You are reading A Drink in the Hand Equals a Foot in the Sand


A Drink in the Hand Equals a Foot in the Sand

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The piña colada: Celebrating 70 Years of Puerto rico’s national drink

You can’t put sunshine in a glass. Or can you? One drink comes close; a tropical concoction of fresh pineapple, cream of coconut and BACARDÍ® rum that’s tasty, easy to make and instantly recognizable wherever you are in the world. The Piña Colada – the mother of escapist cocktails and a drink that’s become shorthand for the inescapably tropical.

But what has made it so successful and enduring that after seven decades it’s only become more popular every year?

Image 1: Bartender Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero, the creator of the first Piña Colada. Image 2: the Beachcomber Bar at the Caribe Hilton in Puerto Rico (1954).


In 1954 at the Beachcomber Bar at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, bartender Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marrero took a recent, local invention, Coco Lopez (cream of coconut, not to be confused with coconut cream) and blended it with rum, ice and fresh pineapple. The result was a cocktail so evocative of 
soft sand and the feel of the sun on your skin, it would soon become the national drink of Puerto Rico.

This idea of liquid travel was cemented in the public’s imagination by the 1979 pop classic, Escape – the Piña Colada Song, which placed drinking one up there with the feel of an ocean breeze.

As the drink gained in popularity – first across the island and then around the world – one rum in particular became synonymous with the perfect Piña Colada, a rum that was smooth enough to let each ingredient sing without fading into the background – BACARDÍ rum.

The 1980s unfortunately saw the drink plagued by badly-made and super-sweet imitations. During the 1990s, however, the balanced and truly refreshing Piña Colada made with BACARDÍ rum was rediscovered once more, taking its place as an iconic classic that now sits proudly on cocktail menus in many of the world’s top bars.


No small part of the Piña Colada’s success is the depth of flavor, perfect balance and simplicity it achieves with just three delicious ingredients – BACARDÍ rum, cream of coconut and fresh pineapple – together creating one of the great partnerships in cocktail history.


1 1/2 oz BACARDÍ Superior
1 oz Cream of Coconut (originally Coco Lopez)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 Cup Crushed Ice

Whisk in a blender until smooth and luscious and 
then pour into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

The later, shaken version, however, has become increasingly popular, with the change from cream of coconut, to fresh coconut water creating a drink that’s light and super refreshing.


2 oz BACARDÍ Superior
1 1/2 oz Fresh Coconut Water
1 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
4 Chunks Fresh Pineapple
2 tsp Caster Sugar

Place the pineapple chunks and sugar in a shaker and muddle. Add the pineapple juice, coconut water and BACARDÍ Superior. Shake and pour into a tall glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a pineapple leaf.

For 70 years, the Piña Colada has delighted drinkers and inspired generations of bartenders to create some legendary drinks.

We first drink with our eyes, and the way a piña colada looks is just as iconic as the taste.


In a moment of madness or brilliance, this drink takes all the fun that comes from a perfectly made Piña Colada and combines it with another tropical classic, the Strawberry Daiquiri for two delicious drinks in one.


1 oz BACARDÍ Superior
3/4 oz Cream of Coconut
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 Cup Crushed Ice


1 oz BACARDÍ Superior
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
4 Strawberries
1 Cup Crushed Ice


Whisk each base separately in a blender until smooth. Pour the Strawberry Daiquiri into a Hurricane glass and then gently pour the Piña Colada on top. Garnish with half a strawberry.


This long, quenching cocktail uses BACARDÍ Coconut and soda to create a drink that’s bright, bubbly and invigorating. Just like the 1954 original, it’s also easy to make.


1 1/2 oz BACARDÍ Coconut
1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Pineapple Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
2 oz Soda Water

Build in a tall cocktail glass. Stir and garnish with a pineapple wedge.


Created by a BACARDÍ Legacy global champion, Gn Chan and inspired by flavors found in local cuisine, this delicious and visually gorgeous cocktail reimagines what the Piña Colada might have tasted like if it was created in Taiwan rather than Puerto Rico.


1 1/2 oz BACARDÍ Superior
1/2 oz Coconut Liqueur
3/4 oz Pineapple Juice
1/2 oz Cucumber Juice
1 TSP Lime Juice
1 Dash Sesame Oil

Shake over ice and strain into a rocks glass containing a block of frozen pineapple juice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.



Crushed ice works best. You don’t need to blend it for so long which prevents over-dilution.

Always use cream of coconut, not coconut cream. Cream of coconut is sweetened and ideal for making cocktails and desserts. Coconut cream is unsweetened and more suitable for savoury foods like curry.


Shake vigorously – you want this drink to be really cold with a super smooth texture.

Use fresh pineapple and make sure that it’s muddled well – you want every drop of that golden, tropical goodness.