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Pina Colada Floats Recipe

The Pina Colada Float is a delightful tropical dessert that captures the flavors of a classic Pina Colada cocktail, but in a lighter, refreshing form. The homemade pineapple sherbet coupled with a spritz of fizzy lemon-lime soda and creamy coconut milk forms an irresistible combination that's perfect for any summer gathering.

Pina Colada Floats Recipe

Photos of Pina Colada Floats Recipe

While most of the ingredients for this recipe are readily available, you may need to look a bit for coconut extract and pineapple sherbet. In case you don’t find pineapple sherbet in your local supermarket, this recipe provides you with steps to make it at home. Pineapple puree is also used in this recipe, which you can make by blending fresh pineapple. If you don't have an ice cream maker, a simple blender or food processor can do the job.

Ingredients for Pina Colada Floats Recipe

Coconut milk: A creaming, slightly sweet liquid extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, it adds a rich tropical flavor to the float.

Sugar: Adds the necessary sweetness to the float.

Coconut extract: Enhances the coconut flavor in the float.

Lemon-lime flavored soda: Adds a fizzy, zesty element to the float.

Pineapple sherbet: Gives a refreshing, tangy, and sweet flavor, creating a balanced taste with the coconut.

Buttermilk: Used in making homemade sherbet, it adds a creamy tang to it.

Yogurt: Also used in the sherbet, it gives a sour creaminess that pairs nicely with the fruity pineapple.

Light corn syrup: It adds sweetness and prevents the formation of ice crystals in the sherbet.

Heavy cream: Adds a rich and creamy texture to the sherbet.

Pineapple puree: Gives a strong, sweet, and tangy pineapple flavor to the sherbet.

One reader, Ambrosi Burchett says:

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This pina colada floats recipe is a game-changer! The combination of coconut milk, pineapple sherbet, and lemon-lime soda creates a refreshing and tropical treat. The homemade pineapple sherbet is a must-try, adding a creamy and fruity element to the float. It's a delightful and indulgent summer treat!

Ambrosi Burchett

Techniques Required for Making Pina Colada Floats

How to make the pineapple sherbet: A process that involves whisking together buttermilk and sugar, stirring in the remaining ingredients, pouring the mixture into an ice cream maker, and processing it according to the manufacturer's directions before freezing until firm.

How to make the pineapple puree: This involves peeling and coring a pineapple, dicing it, placing it in a food processor, pureeing it until smooth, forcing the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, then measuring out 3 cups for the recipe and chilling it completely.

How To Make Pina Colada Floats

Take a fun and exciting twist to the classic summertime favorite pina colada with our delightfully refreshing pina colada floats recipe!

Preparation: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes



  • 3tbspcoconut milk
  • tspsugar,granulated
  • tspcoconut extract,imitation or flavor
  • ½cuplemon-lime flavored soda,such as Sprite
  • ½cuppineapple sherbet,recipe follows

For Pineapple Sherbet:

  • cupsbuttermilk,well-chilled
  • ½cupsugar,granulated
  • cupyogurt,plain low-fat, well-chilled
  • 2tbsplight corn syrup
  • 2tbspheavy cream,well-chilled
  • 3cupspineapple puree,chilled, has been forced through a fine sieve, 1 large pineapple


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, and imitation coconut extract. Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds until sugar dissolves.

  2. Pour lemon-lime soda into the mixture and give it a quick stir (you just don’t want to stir out the carbonation so barely stir once you add the soda just to combine ingredients).

  3. Scoop pineapple sherbet into a glass then pour soda mixture over sherbet. Serve immediately.

  4. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could also use a store-bought pineapple sherbet, but if you do, the homemade sherbet is a must.

To Make Pineapple Sherbet:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.

  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. Freeze the mixture for about 3 hours until firm.

To Make Pineapple Puree:

  1. Peel and core a pineapple. Dice pineapple and place in a food processor.

  2. Puree pineapple 1-2 minutes until very smooth. Force the puree through a fine sieve into a bowl, then measure out 3 cups for the recipe and chill completely.


  • Calories: 1279.67kcal
  • Fat: 28.82g
  • Saturated Fat: 20.11g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 5.74g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.97g
  • Carbohydrates: 251.05g
  • Fiber: 7.91g
  • Sugar: 228.88g
  • Protein: 20.02g
  • Cholesterol: 67.16mg
  • Sodium: 845.31mg
  • Calcium: 669.76mg
  • Potassium: 1419.27mg
  • Iron: 3.33mg
  • Vitamin A: 220.53µg
  • Vitamin C: 243.03mg

Helpful Technique for Perfecting Pina Colada Floats

When making the pineapple puree, ensure to strain it thoroughly to remove any fibrous bits. This will result in a smoother, creamier sherbet. Also, when adding the lemon-lime soda to the coconut milk mixture, pour it gently down the side of the bowl to maintain as much carbonation as possible. This will give your pina colada floats a delightful fizzy texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Pina Colada Floats

Prep ahead: Make the pineapple puree and pineapple sherbet in advance and store them in the refrigerator. This will save time when you're ready to assemble the pina colada floats.

