The Hilton Hotel Chain is to Thank for the Invention of the Piña Colada!
One of the most famous cocktails in the world is being celebrated today, it's National Piña Colada Day! As if we really need an excuse to whip up one of these sweet, creamy, tropical cocktails.
The origin of the Piña Colada is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A bartender named Ramón "Monchito" Marrero Perez created the tropical drink when he was mixing cocktails for the Caribe Hilton Hotel in 1954. He mixed up a blend of vanilla ice cream, coconut cream, fresh pineapple juice, and boom. The tropical bliss in a glass became everyone's favorite summer drink!
Since the first piña coladas were more like milkshakes and contained no alcohol, they were often served at the hotel's snack bar. Eventually, rum found its way into the recipe to satisfy the hotel's drinking-age guests, creating the delicious drink we know today!
For the next 35 years, Ramón would personally serve his cocktail while he bartended at the hotel. Then in 1978, the piña colada was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico. It got even more official when Caribe Hilton was presented with a proclamation signed by Puerto Rico’s Governor, Sila María Calderón in 2004 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the beverage!
The true piña colada experience can be had when you head over to the hotel's Caribar & Caribar Terrace, the exact bar where they claim the first piña colada was served. The Caribe Hilton Hotel still offers authentic piña coladas, though its bartenders don't include the vanilla ice cream of Monchito's original 1950s recipe. Instead, the hotel's famous recipe includes equal parts heavy cream and coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum.
Considering the piña colada's creation was in 1954, the drink has had quite some time to achieve worldwide popularity. While you can no doubt find a deliciously adequate piña colada at a bar near you, travelling straight to where the drink was born might be even better!