Ultra-Tropical Piña Colada Recipe

Taste the tropics, not ice water.

Photographs: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Freezing the ingredients first means you can use less ice, leading to a more flavorful, less diluted drink.
  • Ripe fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks are more flavorful than pineapple juice, plus their fiber helps thicken the drink.
  • Coconut cream has a more natural flavor than Coco Lopez.
  • Measuring solids by weight gives you better control over the ingredient ratios.

A good piña colada should instantly transport you to warm sandy beaches and turquoise waters. What we don't want is a drink that tastes weak and watery, nor artificially tropical, as if someone dumped a bottle of tanning oil into the blender. This version produces a slushy frozen cocktail full of ripe pineapple and rich coconut flavor. Plus a good, strong hit of rum.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 70 mins
Serves: 1 serving

Rate & Comment


  • 5 ounces (140g) very ripe peeled and cored fresh pineapple, frozen pineapple, or drained canned pineapple chunks (see notes)

  • 1 3/4 ounces (50ml) unsweetened coconut cream, shaken or stirred well to incorporate fat

  • 1 ounce (30ml) simple syrup (see notes)

  • 3/4 to 1 ounce (20 to 30ml) fresh juice from 1 lime

  • 2 1/2 ounces (75ml) white or gold rum, kept in freezer until freezer-cold

  • 4 ounces (115g) ice cubes

  • Pineapple slice and/or maraschino cherry, for garnish

  • Paper umbrella and straw, for serving (optional)


  1. In an airtight plastic container, combine pineapple, coconut cream, simple syrup, and 3/4 ounce lime juice, and transfer to freezer until frozen, at least one hour (the sugar in the mixture may prevent it from freezing solid; this is okay).

  2. In a blender, combine frozen pineapple mixture with ice-cold rum and ice and blend until thick and slushy. Taste, then blend in the remaining 1/4 ounce lime juice, if desired. Pour into a large glass, garnish with pineapple and/or a cherry, and serve, with or without an paper umbrella and straw.

  3. If you want to make multiple drinks, you can pre-batch up to a double recipe (a blender may not hold much more than that easily) in a single container, then divide after blending; for more than two drinks, use separate containers to hold more servings.

Special Equipment



Only use fresh pineapple if you can find a truly ripe and sweet fruit; otherwise frozen or canned will be better. To make simple syrup, combine equal volumes of granulated sugar and water, then stir until sugar is completely dissolved; extra simple syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The pre-batched frozen ingredients can be assembled and kept in the freezer up to 12 hours before serving.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
299 Calories
1g Fat
43g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 36g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 73mg 366%
Calcium 31mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 206mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)