Classic Summer Cocktails – Piña Colada Recipe

When life gives you lemons, throw them out and get pineapples to make a Piña Colada. Here is Barillio’s recipe for a perfect Piña Colada recipe using light rum, coconut, and pineapple to create a rich and creamy yet light and fruity cocktail. This refreshing drink is best sipped during the summer with some shades on (and maybe a lot of factor 50 sunblock).

Piña Colada Recipe
Classic Summer Cocktails – Piña Colada Recipe

What is a Piña Colada?

When you translate Piña Colada into Spanish, you’ll get ‘strained pineapple’, which is a nod to the muddled fresh pineapple and pineapple juice in the cocktail, which make up a significant portion of the drink’s flavor.

Piña Colada Ingredients and Kit:

  • Fresh pineapple
  • Coconut milk
  • Cream of coconut
  • Pineapple juice
  • Lime juice
  • Light rum
  • Crushed ice
  • Barillio bartender kit
  • Large glass

The History of Piña Coladas (Before They Got Caught In The Rain)

As the legend goes, in the 1800s, a pirate in Puerto Rico would mix up a drink with coconut pineapple and white rum to help give his crew a boost of energy. Little did pirate Roberto Cofresi know that his creation would later be known as the Piña Colada and go on to become a worldwide sensation a couple of centuries later.

Although not all historians agree with this origin story, as there is no known record of the recipe after the pirate’s death in 1825, there is a record of a similar Cuban recipe from 1950 in The New York Times.

Others have also claimed the drink as their creation, including a hotel bartender in Puerto Rico who claimed to have created the drink to capture the essence of his country in 1954.

But regardless of its origin, Puerto Rico claimed the Piña Colada as their official drink in 1978.

One year later, in 1979, British-American artist Rupert Holmes released his song Escape which contained the lyrics ‘if you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain,’ which became an international hit and put Piña Coladas on the map worldwide.

National Piña Colada day in the US is now on the 10th of July, which makes sense as this is the peak of summer and, therefore, the perfect time to enjoy this drink!

Blended Vs. Shaken Piña Colada

This recipe is for a gorgeous shaken Piña Colada. The Puerto Rican recipe uses a blender to incorporate ice into the cocktail. However, pouring the shaken cocktail over ice topped with a cherry, fresh pineapple, or lime swirl is now standard.

It’s also easier to whip up a shaken over-ice Piña Colada using a mixology set than to buy an expensive high-speed blender and set this up for a blended version. Plus, when you choose a shaken cocktail, you can make it in front of your guests to show off your mixology skills! Either way, the Piña Colada is the perfect recipe for a summertime drink with its iconic tropical flavor.

Top Tips:

  • As the recipe suggests, we always recommend using light rum (aka white rum) as it works in harmony with the other ingredients.
  • Add a tiny dash of vanilla syrup if your cocktail is not sweet enough for your taste.
  • You can serve this cocktail in any large glass. However, if you want to feel like you have been whisked off to Central America, choose a poco grande glass, aka a Piña Colada glass, for ultimate summer vibes. 
  • And don’t forget to learn how to make a virgin Piña Colada, so none of your guests feel left out.
Barillio Easy Piña Colada Recipe

Easy Piña Colada Recipe

If you like refreshingand delicious summer cocktails, this cocktail recipe is for you! It’s sweetfrom the pineapple, creamy from the coconut, punchy from the rum, and even alittle citrusy from the lime juice.


  • Barillio Shaker
  • Barillio Jigger
  • Barillio Muddler
  • Barillio Strainer
  • Large glass


  • 4 Chunks freshpineapple
  • 1 oz Coconut Milk
  • 1 oz Cream of coconut
  • 4 oz Pineapple juice (freshjuice is best)
  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • 2 oz Light rum
  • 8-10 oz Crushed ice


  • Muddle the fresh pineapple in your shaker – using your muddler, squash the pineapple into the bottom of the shaker using a mixture of pressing and twisting actions.
  • Add your coconut milk, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, lime juice, and your favorite light rum to the muddled pineapple in the shaker.
  • Pop the lid to yourshaker and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds to combine.
  • Fill a larger glass with crushed ice and pour the Piña Colada over the ice through the strainer.
  • Garnish with fresh pineapple, pineapple leaves, or a maraschino cherry, add a straw, and enjoy!


What’s the difference between light and dark rum?

We recommend using light or white rum in this recipe because it complements the pineapple and coconut flavors. Dark rum is richer and gives drinks notes of caramel which doesn’t suit the refreshing fruitiness of this recipe.

What is the cream of coconut?

The traditional Piña Colada recipe from Puerto Rico used heavy cream instead of coconut milk for a rich, creamy drink. However, nowadays, many recipes use cream of coconut to achieve this thicker texture without using dairy.

We have chosen to use coconut milk in this recipe as well, so the drink isn’t overly sickly sweet and to help the other flavors come out in the drink.

Where can you purchase cream of coconut?

Confusingly, cream of coconut is not the same as coconut cream. Instead, cream of coconut is more like sweet syrupy coconut cream. You can find cream of coconut in most larger supermarkets or online. It typically comes in a small tin or bottle.

Does this recipe contain alcohol?

Yes – each serving of this summer cocktail recipe contains 2 oz light rum. A typical shot of alcohol in the US is 1.5 oz, so each serving contains 1 and ⅓ shots of rum.

Can I make this a virgin Piña Colada recipe?

Of course! Although this recipe may not have the same kick without the rum, you can certainly replicate the rum flavor by replacing the light rum with ½ teaspoon of rum extract. A virgin Piña Colada is a great option to get kids, pregnant people, or those driving or choosing not to drink involved in the summertime cocktail party.

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