Each sip of this Chi Chi Cocktail has bursts of tropical flavors. Blended with vodka, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and frozen pineapple chunks, you’ll find this cocktail goes down easily and is so refreshing under the summer sun.
A tiki cocktail has never tasted so good
Forget the Hawaiian vacation and sip on this tropical Chi Chi Cocktail instead. Made with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and vodka, the smooth and slushy texture goes down easy and is so refreshing on a sunny day.
Just like a Mango Margarita and Dirty Banana Cocktail, I’ve added frozen fruit to this blended cocktail to give it a smooth and creamy texture. It’s made with almost all of the same ingredients as a pina colada but swaps the rum for vodka. This allows for the pineapple and refreshing flavors to come through in each sip.
This is an easy recipe you can blend together in seconds and even prepare ahead of time. It’s perfect for lounging by the pool or beach days!
What is a chi chi cocktail?
If you love the creamy and coconutty texture of a pina colada, then you’re going to love a chi chi just as much. The distinct difference between the two is in the liquor: a chi chi is blended with vodka and a pina colada with rum. You might as well call them cousins!
The chi chi cocktail history is a little unclear, however, it’s often credited to “Don the Beachcomber” who founded many tiki bars during the 40s and 50s. The “tiki culture” unfortunately comes from a place of cultural appropriation. Don and his employees took ingredients from various countries, used them to create cocktail recipes with interesting names (just like the slang-derived chi chi), and sold the “culture” to Americans looking for a fake island getaway.
An authentic chi chi cocktail is topped with plenty of garnishes, like pineapple slices and maraschino cherries. Serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple for an awesome presentation.
Ingredients you need
This all-out cocktail is made with a lot of fresh ingredients. Made in a blender with vodka and ice, you end up with a tropical slush that is almost too easy to drink.
Pineapple juice can make or break your cocktail. The best flavors will come from fresh-pressed juice but if you don’t have access to it (which we don't!), canned juice will work just as well. Don’t use juice from leftover cans or bottles because it has the tendency to spoil quickly when it’s exposed to air.
Vodka is what separates the chi chi from a pina colada. You can’t taste the booze in this recipe, which means you can get away with using a low to mid-priced vodka if you'd like.
Using vodka instead of rum in this cocktail means the flavor is more pineapple-forward. You can barely taste the vodka even though each glass has 1.5 ounces each! Make sure you sip slowly and only go up to 2 ounces of vodka per glass if you want to increase the alcohol.
Cream of coconut
While it’s similar to coconut cream, cream of coconut is a much sweeter alternative. It’s a staple in many tropical cocktails, helping them taste rich and indulgent. You can buy cream of coconut online, at liquor stores, or make it yourself at home. Coco Lopez is my go-to cream of coconut!
Lime juice and frozen pineapple
These untraditional ingredients really bump up the flavor in a chi chi mixed drink. The lime adds balance while the frozen pineapple chunks add a burst of fresh flavors and make it even more smooth and slushy. You can buy frozen pineapple in grocery stores or freeze a fresh pineapple yourself and serve the finished cocktail inside the hollowed fruit!
To freeze fresh pineapple, chop and freeze the fruit pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They’ll fully freeze overnight and will be ready to use the next day.
As always, freshly made ice is best!
How to make a chi chi cocktail
Grab your high-powered blender (we love the Vitamix!) and let’s get started! Making this frozen cocktail is easy:
Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a blender.
Step 2: Blend until smooth. Pour in a glass, top with a pineapple wedge and a cherry, and enjoy!
There are only a few tips you should know when making this frozen cocktail:
Can I make it ahead of time?
Yes! Simply blend it all together and store the mixture in an airtight container in the freezer. Just let it thaw slightly and give it a quick stir before serving.
Can it be made into a virgin drink?
Easily! Just omit the vodka from this recipe and blend away. No need to substitute any other ingredients.
It's time to party!
Okay, friend! It's your turn to make a batch of this fruity blended cocktail. We're sure that you and your party guests will just love it.
When you do, leave a comment below so we can hear what you think!
Chi Chi Cocktail
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth and serve in chilled cocktail glasses.