If you’re planning to stay in San Juan during your Puerto Rican vacation, know that the people there take great pride in one of the city’s signature creations: the Piña Colada. Here are some places to check out when looking for the island’s signature refreshment.
This bar claims to be the birthplace of the Piña Colada (but so does the next bar on this list), but why worry about the semantics of a drink’s creation when you can just as easily sit back and enjoy that drink. The Piña Coladas at this tourist destination come from massive slushy machines, and the lack of ice in the ingredients list means you’ll get something closer to a boozy milkshake (no water to thin the coconut cream) than a refreshing blender concoction. Not that we’re complaining.
The Oasis Bar at the Caribe Hilton
The other bar to lay claim to the Piña Colada’s invention, the Hilton’s preparation differs from Barrachina’s in that it doesn’t come from a slushy machine. Instead, the ingredients are blended with ice to create something that’s a little bit lighter, but still super refreshing. The truth is, if you try one of the “original Piña Coladas” you should try the other one -you know, for “research.”
A staple of “World’s Best Bars” lists, you won’t find a “Piña Colada” on the menu at La Factoria, but by some accounts you can get something awfully close to the real thing (i.e. a more elevated and not frozen combination of pineapple, coconut, and rum that would be either called a Piña Colada or some punny spin on that title on a New York cocktail menu). More importantly, this world-renowned bar is right around the corner from Barrachina, making it an easy pitstop after you try the more traditional Piña there.
On a hot day, any combination of coconut, pineapple and rum served cold is going to taste pretty good. Since we are talking about the island’s signature drink, you’ll find a very good to excellent version of it most anywhere – meaning your Piña Colada preference may have more to do with how close you can get one to the beach.