piña colada on a table

Do you like piña coladas? Or getting caught in the rain? Or do you just get that Rupert Holmes song stuck in your head whenever you think about this tropical creamy drink? Piña coladas are possibly the most well-known tropical drink, and for good reason: they are a perfectly creamy, super-sweet, dreamy cocktail creation. You can slurp a dozen or so of them over the course of a beachy vacation, and never get tired of the sweetened coconut. What you might get tired of, though, are the ensuing headaches from downing all that rum.

What you need to make a virgin piña colada

ingredients on a table

Everyone makes their piña coladas a little differently — some using frozen fruit, and some using coconut milk. However, the key to a really good piña colada is cream of coconut. It can be found in the international aisle of the grocery store, Latin markets, or in liquor stores near the mixers. Cream of coconut is different than coconut cream and coconut milk, though. Coconut cream is unsweetened and thick, while cream of coconut is very sweet and syrupy. We don’t recommend swapping the two, but if you do, plan to add simple syrup.

Otherwise, you’ll just need pineapple juice, heavy cream, and ice. Pineapple juice can be found unrefrigerated in the juice aisle, and heavy cream can be swapped for coconut cream to make a dairy-free version. If you use ice trays, prep at least 1 full tray of ice for this recipe. You can garnish the drink however you like, but think pineapple leaves or edible flowers would match the tropical vibe.

Add the ingredients to the blender

closeup of ice in blender

This recipe uses just over 1 cup of ice for a smoothie-like consistency. If you want a thicker, more slushie-like consistency, add closer to 2 cups of ice, and some frozen pineapple. Fill the blender with ice, then pour the cream of coconut and pineapple juice on top. Due to separation, the cream of coconut will likely need to be whisked before being added to the blender. If so, dump the whole can into a bowl, whisk until incorporated (it doesn’t need to be completely smooth), then pour 1 cup of the mixture into the blender.

Blend until smooth

blender full of ingredients

Add the heavy cream, then blend the mixture. This will only take 1 to 2 minutes, just until the drink is smooth. Try not to over blend, or the mixture will be too thin and watery. If this happens, just add an extra cup of ice, and blend again.

Once the mixture is blended together, divide between 2 glasses, and garnish. Have fun with the garnishes — try pineapple leaves, or fresh flowers for cute tropical additions.

What to serve with piña coladas

piña coladas with flower garnish

Piña coladas, virgin or not, are both sweet and rich. They’ll fill you up, so we don’t recommend drinking them as a precursor to a large meal. Instead, serve them alongside small snackables like chips and guacamole, fiery salsa, or tostones. If you are serving piña coladas with a full meal, try barbacoa tacos, or pernil with arroz con gandules. Perhaps you’re like us, and like them as a post-dinner dessert to sip while watching the sunset. Whichever way you decide to serve your piña coladas, serve them up spirit-free with this easy recipe.

Enjoy this booze-free piña colada recipe on the beach, at the pool, or in the dead of winter huddled around a fire.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups ice
  • 1 cup cream of coconut, whisked
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Optional Ingredients

  • Frozen pineapple for a thicker drink
  • Pineapple leaves
  • Edible flowers

Directions

  1. Add ice to a blender. Pour the cream of coconut, pineapple juice, and heavy whipping cream over the ice. Blend everything until completely smooth. Optionally add frozen pineapple, or more ice to make the drink thicker.
  2. Divide between 2 glasses, and garnish optionally with pineapple leaves, edible flowers, or citrus.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 767
Total Fat 46.2 g
Saturated Fat 36.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 81.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 88.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugars 84.1 g
Sodium 84.3 mg
Protein 3.2 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.