving.
Pair your pina colada with my baked Spinach & Artichoke Dip. Click here for the recipe.