Use store-bought sherbet: If you're short on time, opt for store-bought pineapple sherbet instead of making it from scratch. This will cut down on preparation time without sacrificing flavor.

Chill glasses in advance: Place the serving glasses in the freezer ahead of time so they are chilled and ready to use when it's time to serve the pina colada floats.

Organize ingredients: Before you start, gather all the necessary ingredients and tools to streamline the cooking process and avoid last-minute searches.

Substitute Ingredients For Pina Colada Floats Recipe

  • coconut milk - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk, which will add a creamier texture to the float.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a natural sweetness and a unique flavor to the recipe.

  • coconut extract - Substitute with vanilla extract: Vanilla extract can provide a similar aromatic flavor to enhance the overall taste of the float.

  • lemon-lime flavored soda - Substitute with pineapple juice: Pineapple juice can maintain the tropical flavor while reducing the carbonation.

  • pineapple sherbet - Substitute with mango sorbet: Mango sorbet can offer a similar fruity and refreshing taste to the float.

  • buttermilk - Substitute with plain yogurt: Plain yogurt can provide a similar tangy flavor and creamy texture to the sherbet.

  • sugar - Substitute with agave nectar: Agave nectar can be used as a natural sweetener with a lower glycemic index.

  • yogurt - Substitute with coconut yogurt: Coconut yogurt can enhance the coconut flavor in the sherbet.

  • light corn syrup - Substitute with maple syrup: Maple syrup can add a rich sweetness and depth of flavor to the sherbet.

  • heavy cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can maintain the creamy texture while adding a hint of coconut flavor.

  • pineapple puree - Substitute with mango puree: Mango puree can offer a similar tropical fruitiness to the recipe.

Presentation Ideas for Pina Colada Floats

  1. Elevate the glassware: Choose elegant and sophisticated glassware to serve the pina colada floats. Opt for stemmed glasses or crystal goblets to add a touch of luxury to the presentation.

  2. Garnish with fresh pineapple: Adorn the floats with a vibrant and visually appealing garnish of fresh pineapple slices or wedges. This adds a pop of color and a refreshing tropical element to the presentation.

  3. Incorporate coconut accents: Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top of the floats to introduce a textural element and enhance the coconut flavor. This adds a delightful crunch and visual interest to the dish.

  4. Utilize edible flowers: Introduce a touch of elegance by garnishing the floats with edible flowers, such as orchids or hibiscus. The vibrant colors and delicate appearance of the flowers will elevate the overall aesthetic of the dish.

  5. Create a layered effect: Assemble the floats in a way that creates distinct layers of sherbet and soda, showcasing the contrasting colors and textures for a visually stunning presentation.

  6. Chill the glassware: Prior to serving, chill the glassware in the freezer to create a frosty, refreshing presentation that enhances the overall sensory experience for the esteemed diners.

  7. Add a decorative rim: Rim the glassware with shredded coconut or a coconut sugar blend to add a decorative touch and elevate the overall presentation with a hint of sweetness and texture.

  8. Serve on a decorative tray: Present the pina colada floats on a decorative tray or platter adorned with tropical foliage or a sprinkle of sanding sugar to evoke a sense of island paradise and luxury.

Essential Tools for Making Pina Colada Floats

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It's great for making purees, sauces, and finely chopping fruits and vegetables.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is an essential kitchen tool used for combining ingredients, marinating, and mixing batters. It comes in various sizes and materials, such as stainless steel, glass, or plastic.
  • Whisk: A whisk is a kitchen utensil used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients. It's commonly used for mixing liquids, incorporating air into mixtures, and emulsifying dressings and sauces.
  • Ice cream maker: An ice cream maker is a machine used to churn and freeze ice cream, sorbet, or gelato. It consists of a freezing unit and a mixing paddle to create smooth and creamy frozen desserts.
  • Fine sieve: A fine sieve, also known as a fine-mesh strainer, is used to strain and separate solids from liquids. It's ideal for sifting dry ingredients, removing lumps from sauces, and straining purees for a smooth texture.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are essential for accurately measuring ingredients in cooking and baking. They come in various sizes and are used to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.

Storing and Freezing Pina Colada Floats

  • The pina colada floats are best served immediately after preparing them, as the sherbet will start to melt and the soda will lose its carbonation over time.
  • If you have any leftover pineapple sherbet, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. When ready to serve, let the sherbet soften slightly at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes before scooping.
  • You can store the coconut milk mixture (without the soda) in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, give the mixture a quick stir, then add the soda and scoop the sherbet as directed in the recipe.
  • If you have any leftover pineapple puree, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen puree in the refrigerator overnight before using it in the recipe.
  • It's not recommended to freeze the assembled pina colada floats, as the texture and consistency of the drink will change significantly once thawed.

Interesting Fact About Pina Colada Floats

Pina colada floats are a refreshing and tropical treat that can be enjoyed as a dessert or a fun drink. They combine the flavors of coconut, pineapple, and citrus for a delightful flavor experience.

Is Making Pina Colada Floats at Home Cost-Effective?

