The name piña colada literally means “strained pineapple”, a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink’s preparation.
Ramón Portas Mingot is credited with creating the drink.
Two bartenders from Puerto Rico won a contest for the ownership of their national drink. Ramón “Monchito” Marrero Pérez claims to have first made it at the Caribe Hilton Hotel’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan in 1954, using the then newly-available coco lópez cream of coconut. Coco lópez was developed in Puerto Rico in 1948 by Don Ramón López-Irizarry, hence the Puerto Rican connection and the 1952 account of the drink’s creation. Some say the drink did not acquire its name until the 1960s.
The Caribe Hilton Hotel sits on a 17-acre peninsula outside San Juan and was the first luxury hotel to open in the region, becoming a popular destination for the rich and famous who helped spread word of the drink.
Ramón Portas Mingot also says he created it in 1963 at the Barrachina Restaurant, 104 Fortaleza Street, Old San Juan. The restaurant stands by his claim to this day.
National Piña Colada Day is celebrated on the islands on 10 July.
History of the drink
The earliest known story states that in the 19th century, Puerto Rican pirate Roberto Cofresí, to boost his crew’s morale, 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 lost.
Ramón “Monchito” Marrero claims to have created the Piña Colada in 1954, when a bartender at the Caribe Hilton. After three months of experimentation, Mr. Marrero finally settled upon the recipe for the Piña Colada, which he felt captured the true nature and essence of Puerto Rico. He continued to serve the drink at the Caribe Hilton for 35 years after its creation and was finally rewarded for his efforts in 1978 when Puerto Rico officially proclaimed the cocktail its national drink.
Caribe Hilton possesses two proclamations that state the hotel is the “Birthplace of the Piña Colada”. One proclamation was given by Puerto Rico Governor Sila M. Calderón in 2000, and the other was given in 2014 by Governor Alejandro García Padilla as part of the Piña Colada 60th Anniversary celebrations.
The remodeled Caribe Hilton Bar, Caribar Rums & Light Bites, provides a new menu reflecting the Evolution of the Piña Colada, including a contemporary version: the Clear Colada.
Barrachina, a restaurant in Puerto Rico, also claims to be the birthplace of the piña colada:
In 1963, on a trip to South America, Barrachina met another popular Spaniard and bartender Ramon Portas Mingot. Don Ramon has worked with the best places in Buenos Aires and associated with “Papillon” the most luxurious bar in Carcao and was also recognized for his cocktail recipe books. Pepe Barrachina and Don Ramon developed a great relationship. While working as the main bartender at Barrachina (a restaurant in Puerto Rico), Ramon mixed pineapple juice, coconut cream, condensed milk and ice in a blender, creating a delicious and refreshing drink, known today as the Piña Colada.
In popular culture
This cocktail gained fame in Puerto Rico from 1978, and it gained worldwide fame after Rupert Holmes released his 1979 song, “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)“, which became a popular hit around the world.
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 1 1⁄2 ounces of white rum into a blender or shaker with crushed ice, and blend or shake very well until smooth. Pour into chilled glass, garnish with pineapple wedge and/or a maraschino cherry.
ARKAY ALCOHOL FREE PINA COLADA which is not made from distillation or fermentation. Arkay ALCOHOL FREE PINA COLADA does not contain any fat, carb, sugar, and has 0 % alcohol however it contains 0.01 % capsaicin which is an antioxidant. Warning some allergic reaction may occur if you are allergic to capsaicin.