Puerto Rico is famous for many things, but arguably one of the most popular is their national drink.
It’s a boozy beverage with Caribbean inspiration and links to none other than a Rupert Holmes song.
Can you guess what it is from my cryptic clues?
Yes! That’s right. Keep your umbrellas at home, because here we enjoy getting caught in the rain.
Puerto Rico’s national drink is none other than the Pina Colada.
That delicious concoction of coconut cream, pineapple juice, white rum, and ice has become quite the cocktail classic.
It’s creamy, fruity, delicious, and packs a punch so it’s no surprise that we instantly fell in love with this beverage.
But do you know the story of how the Pina Colada came to be? Well, let’s find out.
The Tale Of The Pina Colada Origin
Here is the fact that we do know, the Pina Colada was first invented in none other than Puerto Rico. However, that is where the facts end.
To this very day, the identity of its creator remains a mystery.
It is believed, however, that the tale of the Pina Colada origin begins in a hotel named the Caribe Hilton Hotel.
One of San Juan’s most famous hotels appears to be the setting for one of the greatest cocktails ever created.
Only there are three different individuals who claim that they are its inventor. Let’s take a look at them now.
- Ramon ‘Monchito’ Marreo – The Caribe Hilton insists that it was their Beachcomber Bar bartender who was commissioned to make a cocktail back in 1954 who created the drink. Marrero states that he spent over three months painstakingly crafting what is now Puerto Rico’s national beverage.
- Ricardo Garcia – Another bartender from the same hotel also claims that it was he who invented the Pina Colada. Allegedly the refreshing recipe was a result of a coconut shortage. Due to the lack of ingredients, Garcia had no choice but to improvise but the new drink soon became a popular hit.
- Ramon Portas Mignot – The third bartender to claim the drink was a production of his imagination was Mignot. He claims that he created the fruity and tropical drink back in 1963 and that there is even a plaque at the entrance to commemorate its birthplace.
However, the tale doesn’t end there.
There are Islanders that will tell you that it was in fact none of the aforementioned bartenders, and that actually the drink has been around since the early 1800s.
And who, allegedly, do we have to thank for this creamy concoction? None other than Roberto Cofresi – a Puerto Rican pirate.
And we all know how much pirates love their rum, right? Apparently, the pirate often served the beverage as a morale booster for his crew mates.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Obviously, the only thing we do know is that this creamy Caribbean boozy beverage is liquid nectar.
All that try it falls for its delicious charms. However, knowing who created it, will be something we all have to decide for ourselves.
While a cocktail connoisseur or a brilliant bartender sounds more probable, I really enjoy the image of a drunken pirate living at large with his crew mates as they all sip on Pina Coladas.
So that’s the theory I’m sticking with…but which do you think is most likely?
Make Puerto Rico’s National Drink
If you’ve never tried a Pina Colada, then honestly, you’ve never lived. Luckily, I have a classic Caribbean Pina Colada recipe for you to try.
And don’t worry, if you don’t drink alcohol simply omit the rum and enjoy a delicious mocktail version.
- Coconut Cream – ½ a cup
- Pineapple Juice – ½ a cup
- Ice – 1 cup
- White Rum – ¼ cup
- Cherries, Pineapple Wedges, & Whipped Cream – For the decorative topping.
- Place your coconut cream, pineapple juice, ice, and white rum into a blender
- Blend until smooth and frothy
- Pour the drink into a chilled tall glass
- Top with whipped cream and then add cherries and pineapple wedges as garnishes
If you want to taste a drink that will tantalize your taste buds, then you’ll want to get yourself a real Pina Colada.
And by that, I mean one that has been hand-crafted by leading mixologists and cocktail makers in none other than Puerto Rico itself.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the best spots to soak up, and sip, that Pina Colada Culture:
- Annie’s Place – Cabo Rojo
- Combates Beach Resort – Cabo Rojo
- El Rincon del Sabor – Aguada
- Libras Steakhouse & Seafood – Cabo Rojo
- Ola Lola’s Garden Bar – Isabela
- El Rancho Original – Cayey
- Lechonera Los Pinos – Cayey
- Restaurante Las Garzas – Adjuntas
- Star Light – Adjuntas
- Compamarina Beach Resort – Guanica
- El Ancla – Ponce
- La Casa del Chef – Ponce
- Sabor y Rumba – Ponce
- San Jacinto Club – Guanica
- La Casita de Rones – San Juan
- Bar La Unidad – San Juan
- Caribe Hilton – San Juan
- El Convento Hotel – San Juan
- San Juan Water Beach Club – Carolina
- Mamacita’s Restaurant & Bar – Culebra
- Arena Mar SunBay’s Cafe – Vieques
- Ricon del Faro – Fajardo
- Paseo Playero – Humacao
- Biekes Bistro – Vieques
Other Traditional Puerto Rican Drinks
Once you’ve truly satisfied your Pina Colada fix, never fear, as there are plenty of other drinks that originated from Puerto Rico that are well worth your time.
Let’s take a look at some of them now:
- Amaretto Colada – This popular cocktail is a take on the national drink which adds almond liquor to the mix to give a rich and nutty flavor.
- Pitorro – Often known as Puerto Rican moonshine, this drink is infused with strong flavors such as fruit, coffee, or hazelnut. Beware though, this drink can be pretty tough to find without the help of locals.
- Bili – Very popular in Vieques, this drink consists of a small tart fruit called quenepas along with other ingredients such as rum, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Coquito – This is very similar to eggnog. This holiday drink is made up of coconut milk, cream, white rum, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and a variety of spices.
- Chichaito – This is a local favorite. It is a shot made up of both white rum and anisette liquor.
- Cuba Libre – A fairly simple cocktail, a Cuba Libre consists of rum, Coca-Cola, and a healthy squeezing of lime.
Puerto Rico is known for many great things, but the delicious creamy Caribbean concoction that is a Pina Colada has to be one of the most popular inventions.
It has now become a cocktail staple menu item, not only in the area but across the entire world!
And while we do know that the classic cocktail was created in Puerto Rico, it seems we will never have the chance to personally thank its inventor.
Since no one actually knows exactly who created it.
But I think I speak for everyone when I say, regardless of which bartender, mixologist, or drunken pirate, created it – life would not be the same without this national drink.