If you like the Piña Colada

Just two years after Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth of the United States, on August 15, 1954, at the Beachcomber Bar in the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero supposedly created the now-famous “Piña Colada” cocktail. Apparently hotel bigwigs wanted to have a new classy tropical drink that would impress the palate of its famous, glamorous Hollywood celebrities who were increasingly playing at this posh Puerto Rican hot spot.

It is said that Monchito played around with the different native tropical fruits he had available to him on the island and as Puerto Rico is the rum capital of the world, it made perfect sense that rum should be the centerpiece of this new concoction. After several months of experimenting, he chose the best-selling white rum in Puerto Rico, mixed it with two-thirds pineapple juice, one-third coconut cream, and the piña colada was born.

This isn’t the only story of how the piña colada came to be. The oldest story is that way back in the 1800s, a pirate captain by the name of Roberto Cofresí gave his crew a beverage consisting of fresh pineapple juice, coconut milk, and white rum to boost their spirits and take their minds off of pirate things.

The piña colada is either served shaken with ice, or blended to a creamy, slushy froth, and frequently is served in a hollowed out pineapple or coconut.

Over the years, there have been minor variations created with other liquors, such as the Kahlua Colada, or using dark rum rather than white, but the original remains the most popular.

The piña colada has been the official beverage of Puerto Rico since 1978, when the 3 million sold mark was met for the cocktail. It became even more popular when British and American songwriter Rupert Holmes released his classic song, “Escape”, also known as “The piña colada song”, in the fall of 1979.

Piña coladas are great everyday, of course, and a reason to celebrate with a piña colada is never really needed, but July 10 is National Piña Colada Day, so be sure to stock up at your local liquor store, grab your special someone, and make your escape.

The Pina Colada recipe on our website can be found here.

Cocktails mentioned in this post

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