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cool it with a lava flow

Recipe: lava flow

Everything seems to be converging on August: visitors, good-byes, workshops (!!), travel, work. Instead of freaking out, I’m in that state of quiet panic while I watch everything fly past me in this surreal slow motion. Maybe it’s my allergy meds? But my allergy medications are good to me because I could stand in a field of hip-deep weeds without sneezing my brains out to get a shot of this the other day:


double rainbow in stormy weather, baby

the primary was super bright



After a spate of several hot and cloudless days, that storm and the cool air it brought was more than welcome. It’s my favorite way to escape the heat in mountain summer since we don’t have air conditioning and we can’t really work in the basement. I find it helps tremendously to drink a glass of ice water. It is my favorite beverage in summer and keeps me on an even keel. But once or twice each summer I will make lava flows to cool down.

i’m really all about the ice

…and fruit



What is a lava flow? It’s just piña colada and strawberry dacquiri, but I love it because it’s fruity and cold. I also dig anything that refers to a geologic phenomenon that is totally amazing to witness. Here’s some lava from 2005 (the Big Island of Hawai’i)…

ocean entry

cream of coconut and pineapple for the piña colada part

the ice is critical



As has been declared by so many of my friends, I am a cheap date. So when I make lava flows at home, I usually prepare a virgin lava flow (no booze) for myself and then mix the rum into the remainder for Jeremy and any guests. It’s hard to do it the other way around, see?

making the strawberry dacquiri

pour over the piña colada



When I have had the lava flow at restaurants, they looked more lava flow-ish because they were super slushy and thick. Super slushy is great, except it’s hard to drink without a spoon. I tend to make mine slushy enough to be cold, but not so slushy that you can’t sip it from your glass. I mean, no one enjoys tipping a glass back and having the entire icy slush come smashing into your face. However, it helps to make sure that the density of the piña colada is greater than that of the strawberry dacquiri, otherwise your “lava” will tunnel into the piña colada and that’s a different phenomenon (resulting in lava tubes – from the lava, not the strawberry dacquiri).

garnish with fresh fruit

keep it cool



Lava Flow
[print recipe]

piña colada
1/2 cup ice
2 oz. rum (optional)
2 tbsps cream of coconut
1/2 cup fresh or canned pineapple

Place everything (for the piña colada) in a blender and blend until the ice is slushy. Fill half of two glasses.

strawberry dacquiri
1/2 cup ice
1 1/2 oz. rum (optional)
1/2 oz. strawberry liqueur (optional)
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

Place the strawberry dacquiri ingredients in a blender and blend until slushy. Pour over the half-filled glasses.

Serve with fruit garnish. Makes 2 lava flows.

22 nibbles at “cool it with a lava flow”

  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga says:

    I request these to be made at F & L please!!!! :)

    With these, and coffee, and my 5D and you, Todd, and Diane, my life will be complete.

    Beautiful rainbow!

  2. Melissa @ Dash of East says:

    Oh Jen, I loved seeing this recipe and the photos! During our honeymoon to Hawaii two years ago, all I drank were lava flows and I miss them terribly!

    We also got to see the “lava flow” into the ocean when we visited the Big Island, so that only made this drink even more special to me! Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

  3. Bev Weidner says:

    Yes, yes, yes. YES.

  4. Margie says:

    R E F R E S H I N G. Sounds so, and looks it, too!

  5. Bing Chou says:

    I’m not a drinker, but that looks delicious. Maybe I’ll do the virgin for myself and boozed up for my friends as you do. Hmm…

  6. Catofstripes says:

    Great recipe and so pretty. Thanks.

  7. Russell at Chasing Delicious says:

    What an awesome drink idea. Two of my favorite drinks wrapped up in one super cute package. Thanks for sharing! I love those rainbow and lava shots too.

  8. Ruth Ann says:

    Wow, those are cool looking the way they are layered. Sounds yummy too!

  9. Karen G says:

    I made this using strawberry dacquiri and piña colada mixes and they’re also called Miami Vice. Delicious!!! Someday I’ll try this recipe.

  10. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand says:

    C’mon! Where’s the little umbrella?

    These are too sit-on-the-porch-watching-the-sunset-over-the-water for words.

  11. Allie says:

    Mmm… coconut… I swear I will enjoy anything that’s got coconut in it. I love it. Except for Vita Coco coconut water, which tastes like what I’d imagine diapers to be.

  12. Memoria says:

    Oh, I could make a virgin version of this too! I’ve never heard of them being combined, but it makes sense and sounds so awesome. I have some frozen pineapple and strawberries that could replace the ice. YUM! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe.

  13. ARC says:

    This would be a great special occasion drink for kids (without the booze, of course!) I’ll definitely try this when T is older, and less suspicious of anything that isn’t water or soy milk ;)

  14. Alyson says:

    Squee! I’m leaving for Hawaii (via Victoria) tonight and this post was just the thing to put me in the mood!

  15. Becki (Becki's Whole Life) says:

    Wow, this brings back some memories! When we went on a cruise about 10 years ago I drank this (I think that’s when it was) and it was my favorite drink. For whatever reason I haven’t had it since. It looks beautiful and about as refreshing as a drink can be! Yum!! I don’t think they were called Lava Flows, but I love the name and that’s what I will call them now! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  16. Margaret says:

    oooo la la….this looks tasty indeed!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

  17. angelitacarmelita says:

    Oh my, I mean who doesn’t want to drink something called a lava flow and besides, it’s got so much yummy fruit in it! yes please! If the drink recipe weren’t enticing enough, thank you SO much for the absolutely wonderful picture of the rainbow… you’ve made my day.

  18. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    I’m going to try that this weekend! It looks perfect for a long summer weekend!!!

  19. Lady Amalthea says:

    Beautiful and yummy! And so nice that you use real fruit in them too. So many frozen drinks just taste “fake”.

  20. jenyu says:

    Melissa – wow, I never had one while I was in Hawai’i! I guess that means I’ll just have to go back? ;) Ocean entry lava is THE BEST!

    Bing Chou – worth a try :) It’s super refreshing on a hot day (and it has been HOT in Boulder…)

    Russell – thanks!

    Karen – Miami Vice? Ha ha! That’s hilarious, although it does harken back to the Don Johnson days (*shudder*) ;)

    Tamar – I know! I know! I don’t have a proper stash of umbrellas. Maybe we’re just waiting for you to arrive with the umbrellas?

    Allie – ha ha ha!!

    Memoria – mmmm, it’s just as good without booze in my opinion. It’s all about the FRUIT!

    Alyson – hope you had an awesome visit.

    angelitacarmelita – awww, thanks :)

    Rocky Mountain Woman – sooo nice to relieve the heat!

    Lady Amalthea – I know what you mean. I hate those “fake” mixes. Blegh!

  21. Jospeh Tkach says:

    I’d say you nailed it.

  22. Sip & Serve: Lava Flow + Honeyed Apricots with Berries - Voyager Style says:

    […] If you’re interested in seeing a step-by-step version and a slightly different recipe, check out Use Real Butter’s post here. […]

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