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The Key Lime Colada: The Perfect Tropical Drink

Escape to the tropics with a refreshing and tangy twist on the classic Piña Colada – the Key Lime Colada! With the perfect balance of spiced and vanilla rum, key lime juice, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, this cocktail is a vacation in a glass. Top it off with a crunchy graham cracker rim and tropical garnishes, and you’ll be transported to a sunny paradise in just minutes.

Looking for a fun and delicious cocktail to share with friends or enjoy poolside on a hot day? Look no further than the Lime Colada! With its perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors, this drink is a vacation in a glass.

key lime colada in clear glass with graham cracker crumb rim and cherry and lime garnish

The recipe is quick and easy, so you can whip up a batch in no time — just 8 minutes, in fact. Just blend together spiced and vanilla rum, key lime juice, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, and top with a graham cracker rim and tropical garnishes for the ultimate beachy vibes.

For a non-alcoholic drink that has plenty of tropical flavor, try our Kiwi Banana Smoothie.

Why You’ll Love This Key Lime Piña Colada

  • A fun twist on the classic Piña Colada that tastes like a vacation in a glass.
  • The tangy key lime juice adds a delicious zing to the sweet and creamy cocktail.
  • The graham cracker rim adds a delightful crunch to each sip.
  • The garnish of lime and maraschino cherries adds a sweet/tart flavor combination and a tropical touch.
  • Quick and easy to make – just 8 minutes from start to finish!
  • Perfect for sipping on a hot day or for a fun cocktail party with friends.
  • Makes two 8 oz. servings, so you can share with a friend or enjoy both glasses yourself!
key lime pina colada on white background with limes, pineapple leaves, and checkered napkin


This section is meant to provide an overview of the ingredients required for the recipe. For specific amounts and instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Spiced Rum: Adds a warm, spicy flavor to the drink, complementing the sweet and tart lime juice.
  • Vanilla Rum: Enhances the tropical flavor while adding a hint of vanilla sweetness.
  • Key Lime Juice: Provides the signature tartness and citrusy flavor that the key lime colada is known for.
  • Cream of Coconut: Adds a rich, creamy texture and a subtle coconut flavor.
  • Pineapple Juice: Introduces a fruity, tropical note and adds a touch of natural sweetness.
  • Pina Colada Mix: Contains a blend of pineapple and coconut flavors that enhance the tropical taste and helps create a smooth, thick consistency.
  • Ice: To chill the drink and create a slushy-like texture.
  • Crushed Graham Crackers (garnish): Adds a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. This ingredient is optional, as are the other garnishes.
  • Slice of Lime (garnish): Serves as a visual representation of the key lime flavor and adds a pop of color to the presentation.
  • Maraschino Cherries (garnish): Enhances the presentation of the drink with a pop of red color and adds sweet flavor if you eat the cherries.

Equipment You’ll Need to Make a Key Lime Pina Colada

  • Blender: To blend all the ingredients together, creating a smooth, slushy-like consistency.
  • Measuring Cups: To accurately measure the liquid ingredients. Do not use cups for dry ingredients to measure liquid ones.
  • Citrus Juicer (optional): To squeeze fresh key lime juice; alternatively, use store-bought key lime juice.
  • Glassware: To serve the finished key lime colada, preferably a hurricane or highball glass.
  • Plate or shallow bowl: To hold the crushed graham crackers for rimming the glass.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: To slice the lime for garnish and prepare the pineapple leaves.
key lime colada in foreground with limes, pineapple leaves and plant in background

How to Make a Key Lime Colada

This section provides a brief overview of the instructions but the steps are not detailed. For exact step-by-step instructions, refer to the recipe card below.

Step 1 — Blend it up: Add all the ingredients (except for the garnishes) to the blender. Blend or pulse for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth and looks like a slushie.

Step 2 — Rim the glass: Rub a lime around the edge of your glass to get it wet. Then, dip it in graham cracker crumbs.

Step 3 — Garnish and serve: Pour the drink into the glasses and garnish each with a key lime slice and maraschino cherries on a toothpick.

Serving Suggestions

Pair this drink with light, summery fare. Here are a few ideas:

a sweet and tart key lime colada in a tall glass with tropical elements in background

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Use freshly squeezed key lime juice for authentic flavor.
  • Adjust the sweetness level by adding more or less pina colada mix.
  • Chill your glassware. Place the glasses in the freezer about 15 minutes before serving the drinks. It’ll keep your cocktail frozen longer.
  • To get that signature slushy texture, begin blending on low speed and then increase it if needed to avoid over-blending the ice.
  • Make a large batch. For parties or gatherings, make a large batch of key lime colada in advance and store it in the freezer. Simply let it thaw slightly and re-blend it with additional ice as needed to serve.

Additions and Variations

Rim the glass with sugar. If you don’t want to deal with messy graham cracker crumbs, you can rim the drink with sugar instead.

Try a different rum. Replace one of the rums with coconut rum or aged rum to vary the flavor profile.

Use different garnishes. Instead of limes and maraschino cherries, try fun umbrellas, pineapple wedges, or edible flowers to make your key lime colada stand out.

Key Lime Colada Recipe FAQ

What is in a Key Lime Piña Colada?

A Key Lime Piña Colada includes spiced rum, vanilla rum, key lime juice, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, pina colada mix, and ice, blended together until smooth. The rim is then coated with graham cracker crumbs and garnished with a slice of lime and maraschino cherries for the ultimate tropical touch.

How to Make a Virgin Key Lime Colada?

To make this a virgin drink, replace the spiced rum and vanilla rum with coconut water, additional pineapple juice, and a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract.

Does pina colada mix contain alcohol?

Most commercial pina colada mixes do not contain alcohol. They are typically made with a blend of pineapple and coconut flavors, sugar, and other ingredients to create a base for the cocktail. The alcohol, usually rum, is added separately when making the drink. Be sure to check the label to make sure your mix is non-alcoholic.

closeup of key lime colada

More Tropical Drink Recipes

Get the flavor of the tropics in these other delicious drinks:

close shot of key lime colada in glass garnished with lime and cherries

Key Lime Colada Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Servings 2 8-oz glasses
Calories 272 kcal


  • 2 oz. Spiced Rum
  • 3 oz. Vanilla Rum
  • 1 ½ oz Key lime juice
  • 1 oz. Cream of coconut
  • 1 ½ oz Pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Pina colada mix
  • 1 ½ cups Ice
  • Garnishes: crushed graham crackers slice of lime, and maraschino cherries


  • In a blender, add all of the above ingredients except for the garnishes, and blend until smooth.
  • Rub lime around the edge of your glassware and dip the rim in graham cracker crumbs.
  • Pour your drink mix into the glasses and garnish.


Chill your glasses about 15 minutes before serving to keep your key lime coladas cold longer.


Calories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 0.2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 55mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 14IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword key lime colada, key lime pina colada
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  • I'm Donella, the voice, heart, and wit (sometimes) behind this blog. I homeschool my pre-teen son by day and moonlight as a blogger and freelance writer. I'm a Diet Pepsi aficionado with a bookshelf that's always overflowing. My two dogs—a German Shepherd and a Beagle—are my fluffy shadows. I love planning in my bullet journal almost as much as I love hoarding notebooks and pens. I may be an introvert who missed her calling as a desert hermit, but that just gives me more time to write, right?

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