Ramon “Monchito” Marrero, a bartender at the Caribe Hilton beachcomber bar in Puerto Rico set out to create a drink which reflects the tropical beauty of the island. Rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice were finally brought together after his three month long experiment. On August 15, 1954, the Pina Colada was born. We joined the thousands of others, such as John Wayne, Charlton Heston and Elizabeth Taylor, who sipped the drink during their visits to San Juan. Topped off with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry, the national drink of Puerto Rico looks today as it did over 50 years ago.
Had it been around during his time, Ponce de Leon might have enjoyed sipping one of these refreshing drinks while living in San Juan, but he died even before he lived in the house his son-in-law built for him, “La Casa Blanca”.