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The Chi Chi drink is a spin on the Piña Colada with vodka that’s just as tasty as the classic! It’s quick to blend up this tropical drink.

Chi Chi Drink

Love a good Piña Colada? Then here’s the drink for you: the Chi Chi drink! This Piña Colada with vodka is just as good as the original, in our opinion. It’s surprising how well it holds up to the rum-based classic. Whip it up in a blender and it’s tangy, sweet, coconut-y and tropical: the perfect beachy drink for summer or anytime you’re craving sun.

What’s in a Chi Chi drink?

The Chi Chi is a vodka spin on the Piña Colada, a classic cocktail invented in Puerto Rico made with pineapple juice, rum, and coconut. Invented in San Juan in 1954 by a bartender named Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, it was declared the official drink of Puerto Rico in 1978.

The Chi Chi was invented by Donn Beach at his Hollywood restaurant called Don the Beachcomber, sometime after the original caught on. (Donn was also inventor of the Zombie and other Tiki cocktails). It was first made with macadamia nut liqueur and called the Macadamia Nut Chi Chi, but over time the fancy liqueur was dropped in favor of this simpler version. The ingredients for the Chi Chi drink are:

  • Frozen pineapple
  • Ice
  • Vodka
  • Cream of coconut
  • Pineapple juice

All you’ve got to do? Throw it all in a blender and blend it up! The flavor comes out smooth and tropical: just sweet enough and balanced between pineapple and coconut. In fact, we couldn’t stop sipping it!

Cream of Coconut vs Coconut Cream

Cream of coconut vs coconut cream

When you go to buy Chi Chi drink ingredients, remember this: Buy cream of coconut, not coconut cream. There’s an important difference between the two. Here’s what to know about cream of coconut vs coconut cream:

  • Coconut cream is made from coconut milk and is typically sold in cans. It is very thick and tastes like coconut, but it’s not sweetened.
  • Cream of coconut is made from coconut cream and sugar. It’s used to sweeten tropical drinks like a classic piña colada. It’s often sold in handy squeeze bottles to use in drinks. Cream of coconut is easy to find online or at your local liquor store. A popular brand is Coco Real.

For the garnish: cherry and drink umbrellas

The beachy Chi Chi drink is often served with a drink umbrella, just like a Piña Colada. Here are a few things you can use for the garnish:

  • Cocktail cherry: everything is better with a cherry on top!
  • Pineapple slice or ring: You can even use a chunk of frozen pineapple
  • Drink umbrella: Go fancy and add a drink umbrella! Here’s where we got ours: buy drink umbrellas on Amazon.
Chi Chi Drink

More coconut drinks

There are so many great ways to highlight coconut in cocktails! These tropical drinks are great for using up the rest of your bottle of cream of coconut:

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Chi Chi Drink

Chi Chi Drink

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x


The Chi Chi drink is a spin on the Piña Colada with vodka that’s just as tasty as the classic! It’s quick to blend up this tropical drink.


  • 1 ½ cups frozen pineapple
  • 1 ½ cups ice
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) vodka
  • 2 ounces (¼ cup) cream of coconut*
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) pineapple juice
  • For the garnish: cocktail cherry, pineapple slice


  1. Blend pineapple and ice until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with a cocktail cherry and drink umbrellas, if desired.


*Cream of coconut is a special coconut product made for sweetening drinks, whereas coconut cream is unsweetened (read more at Cream of Coconut vs Coconut Cream). Don’t buy coconut cream or the drink will not taste sweetened! If you make this misstep and want to save your drink, you can add simple syrup to taste.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Chi chi drink, Piña Colada vodka

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. Great recipe. Love that you can press on the 2x, 3x etc, for perfect quantities and measurements.