Give Your Happy Hour the Taste of Summer, Even in December

Homemade frozen pina colada cocktails with wedges of pineapple

Somewhere along the line, frozen cocktails became a summertime mainstay, the very best way to wrap up a hot, maybe aggravating day. But they’re not just for summer, even when they use traditional warm-weather favorites like coconut. This frozen Pina Colada recipe will hit the spot and help you unwind just as well in front of a fireplace in December as beside the pool in July.

Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4 Cocktails


  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 6 ounces cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 8 ounces white rum
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 1/2 cups ice
  • 2 ounces dark rum (optional)
  • Extra pineapples, lime wedges and/or cherries for garnish


  1. Place the pineapple pieces in a freezer bag and freeze them for at least 3 hours before you plan to make the cocktails.
  2. In a blender, puree the frozen pineapple, cream of coconut, ice cream, white rum, lime juice and ice until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
  3. Cover the blender cup and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until the cocktail reaches a thickness similar to that of a milkshake.
  4. Return the blender cup to the blender and blend again briefly so the cocktail pours a bit more easily. Avoid making it too thin. No more than a 10-second jolt should do it, but keep an eye on it so you don’t go too far.
  5. Pour the cocktail into four glasses and top each with 1/2 ounce of dark rum, if desired. Add your choice of garnish and serve. 


Coco Lopez is the hands-down favorite for cream of coconut. But it’s sweetened, so the addition of the ice cream will make a much sweeter cocktail. If you prefer your drink less rich, substitute 2 to 3 ounces of unsweetened coconut milk for the ice cream.

Three hours is the minimum time for freezing the pineapple, but you can do it up to 3 months ahead if you want to keep a batch in your freezer for the next time you have a Pina Colada kind of day.

Fresh pineapple is best, but if you don’t feel like wrestling with one to reduce it to cubes, canned pineapple will work, too. Just check the label to avoid any additional sugar content. You can also buy pineapple already frozen, so go ahead and stock up.

Don’t despair if you overdo that second round in the blender. You don’t have to restart the whole recipe from scratch—although you will have to refreeze the cocktail and start over from that point if you want to serve it in perfect frozen consistency.

You can substitute curacao for the lime juice for a cocktail with a bit more of a punch.

Using chipped ice or small cubes will save your blender blades some wear and tear.