Vodka Piña Colada (AKA Chi Chi) Cocktail Recipe

Published November 19, 2021
Vodka Pina Colada Chi Chi


  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ ounce cream of coconut
  • 1½ ounces pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple flavored vodka
  • Ice
  • Orange slice and cherry for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lime juice, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, pineapple vodka, and ice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a poco grande glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Variations and Substitutions

The chi chi is a variation on the piña colada; it replaces the standard rum with vodka. However, the recipe is otherwise pretty similar. Vodka has a more neutral flavor than rum, so the resulting drink has a slightly different taste. Other variations:

  • Make a vodka painkiller cocktail (usually made with Prusser's rum) by replacing the lime juice with 1 ounce of freshly squeezed orange juice. Garnish with a grating of fresh nutmeg.
  • Toss all the ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks and ½ cup of crushed ice and blend until smooth for a frozen chi chi.
  • Replace ½ ounce of the coconut cream with ½ ounce of strawberry or banana liqueur for a fruity twist on the original.
  • Use unflavored vodka in place of the pineapple vodka.


The classic garnish for the chi chi is called a flag; it's an orange slice and a cherry either on a cocktail pick or placed on the rim of the glass. Step away from the classic with the following garnish ideas:

  • Use a sliced strawberry.
  • Top with freshly grated nutmeg for an aromatic treat.
  • Garnish with a small fresh pineapple wedge or a pineapple leaf.

About the Vodka Piña Colada

Even without the rum, the vodka piña colada (also known as the chi chi) probably qualifies as a tiki drink with its tropical fruity flavors. In fact, you can swap vodka for rum in most tiki cocktails and you'll still have a delicious drink, which is ideal for tropical cocktail loves who don't prefer rum.

It's likely that the grandfather of tiki cocktails, Don the Beachcomber (a.k.a. Don Beach) made the first chi chi after he opened the first tiki bar in Hollywood in the 1930s. Not surprisingly, Beach loved the beach, and he also loved tropical cocktails and rum. Thus, tiki cocktail culture began, and what followed are some of the most delicious, tropical, fruity rum cocktails known to man. And while the chi chi doesn't have rum, Beach occasionally had to substitute another spirit making whole new drinks for his cocktail-loving clientele.

A Chi Chi Will Make You Cha-Cha-Cha

Even if rum isn't your thing, you can still take part in tiki cocktail culture. Simply add some vodka in place of rum, and you'll be dancing all night to the beat of your own drum.

Vodka Piña Colada (AKA Chi Chi) Cocktail Recipe