The “Strained Pineapple”…. History of Pina Colada

The piña colada in Spanish means: “strained pineapple”  its a sweet, based cocktail made with white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It is usually garnished with a pineapple wedge or a maraschino cherry.

Image                                         Image



There are many stories on how this drink was invented. The oldest story is that in the 1800s, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí (a.k.a. “El Pirata Cofresí“), to boost his crew’s morale he gave them a beverage or cocktail that contained coconut, pineapple and white rum. This was what would be later known as the famous piña colada. With his death in 1825, the recipe for the piña colada was conveniently lost.



The story with the most credibility is the one that, the Piña Colada was introduced on August 15, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by its alleged creator, Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its exclusive clientele. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after 3 intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first Piña Colada was born.

               Image   Ramon “Monchito” Marrero


This cocktail has been famous in Puerto Rico since 1978, and it became more widely known after Rupert Holmes released his song Escape“, commonly known as “The Piña Colada Song”.


There are many recipes of how to make a piña colada but the one that his friends tell in the book of José L. Díaz De Villegas to be the original recipe created by Monchito, is the following: Pour 3 ounces of coconut cream, 6 ounces of pineapple juice and 1½ ounces of white rum into a blender or shaker with crushed ice n cream the milk, shake very well until smooth. Pour into chilled glass, garnish with pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.


Different proportions may be used: For example, 1 part rum, 2 each of pineapple juice and coconut cream.

Amaretto colada: Amaretto substituted for rum

Lava Flow : strawberry daiquiri and piña colada blended together

Staten Island Ferry coconut rum and pineapple juice over ice

Virgin piña: Pina colada without the rum

Baileys Colada: Bailey’s, rum, n pineapple juice

Chi Chi:  vodka substituted for rum

Iguana Colada: – Piña Colada with Midori





                                                                                                                  Article by Susy

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