Pina Colada Cocktail


A pina colada cocktail! A rum-based drink built with sweetened coconut cream and pineapple juice!

Pina Colada Cocktail Info

There's some controversy about whether pirates or bartenders invented the cocktail, so let's start from the beginning. Research has shown that many men, including a pirate, invented the Pina Colada.

Are you curious about the Pina Colada cocktail origin? What is the history of this drink? Continue reading to learn more about the history of the drink!

The appreciated tropical pina colada cocktail has stirred up a lot of controversy surrounding its creation. The drink is so popular that it even has a National Pina Colada day on July 10 each year!

The Pina Colada and Pirates

Many try to claim to be responsible for the Pina Colada cocktail origin; Roberto Cofresi, a 19th century pirate from Puerto Rico, is said to have created the Pina Colada. In the early 1800s, El Pirata Cofresi was a pirate who sailed the oceans with his crew.

Cofresi is said to have given his pirate crew a drink that contained white rum, pineapple, and coconut milk to boost their morale.

Because it did not use cream or coconut, this pirate Pina Colada cocktail was quite different from our current-day Pina Colada. The addition of creamy coconut revolutionized Pina Colada. This led to the beverage we now enjoy.

Although Cofresi’s Pina Colada may be different from the modern-day Pina Colada, many still consider Cofresi to be the original creator of the cocktail. 

His original recipe was lost with him when he died in 1825. Pina Colada, which he created after his death, was reimagining his pirate tonic.

Ramon "Monchito" Marrero created the Caribe Hilton verison.

After Cofresi, the next step in discovering the Pina Colada cocktail origin is The Caribe Hilton. The Caribe Hilton, a luxury hotel located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ramon "Monchito" Marrero was a bartender at the beachcomber's bar. The restaurant management asked him to create a cocktail that reflected the spirit and flavor of the island.

Marrero spent three months trying to perfect the Puerto Rican drink. He finally settled on the Pina Colada. Surprisingly, the first time he created the drink, it was non-alcoholic.

Coconut cream, fresh pineapple, and a small amount of half-and-half were used in this non-alcoholic version. The refreshing drink was mixed in a shaker and served over ice.

The drink evolved. Puerto Rican Rum was added to the mix, and instead of being shaken, the half-and-half was removed. The Pina Colada was transformed from a mocktail to the drink we know today. These changes made the drink very popular.

While The Beachcombers Bar no longer exists, The Caribe Hilton has another bar called Caribar operating in its place. Stop by Caribou if you're going to San Juan and get a Pina Colada right from the birthplace.

Ricardo Garcia of the Caribe Hilton also claims to be the creator!

Although Ramon "Monchito," Marrero is widely recognized as the father and founder of modern-day Pina Colada, we must not forget Ricardo Garcia. Ricardo Garcia, another bartender, worked for The Caribe Hilton and also claimed the Pina Colada.

Garcia claimed that the restaurant's signature cocktail made with cream of coconut, rum, and crushed ice was one of its signature cocktails.

When the coconut cutter's union strike of 1954 occurred, he ran out of coconut shells to house the drink. Garcia came up with an idea and put the drink in a hollowed-out pineapple.

Garcia began adding fresh-pressed and strained pineapple juice as a garnish to the cocktail after guests enjoyed it. Pina Colada, which means "strained pineapple," is a fitting name for his story.

The final verdict in the Caribe Hotel Debate

Now the question is: Which of the two bartenders at The Caribe Hotel created the Pina Colada. Ramon "Monchito” Marrero is the answer. While some believe Ricardo Garcia invented it, most Pina Colada drinkers accept Marrero as their inventor.

Sila Maria Calderon, the Governor of Puerto Rico, proclaimed in 2004 to celebrate the Pina Colada’s 50th anniversary and also honor the life of Ramon "Monchito” Marrero, the drink's founder. Ramon "Monchito," Marrero is also credited with the Caribe Hilton hotel's drink.

Pina Colada

The controversial pirate cocktail!


5 from 4 votes
Course: Cocktail, Drink
Cuisine: Puerto Rico
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Mix Time: 1 minute
Servings: 1 Serving(s)


  • 40 ml White Rum
  • 80 ml Sweet Coconut Cream
  • 160 ml Pineapple Juice


  • Add every ingredient to a shaker.
  • Add ice to your shaker and shake the drink cold!
  • Strain into an ice-filled highball glass.
  • Add a straw and garnish with a few cherries.
  • Serve!
Calories: 524kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 209mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
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