The product was originally made from fruit spirits, flavored with rum and coconut flavoring in Curaçao. Originally, the product was used to simplify the making of pina coladas by bartenders. When the product took off, the production was then moved to Barbados where the rum is made by West Indies Rum Distillery Ltd., and the quality of the ingredients used was improved.
The brand was sold by Diageo to Allied Domecq for ($800m) in 2002. In 2005, French company Pernod Ricard purchased Allied Domecq for $14 billion. The deal meant that Pernod Ricard acquired a number of alcoholic beverage brands including Malibu rum.