The History of the Piña Colada

I was in Puerto Rico not long ago and someone was recommending to me traditional Puerto Rican food and drinks and the Piña Colada came up.

“But that’s not from Puerto Rico though, right?”

“Yes, it is. A guy at some hotel in San Juan invented it.”

My entire life I thought the Piña Colada was just some generic beach cocktail recipe, probably created by a Rum company somewhere. Heading to San Juan a few days later I went to investigate.

As it turned out, my informant was indeed correct. There are numerous claims to the invention of the cocktail, but some seem more plausible than others.

Theory 1: The most credible theory is that on August 15, 1954 a man named Ramon “Monchito” Marrero introduced the Piña Colada at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan. The Caribe Hilton was the most famous hotel of the day in San Juan and the Hollywood Jet Set would frequent there. Management encouraged Monchito to create a new signature drink. For three months he experimented with all sorts of ingredients and a shaker and blender. At the end the Piña Colada as we know it today was born.

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