One of the world’s most favorite mixed drinks, the piña colada, was born in Puerto Rico, but the identity of the bartender who first mixed up the iconic rum-based cocktail remains a point of contention.
The Caribe Hilton, one of the premier luxury hotels in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, claims the piña colada was first served up in its Beachcombers Bar in 1954 by bartender Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. Asked by hotel management to create a signature drink that captured the flavors of the island, Marrero reportedly spent three months experimenting with hundreds of combinations before perfecting his sweet, frothy concoction of rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice.
After tasting one of the hotel’s piña coladas, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford reportedly declared it was “better than slapping Bette Davis in the face.” According to the Caribe Hilton, Marrero mixed up and served his creation at the hotel for 35 years until his retirement in 1989.
- Prep Time
- 2 ounces rum
- 1 ounce cream of coconut
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- 6 ounces fresh pineapple juice
- ½ cup crushed ice
- Garnish: pineapple slices and maraschino cherry
Mix rum, cream of coconut, heavy cream and pineapple juice in a blender. Add ice and mix for 15 seconds. Serve in a 12-ounce glass and garnish with fresh pineapple and a cherry.