Refreshing, simple, and delicious, these Vegan Pina Coladas will make you feel like you're in a tropical paradise… even if you’re on your couch in the middle of Illinois. Make them with or without alcohol for a light treat for those hot summer days.
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Hey Internet, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a beverage on here, and I wanted to post something fun for Barbecue week here on Zardyplants.
And it serves 4, so if you don’t have any company, you can have one for each hand and set sail with Captain--oh wait, let’s avoid upsetting Mr. Buffet. Please go purchase his music. :)
Actually I don’t think I’ve ever posted alcohol here. I don’t drink very often--I’m honestly way too picky about my drinks anyway, haha.
But I was craving something refreshing and I thought it might be fun to make vegan Pina Coladas with only a few ingredients. If you leave out the alcohol, this drink is only 2 ingredients plus an optional third if you want to be fancy, but we’ll talk about that in just a little bit.
The Pina Colada was actually invented in San Juan, Puerto Rico, by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero at the Caribe Hilton in 1954, when he blended white rum with pineapple juice and coconut cream.
Well, we all know how I feel about coconut cream! Can you use coconut milk instead of cream in pina colada? Yes!
I wanted to make a lightened up version of this popular cocktail, so I used whole pineapple chunks for more fiber, and used a light coconut milk to lower the fat.
So let’s get into the specifics of this quick and easy tropical cocktail and enjoy!
What You’ll Need
Let’s start with the Pina. This recipe utilizes frozen pineapple chunks since fresh pineapple can be difficult to find and/or slice.
If you are using fresh pineapple, you’ll want to either freeze it or add some ice when blending if you want cold Pina Coladas.
For coconut, I used light coconut milk from the can. The stuff from the carton is too watered down, in my opinion, but you can certainly use what you got--maybe add the optional ingredient I talk about after this?
You can use regular coconut milk from a can as well, which will give you a stronger coconut flavor. Coconut cream is also fine, though you may need a bit more liquid (such as coconut water or pineapple juice) to get the mixture to blend.
For a big boost of coconut, add just a smidge of coconut extract. It’s very strong, so you only need a little, but it really does enhance the flavor.
Finally, if you’d like to make these alcoholic, throw in some white rum.
Customize it: this drink would also be great with some fresh squeezed lime, or a banana if you’d like it more sweet! It tastes pretty sweet on it’s own but if you’d like it sweeter, try adding the frozen banana, a date, or a quick squeeze of maple syrup or agave.
How to Make Vegan Pina Coladas
For this recipe you pretty much just chuck everything in your blender! If you don’t have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, you may want to let your pineapple defrost for just a few minutes. You don’t need to let it totally thaw, though.
I like to add the liquids first. If adding rum, add it when you add the can of light coconut milk.
Next, throw in your pineapple chunks. This would be the time to add anything else, like banana, dates, ice if you are using fresh pineapple, etc.
Start blending on low speed, and increase until you have a totally smooth drink. If you need to adjust the flavors do that now.
Finally, pour your drinks, preferably in a hurricane glass with a fancy straw. Stick a wedge of pineapple or lime on the side, paper umbrella optional.
How to Make A Virgin Pina Colada
Just don’t add the alcohol! Virgin Pina Coladas just taste like smoothies, so it’s totally fine, and safe for kids, pregnant people, and anyone who shouldn’t be consuming alcohol.
If you’re in smoothie mode anyway, why not add some spinach? You won’t taste it with the sweetness of the pineapple, and you’ll be packing in some extra nutrition!
You could even add an unsweetened protein powder and make it into a power smoothie for breakfast!
Common Questions about Pina Coladas
What Rum is best for Pina Colada?
Generally any white rum will work well with a Pina Colada. I actually just used Malibu Rum, but Bacardi Silver, El Dorado White Rum, et cetera.
Is rum vegan?
Luckily most distilled spirits, unless cream based, are vegan. Rum is usually pretty safe. If you’re ever wondering if alcohol is vegan, check out the awesome online resource called Barnivore.
Can a Pina Colada get you drunk?
Absolutely. Take great care when consuming alcohol. Never get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery after even one drink. It’s not safe.
You should only add as much liquor as you know you can handle. Err on the safe side and only drink a little if you intend to drink.
It can take a while to “hit” you, so don’t drink more thinking you can’t feel it. It may take a little bit to kick in.
I definitely got super tipsy from this first pina colada, and… I may have had a second and then I was out like a light. Luckily I had already walked the dog, and I was near my bed!
Is Pina Colada Fattening?
While rum does have a fair amount of calories, I tried to provide a lightened-up recipe here.
Pineapple chunks are better for you than pineapple juice as they still have the fiber and intact fruit, while most pineapple juice is essentially just sugar.
I also wrote the recipe using light coconut milk, which is much lower in fat than regular coconut milk and even lower than coconut cream!
Can You Add Vodka to Pina Colada?
Yes, you can use vodka instead of rum in pina coladas, but vodka is not as sweet. You can fix this by adding a dash of maple syrup, agave, or a pitted date to the blender.
What Goes With a Pina Colada?
Well, since it’s Barbecue week on Zardyplants, I’d have to say BBQ tofu (internal link) and vegan instant pot mac and cheese (internal link) go pretty darn well with Pina Coladas!
If you’re feeling something a little different, try my Vegan Rasta Pasta or even just a summer salad like my Vegan Watermelon Feta Salad or Creamy Avocado Salad.
However you choose to enjoy my Vegan Pina Coladas, please enjoy them responsibly. :)
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
These Vegan Pina Coladas are:
- And perfect for a party at home or with friends!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!
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Vegan Pina Coladas
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 48 oz 1x
- Diet: Vegan
Refreshing, simple, and delicious, these Vegan Pina Coladas will make you feel like you're in a tropical paradise… even if you’re on your couch.
- 14.5 oz can lite coconut milk (see note 1)
- 1 pound frozen pineapple chunks (see note 2 regarding fresh pineapple)
- ¼ tsp coconut extract, optional
- ½ cup white rum, to taste, optional
- Add the liquids to your blender. If adding rum, add it when you add the can of light coconut milk. Then add pineapple chunks.
- Blend until smooth, adjust flavors as needed.
- Pour drinks and stick a wedge of pineapple or lime on the side, paper umbrella optional.
- Note 1: I used light coconut milk from the can. The stuff from the carton may be too watery. Regular coconut milk or cream will work, though you may need a bit more liquid (such as coconut water or pineapple juice) to get the mixture to blend.
- Note 2: If you are using fresh pineapple, either freeze it or add some ice when blending.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Drink
- Method: Blender
- Cuisine: American, Tropical
Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Drinks, Vegan Pina Colada
I was searching high and low for a simple recipe for pina coladas, and this was perfect! So many of the "simple" recipes call for several ingredients and are more fussy than they need to be, but I had everything I needed on hand to make this one! (I used Costco frozen pineapple and a can of full fat coconut because that's what I had). I thought it was the perfect balance of rich and fruity. I personally found it sweet enough as is, but I also don't like very sugary drinks. Since we are living in the year 2020, I added rum, but I thought it was just the right amount for a nice kick without being overpowering.