Chef Lili Dagan knows her way around a tropical drink. Here’s her tried and true recipe for making a delicious piña colada.

Pina colada recipe

I was working on an urban farm down in Red Hook the year that a leak at the maraschino factory turned all the local beehives honey red. The story only got more bizarre after that, but that summer I decided to avoid those electric red maraschino cherries until they got that under control. 

Fast forward a few years. Brooklyn bartenders are now mixologists, and the cherry garnish of choice becomes the undeniably fancier Luxardo cherry. A luxury garnish since 1821 (!!!), these sour cherries are candied and steeped in syrup made of cherry juice and sugar. Besides being 100% delicious as a garnish, their syrup makes for great use in cocktails. 

Before you get started, put your glass in the freezer for the frosty effect. 

If using fresh pineapple, cube and freeze, reserving a few wedges for garnish. 

Makes 2 Large Piña Coladas

  • 4 cups frozen pineapple
  • 4 oz  light rum
  • .5 oz Luxardo cherry syrup 
  • 4 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 oz coconut water
  • 1 oz maraschino liqueur 
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until combined and frothy. 
  1. Pour into your frosty glass. Garnish with lime zest, a few maraschino cherries, a wedge of pineapple and a fun umbrella. 
frozen pina colada recipe