Rum, coconut, pineapple, also rum – the piña colada has been around for over a half-century. Though you can make your own, the national drink of Puerto Rico can be found on a few cocktail menus around the Valley.
So whether you’re caught up in the Phoenix tiki craze, or just love those island-esque flavors, here are 10 piña coladas, painkillers, or at least something close enough, with a patiently waiting straw in metro Phoenix.
128 East Roosevelt Street
The Roosevelt Row eatery and bar known for its talented crew of bartenders offers the Carly's Colada. This cocktail is a terribly delicious mix of rumchata, creme de banana, and pineapple juice for $7. Carly's Bistro is serving them up whenever someone is behind the bar, and for whatever reason, the taste can remind one more of Christmastime than summer break.
Clever Koi has impressed its surroundings in central Phoenix and Gilbert with its cocktail menu since its opening, and the Clever Koi’s piña colada is no exception. It joins white and coconut rum with cream of coconut, pineapple, and skill. Find it on the classics section of the cocktail menu under "shaken."
10 North San Marcos Place, Suite B1, Chandler
The Ostrich is an underground bar beneath Crust in downtown Chandler. Its Ostrich Signature Colada combines Ed Hamilton's Jamaican Pot Still Rum and Plantation Stiggins Pineapple Rum with house-made charred pineapple syrup, cream of coconut, fresh pineapple juice, and Angostura bitters. The whole thing is garnished with a flaming, hollowed-out lime and shaved cinnamon.
1502 Grand Avenue
One of the oldest bars in metro Phoenix, the Bikini Lounge is a beloved, tiki-themed dive bar from 1947, named for the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The piña colada here is by request, and consists of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut – which happens to be the old-school stuff from when the piña colada first got started around 1954, according to the staff here. They also add rum and some pineapple juice, plus a few maraschino cherries. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better atmosphere in which to enjoy your cocktail.
Bitter & Twisted
1 West Jefferson Street
The piña colada at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour is almost too pretty to drink. It's the same thing you'll find next door and upstairs at Little Rituals. The Coupette Colada is a nod to the signature cocktail from Coupette in London, which is typical of the globe-trotting Book O' Cocktails drink menu. It's premium rum blended with pineapple cordial, house coconut sorbet, and presecco.
132 South Central Avenue
Find Little Rituals on the fourth floor of downtown’s Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott as a collaboration between Tucson mixologist Aaron DeFeo and Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted. There’s a custom menu of some very impressive cocktails, but for this piece, we’re focusing on the Coupette Colada. It’s a blend of island rum with pineapple cordial, house coconut sorbet, and prosecco — all topped with shaved coconut.
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
108 East Pierce Street
At a place known almost exclusively for rum (ahem, the Rum Bar at the entry to The Breadfruit), you’re destined to find a colada. A fresh take here is called the Piña Colada Redux — a mix of Matusalem Platino rum, house coconut liqueur, and spices, and topped with rum whipped cream.
Drunk Munk7133 East Stetson Drive, #1, Scottsdale
This tiki bar and restaurant is located in Old Town Scottsdale on the northeast corner of Stetson Drive and Sixth Avenue. As we’ve stated before, Drunk Munk has a killer happy hour, meaning its many tiki drinks on the cute, picturesque menu are half off. The Alota Colada is made with care by knowledgeable bartenders, and you’ll definitely feel loose afterward. It’s coconut cream, fresh pineapple, and a lot of Bacardi Añejo Cuatro. It’s also very sippable in front of that giant Moai head behind the bar.
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300 East Wigwam Boulevard, Litchfield Park
There’s nothing like a poolside piña — the ultimate, hedonistic act, though maybe not so self-involved in this climate. Either way, the west Valley’s historic resort, The Wigwam, offers such a pool, and such a piña. Head to the Tower Pool Bar & Grill for the frozen piña colada, made with Parrot Bay coconut rum, Myers’ Dark rum, and Island Oasis Piña Colada mix. You can also spike it with some additional flavors like strawberry, mango, or banana, though original may be best. Then just grab a lounge chair, sit back, and watch people careen down the dual, 25-foot water slides — which for some reason grows funnier and funnier with every sip.
6003 North 16th Street
It’s no secret the bartenders at Texaz Grill know what they’re doing. As waitresses flash by with plates of prime rib and bottles of Shiner Bock, you’re free to saddle up at the wonderfully busy bar. Order a piña and you’ll get the same answer: “Let me see if we have everything.” If they do, you’re in for it. It’s a thick and flavorful colada, topped heavily with whipped cream and a shiny red cherry. And because you’re in a roadhouse-meets-steakhouse, the bartender may ask you to close your eyes, and pretend you’re on vacation.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on January 10, 2017. It was updated on July 10, 2019.