The history of the Pina Colada Cocktail
The history of the Piña Colada is a bit disputed, but it is widely believed to have originated in Puerto Rico. There are several accounts of how the cocktail came into existence, and the true origins may remain somewhat shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the popular stories surrounding the history of the Piña Colada:
Caribe Hilton Hotel Story: One popular version attributes the creation of the Piña Colada to Ramón "Monchito" Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. As the story goes, in 1954, Marrero was asked by hotel management to create a signature drink that captured the essence of the tropics to attract more tourists. After experimenting with various ingredients, he mixed white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, which resulted in the now-famous Piña Colada.
Barrachina Restaurant Story: Another version credits a bartender named Ramón Portas Mingot, who worked at the Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. According to this account, Mingot concocted the Piña Colada in the 1960s, and the Barrachina Restaurant claims to be the birthplace of the cocktail. The restaurant's management maintains that they have the original recipe on display, and it was officially recognized as the birthplace by Puerto Rico's government.
Despite the differing stories, one thing remains clear: the Piña Colada became associated with Puerto Rico and is considered a symbol of the tropical paradise that the island represents. In 1978, the Piña Colada was officially declared the national drink of Puerto Rico.
The popularity of the Piña Colada continued to grow over the years, and it became an internationally recognised cocktail, enjoyed by people around the world in beach bars, resorts, and cocktail lounges. Its refreshing and tropical flavours have made it a timeless classic and a favourite choice for those seeking a taste of the Caribbean.