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Papaya-Kahlua Colada

Papaya-Kahlúa Colada

Papaya-Kahlúa Colada

Papaya-Kahlua Colada

Mary Jo and I used to stop at the open-air fresh fruit market in Aruba (where we lived for 3 years) on the way home from work to pick up a few Caribbean papayas for this refreshing island drink. It’s a great drink for a hot summer day or to start off a Caribbean themed party. 


The addition of Kahlúa really elevates the traditional Pina Colada to a new level.  Kahlúa is a brand of coffee liqueur made in Mexico and contains rum, sugar and Arabica coffee.


The Caribbean Papayas are much larger than the small Hawaiian papayas and much easier to work with. They come in a variety of sizes but even the smallest ones are much larger than the Hawaiian variety. The one I purchased last week weighed 3 1/2 pounds. Make sure to save some of the seeds and fruit to make my Papaya Seed Dressing. A few other uses for leftover papaya are my fruit-based hot sauce or make a tropical fruit salad to go with my Plantain-Crusted Halibut.

Papaya-Kahlúa Colada

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: CocktailsCuisine: CaribbeanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1/2 Caribbean papaya, (or 3 ripe Hawaiian papayas)

  • 1/2 can (7 1/2 ounces) sweetened coconut cream (Coco Lopez)

  • 2 cups pineapple juice

  • 1 cup Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)

  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh coconut

  • fresh pineapple and papaya wedges for garnish


  • The large (around 3 1/2 pounds) Caribbean papayas are much easier to work with than the small Hawaiian variety. Just make sure you choose a ripe papaya, usually with a yellow skin versus a green skin with a little give to the flesh.
  • Peel the papaya and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and save for the Papaya seed dressing. Cut the papaya into large chunks and place in a bowl.  
  • Make in two batches for large “Hurricane” glasses. Place half the papaya in the blender with half of the coconut cream, 1 cup pineapple juice, 1/2 cup Kahlúa, half the shredded coconut and 2 cups crushed or small ice cubes. Blend until smooth.  
  • Garnish with fresh pineapple and papaya wedges. Once consumed, start again! Do not handle sharp knives at this point.

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