Navigation close button

5 Fun Facts About the Pina Colada

pineapples floating in a pool

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! 



2. The Pina Colada was born in Puerto Rico 

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

san juan puerto rico map


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 thepinacolada 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  They say Monchito mixed and served his creation for 35 years until he retired in 1989. 


  1. b) RicardoGracia, who also served drinks at the Caribe Hilton, claims he made thepina 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, RestaurantBarrachinaclaims 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 the pina colada 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. 

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!