Miami Vice drink garnished with cherries

Combine a Piña Colada with a Strawberry Daiquiri to Make a Miami Vice

While there’s a time and place for an expertly crafted martini or old-fashioned, sometimes an easy-going cocktail is the right call. Perhaps poolside or simply during a night out, there’s something about a frozen, sweet and very drinkable sling that’s intoxicatingly fun.

Lots of beloved candidates fit into the category — there’s the frozen margarita, many flavors of frozen daiquiris, and the refreshing piña colada. And if you’re having trouble deciding among all the options, turn to the Miami Vice. The bold and bright creation combines two all-time summery favorites — the frozen strawberry daiquiri and piña colada — into one eye-catching form.

What the cocktail lacks in nuanced complexity, it makes up for in its bright contrast of flavors. The tanginess of a lime-tinged and fresh strawberry mix perfectly contrasts to the creamy, tropical flavors of the piña colada. The two drinks can be stacked up on top of each other, or even split vertically for added effect. Oftentimes, on top goes a fruity garnish, like a slice of strawberry, pineapple, or perhaps a maraschino cherry. And as for the name — well, origins are uncertain, but many suggest the drink came about during the neon-drenched vibes of 1980s Miami and the famous TV show of the same name. It emerged during a time when frozen drink machines were trending — likely inspired by the success of the frozen margarita — and hasn’t disappeared from coastal slushie dispensers since.

The Miami Vice layers two frozen favorites into a single glass

Miami Vice cocktail by the pool

Most bars with the Miami Vice on their menu keep cocktail bases pre-batched in frozen drink machines. All it takes to assemble the eye-catching drinks is Finistwo lever pulls — sometimes swirled — and the perfectly textured creation pours into a glass. Crafting it at home involves a bit more effort, entailing two separate blending sessions. Nevertheless, it’s worth the trouble, with the ability to hand select flavors and craft several rounds at once.

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It all starts with rum, the base for both drinks. Most employ an affordable white rum, with the Bacardi Superior a frequent choice. However, some craft the piña colada with an aged rum to throw a blend into the drink. Otherwise, this pineapple drink involves typical components like cream of coconut and pineapple — either fresh or canned — blended with ice.

The frozen strawberry daiquiri also follows its classic form of assembly, mixing in simple syrup and lime for a brighter flavor. However, especially for this drink, many bartenders reach for berries in frozen form. Not only do they prevent further dilution, but have a better flavor, which is the reason why frozen strawberries make the best smoothies. In fact, some also pre-freeze the pineapple for an extra-smooth texture. Once both components are blended, there’s different ways to combine in the glass. Whether it’s layering the piña colada atop the fruit or swirling the two side-by-side, a boozy and eye-catching creation emerges.

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