5 Fun Facts About the Pina Colada

Chances are you’ve heard of the Pina Colada but…how much do you really know about this famous fruity cocktail? You’re in luck…we’ve got 5 fun facts about the pina colada listed below. Perfect for small talk at parties or the next time you order a pina colada at the bar!

1. Pina Colada means “strained pineapple” in Spanish

It likely got this name because fresh pineapple juice is one of the main ingredients in the pina colada recipe!

what does pina colada mean?

2. The Pina Colada was born in Puerto Rico

In San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, to be exact!

3. We don’t know who really created the Pina Colada

who created the pina colada?

It’s a recognized fact that the Pina Colada was created in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but the identity of the bartender who first mixed up this classic cocktail remains a point of contention… There are a few possibilities:


  1. a) The Caribe Hilton, a premier luxury hotel in San Juan, claims that the pina colada was created in its Beachcombers Bar in 1954 by Ramon “Monchito” Marrero. They claim he was asked to create a signature drink that captured the flavors of the island and that he spent three months experimenting with hundreds of combinations before perfecting the pina colada. They say Monchito mixed and served his creation for 35 years until he retired in 1989.


  1. b) Ricardo Gracia, who also served drinks at the Caribe Hilton, claims he made the pina colada in 1954. He says there was a strike by a coconut-cutters union, which prevented him from serving a popular mixed drink in its traditional sliced coconut. He was forced to improvise and poured the drink into a hollowed-out pineapple instead. Voila: pina colada!


  1. c) Two miles west of the Caribe Hilton, Restaurant Barrachina claims their mixologist, Ramon Portas Mingot, created the pina colada in 1963. They even have a marble plaque outside of their entrance that says, “The house where, in 1963, the Pina Colada was created by Don Ramon Portas Mingot.”


Which story do you think is the truth?


4. It’s the official beverage of Puerto Rico, established in 1978

The year after that, Rupert Holmes released his hit song, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” in 1979

rupert holmes escape song

5. There’s a national holiday dedicated to the Pina Colada

That’s right- National Pina Colada Day is observed annually on July 10th! Although, we consider every day to be Pina Colada Day at Top of Waikiki.

national pina colada day


Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about the Pina Colada, we think you’ve earned a drink, or two! Top of Waikiki has a modern twist on this retro favorite called I Like Pina Coladas! Similar to the classic recipe, this cocktail is made using Appleton Reserve Jamaican rum, lime, pineapple, and Coco Lopez. Reserve your dinner table now or join us for happy hour from 5-9:30pm at the bar, no reservations needed!