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A Better Pina Colada

The Pina Colada may be the most recognized rum drink ever created.  So when someone develops an improved version, we take notice.  Here are the details.


The United States Bartenders Guild announced a contest a few months ago that challenged mixologists to create an updated version of the Pina Colada.  USBG chapters from around the country hosted local competitions to determine the top recipe and 17 finalists were invited to New Orleans for an ultimate Pina Colada throwdown at Tales of the Cocktail.

As the first place “Judges’ Choice” champion, Debbi Peek of Chicago received a one-of-a-kind trophy, along with a check for $1,500 and a spot at the World Cocktail Competition in Warsaw, Poland (compliments of USBG). Debbi’s cocktail, “No Passport Required” was praised for its technical precision and complimentary flavors.

Here’s the winning recipe.


2 oz. Smoked Bacardi Anjeo
2 oz. Coconut Milk
1.5 oz. Caramelized Pineapple (Perfect Puree)
.5 oz. Fresh Ginger Puree
.5 oz. Brown Sugar Syrup

Shake with ice. Strain into an ice filled and honey/toased coconut rimmed Pina Colada glass.

*Smoked Bacardi Anjeo –  Cold smoke Bacardi Anjeo for 45 mins with Alderwood.

*Fresh Ginger Puree – Equal parts fresh ginger, sugar and water. Blend until smooth.

*Brown Sugar Syrup – Equal parts brown sugar and water.

Rim – Dip glass into honey then toasted coconut.