2. Caribe Hilton

Gone is the Beachcomber Bar that once lured drinkers to the hotel, so make your way to Caribar, the now de facto Colada maker on the grounds. Blenders are the preferred tool here, so expect an icier rendition of the classic cocktail that’s a bit easier to drink (and refill and drink again).

3. Bar La Unidad – The creative Piña Colada

For another modern take on the drink, head to Bar La Unidad. Bar partner Candido Alfonso describes the bar as a high-end speakeasy, and the team’s riff on the Piña Colada, the Colada Gold, matches that tone. Bartenders combine Bacardi Anejo 4 Year Rum with a house-made spiced syrup, coconut water, pineapple juice, bitters, and, interestingly, fresh lemon juice.

4. Jungle Bird


As part of Colectivo Icaro, a group of all-star cocktail bars in San JuanJungle Bird serves “not tiki, but Taino-tropical drinks.” Tepache, a drink made from fermented pineapple peel and rind, appears all over central America and the Caribbean, but bartenders at Jungle Bird build on the traditional low-ABV beverage to create a new take on the classic Piña Colada. In the Tepache Colada, servers combine tepache with Don Q Oro and coconut cream for a modern cocktail rooted in tradition.

5. La Penúltima

The bartending industry hangout La Penúltima makes a solid rendition of PR’s hometown beverage, Yisell Muxo, director of brand advocacy for Don Q Rum, says. Bartenders from across town come for La Penúltima’s burgers and back patio but also for the elevated Piña Colada. The drink begins with a quick rinse of Amaro Montenegro, followed by Don Q, a house blend of Coco Lopez and high-fat coconut milk, pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur, and a topping of Angostura bitters and cardamom.

6. La Central

The Piña Colada-ish cocktail at La Central doesn’t really have a name; the bartenders simply called it ponche (punch). Foregoing coconut cream, bartenders fat-wash Don Q Cristal white rum with coconut oil. They then combine that with more rum in the form of Ron del Barrilito and more coconut in the form of coconut water, adding in house-made orgeat, lime juice, pineapple juice, spices, and bitters as well. After dry shaking to avoid over-dilution, they serve the drink over crushed ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge, grated nutmeg, and toasted coconut. Not bad for an unnamed house punch.

7. Gallo Negro

George Stern, head bartender of The Polynesian tiki bar in New York, doubles as beverage director of Gallo Negro, bringing serious tropical-cocktail muscle to the PR bar. For his Piña Colada, Stern prefers to split his rum base three ways, incorporating white rum, dark rum, and overproof. He shakes the spirits with Coco Lopez alongside coconut milk, as well as heavy cream made in house. Pineapple juice and lime juice round out the recipe, putting the total ingredient count at eight. That may seem excessive compared to the traditional three ingredients — until you taste the perfectly layered concoction and suddenly forget all basic versions that came before it.

8. La Casita de Rones