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Easy Piña Colada – Learn how to make cool, creamy, refreshing, frozen piña coladas that will make you feel like you’re poolside on a fancy tropical vacation! Blender and hand-shaken options provided. And don’t worry, you can make these virgin, too.
Easy Piña Colada Recipe
When I think about a vacation, I always think about piña coladas, and well, margaritas. You don’t need a tropical vacation to bring cool, creamy, coconutty, and refreshing pina coladas into your life.
All you need is a warm summer day or maybe just a daydream that you’re going on a tropical vacation to get inspired to make these easy frozen pina coladas.
These easy pina coladas are just sweet enough but not too sweet because there’s no “pina colada mix” used.
That’s the stuff that can tend to make a pina colada taste fake or overly sweet but I avoid it in my homemade pina colada recipe.
I like to make a blender batch that serves about four at one time but you can always scale this recipe down.
Time to get tropical!
Ingredients in an Easy Homemade Piña Colada
For easy pina coladas at home, you only new a handful of common ingredients including the following:
- White rum (or omit for virgin pina coladas)
- Pineapple juice
- Cream of coconut
- Maraschino cherries, optional for garnishing
- Pineapple wedges, optional for garnishing
How to Make a Piña Colada in a Blender
It doesn’t get any easier to make a batch of easy frozen piña coladas in a blender!
Seriously just add all the ingredients to the canister of a high speed blender and whiz until you have smooth and creamy pina coladas.
Is Fresh Pineapple Necessary for an Easy Piña Colada?
Technically speaking, you don’t need fresh pineapple to make an easy pina colada.
What I like to do is cut a fresh pineapple, then freeze it, then blend it.
Tips: I recommend using frozen chunks of pineapple so you don’t need to use as much ice. However, that doesn’t mean that you technically have to start with a fresh pineapple. You can start with a bag of frozen pineapple tidbits or chunks.
If fresh pineapple is in season there’s nothing better. So sweet and perfect! But freeze it first.
Otherwise just use bagged frozen pineapple from the get-go. Trader Joe’s Pineapple Tidbits work great if you have a TJ’s in your area.
I do not recommend using canned pineapple that you freeze then use. Something about the taste just doesn’t work for me although everyone is different.
What Kind of Coconut Should I Use in a Piña Colada?
There are lots of types of coconut out there, that’s for sure!
For an easy pina colada, you need to look for canned cream of coconut. I like to use the Coco Lopez brand of cream of coconut. It’s sweetened and a bit syrupy.
Do not use coconut cream which is unsweetened and very thick.
Do not use coconut milk. It is much thinner and unsweetened. Save this one when you’re making a Thai chicken coconut curry recipe.
Cream of coconut, coconut cream, and coconut milk all come in cans. Don’t get confused. Select cream of coconut.
To Shake or Blend an Easy Piña Colada?
While you can shake a pina colada by shaking together rum, pineapple juice, and cream of coconut, and pouring it over ice that’s not what most of us tend to think of when it comes to a pina colada recipe.
Therefore, I always make my pina coladas in a blender so that they’re perfectly frozen, creamy, refreshing, and they just hit the spot.
Tip: If you are going to make a shaken pina colada, I recommend 1 1/2 to 2 ounces each of rum and pineapple juice, and 1 ounce of cream of coconut, and either shaking it with ice or pouring over ice cubes in a rocks glass.
What Kind of Rum is Best in a Piña Colada?
You want to use white rum in a pina colada. There are tons of white rum on the market. Everything from super cheap to not. Something middle of the road like white Bacardi is just fine. Although use whatever you like of course!
Do not use spiced rum (Captain Morgan’s) or coconut rum (Malibu) because neither will give you the classic pina colada flavor you’re looking for.
If you’re going to make your pina coladas stronger (see below) and want to add a floater shot, something like a dark rum (Meyer’s) or an aged anejo rum (Brugal, Barcardi) is nice.
Can I Make Easy Blender Pina Coladas Stronger?
For those who tend to avoid pina coladas because they can be on the wimpier side of the “strong” scale of cocktails, you can remedy that very easily.
Simply add a floater shot of rum on top of the pina colada after you have it in the glass. I
f you are going to add a floater shot, I recommend gold, dark, or anejo rum, which is an aged rum and very smooth.
Can I Make Virgin Piña Coladas?
Yes, you can absolutely keep this easy pina colada recipe virgin by simply omitting the rum.
If necessary, in order to get the blender moving and for overall texture consistency, replace the rum with pineapple juice as necessary noting that your pineapple coladas will be sweeter.
Also make sure to check out my Piña Colada Smoothie recipe which is virgin.
Serving and Storage Suggestions for Easy Piña Coladas
As I mentioned, my recipe for easy pina coladas in a blender makes a batch.
You could probably stretch the yield a bit, but the recipe comfortably serves 4, and less than 4 if your glassware is on the bigger size.
I like to make a batch at once because it’s a little annoying to have to get up and re-blend drinks after already doing it once, but if you’re convinced you need less, then halve the recipe.
Pina coladas are always best when served right away!
Tips for the Best Easy Piña Colada
Anytime you’re making a blended frozen drink the exact amount of ice needed can vary a bit. My suggestion is 4 cups of ice but this will vary on the exact size of the ice cubes.
If your homemade blended pina coladas are coming out a little runny, add more ice.
If you accidentally added too much ice and they’re too thick, adding a splash more pineapple juice (or more rum if you’re like me) will smooth out it out.
If you’re like me and have a kitchen full of wine glasses but don’t have a hurricane glass, never fear. Your homemade blender pina coladas will taste just as good out of a wine glass. Or use a plastic tumbler if you’re going to be drinking these outside or poolside.
Garnishing pina coladas with a maraschino cherry is the best part for me, but of course this is optional, as is a pineapple wedge on the side of the glass.
- To the canister of a high speed blender** (See Notes for shaken rather than frozen/blender instructions), add all ingredients (except optional garnishes), and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Divide between approximately 4 glasses, optionally garnish with cherries and/or pineapple wedges***, and serve immediately. Pina coladas are best served fresh.
*Use canned cream of coconut. I like to use the Coco Lopez brand of cream of coconut. It’s sweetened and a bit syrupy. Do not use coconut cream which is unsweetened and very thick. Do not use coconut milk. It is much thinner and unsweetened.
Cream of coconut, coconut cream, and coconut milk all come in cans. Don’t get confused. Select cream of coconut.
**If you are going to make a shaken pina colada, I recommend 1 1/2 to 2 ounces each of rum and pineapple juice, and 1 ounce of cream of coconut, and either shaking it with ice or pouring over ice cubes in a rocks glass. This is for 1 hand-shaken pina colada. Double, triple, quadruple the recipe as desired.
***For those wanting a stronger pina colada, add a floater shot after the pina colada is in the glassware of either gold, dark, or anejo rum.
Recipe is easily made virgin by omitting the rum and replacing it with pineapple juice as desired.
Note the recipe is appropriate for those for whom alcohol is legal and safe.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 215Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g
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