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The Original Piña Colada from Puerto Rico

The Original Piña Colada from Puerto Rico

In 1978, the Piña Colada was named Puerto Rico’s official national drink, learn how to make the refreshing cocktail like they do on the island.
By Michelle M. Winner

A frothy mix of creamy coconut milk, pineapple and rum, the Piña Colada was invented at Carbe Hilton Puerto Rico. Image: Hilton

A frothy mix of creamy coconut milk, pineapple and rum, the Piña Colada was invented at Caribe Hilton Puerto Rico. Image: Hilton

Just a short two-hour flight from the states, Puerto Rico is the perfect island escape. The Caribe Hilton offers quaint international charm with the comforts of home and it was where the Piña Colada recipe was created.

At a time when tourism was just getting started in Puerto Rico, large and sometimes over-the-top resorts were built by the airlines and major hoteliers of the day.  Think marble and chandeliers in the grand lobby opening out to a sandy beach. French chefs were imported and cuisine was incredible although with European flair. But visitors wanted exotic island flavors and a tropical feeling for their island vacation.

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Enter bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero in 1954, who worked at Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico. Experimenting for three months and benefiting from the availability of local rum distilleries, he invented the Piña Colada. it was an instant success. He personally continued to serve them at the hotel for another 35 years. In 1978, the cocktail was named Puerto Rico’s official national drink.

I don’t know about you but when it starts raining here in the Pacific Northwest I start making airline reservations. Puerto Rico and a Piña Colada sounds really good right now.

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Original Piña Colada Recipe Created In Puerto Rico

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5 from 9 reviews

  • Author: Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, bartender
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


One of the favorite drinks to enjoy at a resort is the Piña Colada. Hilton CaribePuerto Rico is where it was invented.


  • 2 oz. rum
  • 1 oz. coconut cream
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • ½ cup crushed ice


  1. Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender.
  2. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds.
  3. Serve in a 12-oz glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: Caribe

View Comments (9)
  • Just made some and had to go back to triple the recipe!!!! Delicioso!! Tastes even better after I left it in the freezer for a little while, nice and slushy!

  • In the item list, you have coconut milk, but in the instructions you mention cream of coconut. Which is correct? I assume cream of coconut like Coco Lopez…

    • Thant’s for catching that. It’s the Coco Lopez type, Cream of Coconut throughout. That is a thicker coconut product than coconut milk.

  • I made these while we were camping last weekend. I threw in vanilla bean ice cream. They were beyond DEEEEE.ICIOIS !!!!!!!!

  • Thanks for this insight on the Evap. Milk. This recipe is the “original” from Hilton Caribe Puerto Rico provided by Hilton. It’s so rich ,I wonder why you would need to add any sort of milk or cream at all?

  • The recipe mentions coconut cream, but in the comments I read it is cream of coconut. Those are two very different products. Coconut cream is a thick white liquid, and it is made from 100% coconut. It is used in Asian cooking. Cream of coconut is made from coconut milk, sugar, water, coconut oil etc. , and it is used in cocktails etc.

    So please change the recipe, someone who know what coconut cream actually is, may use the wrong ingredient.

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