What's the difference between daiquiris and pina coladas?

Though they’re both pool party staples, piña coladas and daiquiris are not to be confused. They’re both rum-based cocktails, but that’s where the similarities of these historic cocktails end. Piña coladas—which translates to “strained pineapple”—are made from rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice. You can substitute different types of rum to change the flavor profile and many variations exist, including frozen piña coladas, which are often garnished with fresh pineapple and maraschino cherries. Named the National Drink of Puerto Rico, Rupert Holmes’s 1979 hit “Escape (The Piña Colada song)” made the drink famous worldwide.

Although daiquiris have an equally fun island aesthetic, they are actually a traditional sour, made with a base liquor of rum, lime juice, and a sweetener (often simple syrup). Daiquiris can come in many flavors and are often frozen—popular flavors include strawberry, banana, avocado, and watermelon. Named after Daiquirí, the small Cuban mining town that the US invaded during the Spanish-American War, daiquiris became popular in the US in the early 1900s. Easy to make with only three ingredients, the shaken, not frozen, daiquiri is becoming more popular.

Check out these nine recipes for delicious daiquiris and piña coladas and get your summer soiree started off right.

Classic Daiquiri

Classic Daiquiri

Chowhound

This is an easy classic that you can doctor with different fruit juices and additions. Start with just the basics: rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup, with plenty of fresh ice. Get our Classic Daiquiri recipe.

Classic Piña Colada

Classic Piña Colada

Bochkarev Photography/Shutterstock

This is the traditional recipe for a piña colada, with light rum. Be sure that you’re using coconut cream (not coconut milk) and you can use dark rum to make the flavors more complex. Get our Piña Colada recipe.

Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri

Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri

Chowhound

Frozen chunks of pineapple add a great tropical twist to this daiquiri recipe and keep the texture smooth—the frozen fruit also prevents any watered-down flavors since you’re subbing it in for additional ice. Get our Frozen Pineapple Daiquiri recipe.

Grilled Pineapple Daiquiri

Grilled Pineapple Daiquiri

Chowhound

Once you’ve mastered the frozen pineapple daiquiri, take it to the next level with this white rum-based drink. The charred pineapple adds a caramelized sweetness to the cocktail that pairs beautifully with grilled meats. Get our Grilled Pineapple Daiquiri recipe.

Pietro Collina’s Daiquiri

Pietro Collina's Daiquiri

Lizzie Munro/Punch

Homemade cane syrup with a 2:1 cane sugar to water ratio and double strained lime juice is what makes this daiquiri recipe so crisp and clean. Garnish with a slice of lime. Get the recipe.

Probiotic Piña Colada

Probiotic Piña Colada

Front + Main

This is the “healthy” take on a cocktail you would never think exists—making your own coconut milk into a yogurt-like consistency with the addition of probiotics and layering it with a blend of amaretto, rum, lime, and pineapple juice. Like an alcoholic smoothie, this blend is part healthy choice and part party in a glass. Get the recipe.

Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri

Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri

Striped Spatula

Cut the watermelon into cubes, freeze them, and blend with rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and orange juice. You can freeze the cubed watermelon months in advance and have these ready to go for a party at a moment’s notice. Get the recipe.

Frozen Piña Colada

Frozen Piña Colada

Saveur

This frozen piña colada is enriched with half-and-half and finished with Angostura bitters. Use half light rum and half dark rum and crushed, canned pineapple instead of pineapple juice to add even more flavor. Get the recipe.

Hemingway Daiquiri

Hemingway Daiquiri

Jacquelyn Clark

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway and invented at the legendary Floridita bar in Havana, this take has cherry liqueur and grapefruit juice with much less sweetness than a traditional daiquiri. It’s also called a Papa Doble. Get the recipe.

Related Video: How Not to F@%& Up a Daiquiri

Header image by Chowhound, using photos from Shutterstock.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
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