The pina colada floats recipe is relatively cost-effective, as it utilizes simple and accessible ingredients. The use of buttermilk, yogurt, and pineapple may require a small initial investment, but these ingredients can be used in various other recipes. The homemade pineapple sherbet adds a delightful touch and can be made in bulk for future use. Overall Verdict: 8/10. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $12-$15, making it a budget-friendly treat.

Are Pina Colada Floats Healthy or Unhealthy?

The pina colada floats recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy due to its high sugar content. The recipe includes sugar in both the coconut milk mixture and the pineapple sherbet, as well as corn syrup and heavy cream in the sherbet itself. The lemon-lime soda also likely contains added sugars. Consuming excessive amounts of added sugars can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the coconut milk mixture and the pineapple sherbet, or use a natural sweetener like stevia or monk fruit extract
  • Replace the lemon-lime soda with sparkling water or coconut water for a lower-sugar option
  • Use a lower-fat alternative to heavy cream in the sherbet, such as almond milk or light coconut milk
  • Incorporate more fresh pineapple into the recipe, as it is a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients
  • Serve smaller portions to limit overall calorie and sugar intake

By making these adjustments, you can still enjoy the tropical flavors of a pina colada float while reducing the negative health impacts of excessive sugar consumption. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to indulgent treats like this one.

Editor's Opinion on Pina Colada Floats Recipe

The combination of coconut milk, pineapple sherbet, and soda in this pina colada float recipe creates a refreshing and tropical treat. The homemade pineapple sherbet adds a creamy and fruity element, elevating the overall flavor profile. The use of pineapple puree ensures a fresh and vibrant taste, enhancing the authenticity of the pina colada experience. The addition of coconut extract provides a subtle yet delightful hint of coconut, complementing the other flavors perfectly. This recipe is a delightful twist on the classic pina colada, offering a fun and enjoyable way to indulge in a beloved cocktail as a delightful float.

Enhance Your Pina Colada Floats Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Pineapple with Honey Lime Glaze: Grilled pineapple with a sweet and tangy honey lime glaze, perfect for a tropical side dish.
Coconut Shrimp: Crispy coconut shrimp with a creamy pineapple dipping sauce, a delicious complement to the pina colada floats.
Mango Salsa: Fresh mango salsa with a hint of spice, adding a burst of flavor to the pina colada floats.

Delicious Alternatives to Pina Colada Floats

Mango Avocado Salsa: Combine diced mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing salsa to serve with grilled fish or chicken.
Coconut Lime Chicken: Marinate chicken in a mixture of coconut milk, lime juice, garlic, and spices before grilling for a tropical twist on a classic dish.
Pineapple Teriyaki Skewers: Thread pineapple chunks, bell peppers, and chicken onto skewers, then brush with a homemade teriyaki sauce and grill for a delicious and colorful meal.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing: Toss together a variety of tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, kiwi, and pineapple, then drizzle with a honey lime dressing for a light and refreshing dessert or side dish.

Appetizers and Main Dishes to Serve with Pina Colada Floats

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and crispy for a delicious start to any meal.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with a classic bruschetta. Toasted bread topped with a fresh and vibrant mixture of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. It's a simple yet elegant way to kick off a meal.
Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: Marinate the salmon in a zesty citrus and herb mixture before grilling to perfection. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables for a healthy and flavorful meal.
Mushroom Risotto: Sauté a variety of mushrooms with shallots and garlic before stirring in creamy arborio rice and slowly adding in flavorful broth. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and grated parmesan for a comforting and indulgent dish.

Why trust this Pina Colada Floats Recipe:

This recipe is a delightful twist on the classic pina colada with a homemade touch. The use of fresh pineapple puree and homemade pineapple sherbet ensures a burst of authentic tropical flavors. The addition of coconut milk and coconut extract brings a rich and creamy texture, while the lemon-lime flavored soda adds a refreshing fizz. The step-by-step instructions for making the pineapple sherbet and pineapple puree guarantee a genuine and flavorful experience. Trust in the quality and freshness of the ingredients to elevate your pina colada floats to a whole new level.

Want to chat more about this delightful Pina Colada Floats recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the discussion!
Can I use fresh pineapple instead of pineapple puree?
Yes, you can use fresh pineapple instead of pineapple puree. Simply puree the fresh pineapple in a food processor until smooth and use it in place of the pineapple puree in the recipe.
Can I substitute the buttermilk in the pineapple sherbet?
Yes, you can substitute the buttermilk in the pineapple sherbet with an equal amount of whole milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes before using it in the recipe.
Can I make the pineapple sherbet without an ice cream maker?
Yes, if you don't have an ice cream maker, you can still make the pineapple sherbet by pouring the mixture into a shallow dish and placing it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, stir the mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals until it reaches the desired consistency.
Can I use a different soda instead of lemon-lime flavored soda?
Yes, you can use a different soda such as ginger ale or even coconut-flavored soda to give the pina colada float a unique twist.
Can I make the pina colada float ahead of time?
It's best to make the pina colada float just before serving to ensure the soda retains its carbonation and the sherbet doesn't melt. However, you can prepare the pineapple sherbet and pineapple puree ahead of time and assemble the floats when ready to serve.

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