Let’s give tonight’s happy hour a beachy touch with this pineapple-coconut margarita! Sweet pineapple, cream of coconut, tequila and fresh lime juice come together to make a cocktail that’s full of tropical flavor. This pina colada margarita will be your go-to cocktail for pool parties and summer barbecues.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Vacation in a glass: One sip of this coconut-pineapple margarita and you’ll feel like you're relaxing at a beach resort. Everyone will appreciate the tropical escape.
Ideal for home bartenders of all skill levels: New to mixology? No problem here. This easy margarita recipe takes no advanced skills.
Makes for an ultra summery presentation: Add a toasted coconut rim with a couple fresh pineapple leaves, and you have a drink that will instantly deliver summer vibes and turn heads. Can you imagine a more fun drink to serve for guests?
Prepare it on the rocks or frozen: A margarita on the rocks is the traditional preparation method, but if you want to play up the pina colada nod, you'll find instructions for making a frozen version as well — your choice.
Pitcher perfect: If you’re mixing just a handful of cocktails, you can make this drink in a cocktail shaker, but you can also easily turn this into a pitcher recipe. That makes this tropical margarita great for serving a crowd, and entertaining is as simple as can be.
Tequila: While you can use your favorite variety, I much prefer reposado tequila over blanco tequila. Reposado tequila spends two to 12 months aging in oak barrels while blanco tequila goes straight into stainless steel barrels. This gives reposado a smoother finish with a more nuanced, complex flavor.
Cream of coconut: Please note that we use cream of coconut, not coconut cream or coconut milk. These are all three distinctly different products. A classic pina colada ingredient, cream of coconut cream is a thick syrup that delivers serious coconut flavor with the perfect sweetness. You can find cream of coconut in the drink mixers at the grocery store with Coco Lopez and Coco Reàl being the most popular brands.
Lime juice: Put away the bottled juice and reach for fresh limes instead. Bottled juice lacks the flavor and brightness of fresh-squeezed lime juice.
Let’s show you how simple it is to prepare this pineapple-coconut margarita recipe.
Step 1: To begin, we pour some agave nectar or honey on a small plate and spread some toasted coconut on another plate. First, we swirl the rim of the glass in the agave nectar or honey, and then we dip the sticky rim in the toasted coconut (photo 1). For now, we set the glass aside.
Step 2: With our garnished rim prepared, we’re ready to start on the drink. Let’s grab our cocktail shaker and add the tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, cream of coconut, pineapple juice and a handful of ice (photo 2).
Step 3: Now we put on the top and shake vigorously (photo 3). About 15-30 seconds is standard.
Step 4: We remove the cap from the cocktail shaker and strain into our margarita glass (photo 4).
Step 5: For the perfect finishing touch, we add a couple real pineapple leaves to the glass as a garnish like so (photo 5).
And that’s it! Now take a sip, close your eyes and pretend you’re on the beach. It feels like vacation, doesn’t it?
The process is super simple. Add shredded coconut to a dry skillet over medium heat and cook until about half or so of the coconut browns, and you have your toasted coconut. While this step is technically optional, it adds such a fun touch to the drink and makes for a festive presentation.
You want to use cream of coconut for this recipe because it gives us that pina colada sweetness. If you insist on using coconut milk, pick up the kind that comes in a can, not a carton from the dairy section. Make sure you shake it well and then add an ounce of simple syrup.
Rather than use a cocktail shaker, we add all the ingredients to a blender with 1 cup crushed ice and blend until smooth. I prefer using crushed ice because it incorporates much easier, even with a high-powered blender, and I find the texture a bit smoother. If you don’t have an ice machine, you can place the ice in a large baggie and use a rolling pin or meat mallet to crush the ice. Otherwise, you could use 1 cup of whole ice if that’s not an option either.
To entertain a large crowd, simply stir together the ingredients in a larger pitcher and refrigerate until it’s time to serve. Just make sure you serve the margarita within 24 hours. After that, the lime starts to lose its brightness.
Use two hands when shaking: For the proper shaking technique, use two hands to get enough force behind the shake.
Roll limes before juicing: Place the lime on the countertop and firmly roll it under the palm of your hand several times. This helps get the juice flowing to ensure a perfectly citrusy margarita. I also find using a handheld juicer makes the process more efficient.
Get creative with your garnishes: While I love the toasted coconut rim and pineapple leaves, feel free to put your own spin on it. A cute tiki umbrella is fun, and a fresh pineapple wedge would make a welcome addition. You could even add a maraschino cherry.
Use ripe limes: Get bright green limes that have some give when you squeeze them. Hard limes are a sign they’re dried out.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a big plate of tacos with your margarita, and I especially love these blackened salmon tacos with pineapple pico de gallo with this drink. That pineapple pico de gallo beautifully matches our tropical vibe. Serve with a side of coconut-lime rice and you have yourself the perfect summer meal.
I’m also a big fan of enjoying this pina colada margarita with some jerk chicken or jerk pork. Or for a fun variation of the two, try my jerk chicken enchiladas or jerk pork nachos with a side of mango-habanero salsa. Sounds like a beachy pairing, doesn’t it?
For the ultimate summer cocktail, I hope you whip up this easy pineapple-coconut margarita. You want to drink it over and over again all summer long.
Get More Margarita Recipes
If you love this recipe, please leave a comment with a five-star rating — or simply hit the five-star button in the recipe card. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter, and you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Pineapple-Coconut Margarita (Pina Colada)
- Cocktail shaker
- Handheld citrus juicer
- Agave nectar or honey for garnish, optional
- Toasted coconut for garnish, optional
- 2 ounces tequila preferably reposado
- 2 ounces pineapple juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 ounce cream of coconut not coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 ounce orange liqueur preferably Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- Pineapple leaves for garnish, optional
- Pour some agave nectar or honey on a small plate. Spread toasted coconut on another small plate. Swirl the rim of the margarita glass into the agave nectar or honey, and then dip it into the toasted coconut. Set aside.
- Add the tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, cream of coconut, orange liqueur and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker.
- Put the cocktail shaker top on the glass and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds.
- Add ice to the garnished glass and strain the drink into the glass.
- If desired, garnish with pineapple leaves. Enjoy!
- To toast coconut, add shredded coconut to a dry skillet over medium heat and cook until about half or so of the coconut browns.
- You can find cream of coconut in the drink mixers section of the grocery store. It comes in both a can and a squeeze bottle.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.