Lava Flow Cocktail Recipe

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Lava Flow Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Lava Flow cocktail is a tropical and visually stunning drink that originated in Hawaii. It is believed to have been created in the 1980s and quickly gained popularity among tourists and locals alike. The name 'Lava Flow' comes from the drink's appearance, which resembles the flowing lava of a volcano.

  • The cocktail is particularly popular in Hawaii due to its tropical flavors and connection to the volcanic landscape.
  • The Lava Flow is often enjoyed by those seeking a refreshing and visually appealing drink, perfect for relaxing on the beach or by the pool.
  • The drink has become a symbol of Hawaiian vacations and is a must-try for anyone visiting the islands.

How Lava Flow Tastes?

The Lava Flow cocktail is a delicious combination of sweet, fruity, and creamy flavors. The drink is rich and velvety, with a hint of tanginess from the pineapple and a subtle coconut undertone. The strawberry puree adds a touch of tartness and a beautiful contrast in both taste and appearance.

Interesting facts about Lava Flow

  • The Lava Flow cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'Hawaiian Pina Colada' due to its similar ingredients and tropical flavors.
  • The drink's visual appeal is a significant part of its popularity, with the swirling red and white layers resembling flowing lava.
  • Some variations of the Lava Flow cocktail include additional fruit flavors, such as mango or banana, for an even more tropical taste experience.


Light Rum

Light rum is like the life of the party in this tropical drink. It adds a bit of kick without overpowering the sweet and fruity flavors. If you skip it, you'll end up with a smoothie rather than a cocktail. If you prefer a heavier rum flavor, upgrade to gold or dark rum—just know the flavor will be more prominent, and your 'lava' might be a bit murkier.

Emma Rose

Coconut Cream

This is the creamy dream that brings tropical velvety smoothness to your glass. Not enough and the drink may lack body, too much and it could become cloyingly sweet. No coconut cream? Go for full-fat coconut milk for a lighter touch.

Alex Green

Pineapple Juice

Here's where the tropics come to play. It punches up the acidity and balances out the sweetness. Less juice, and you may not get enough of that island zing, too much, and it's a pineapple tidal wave in your mouth.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Strawberries

A lava flow's not lava without the burst of berry charm. They’re the sweet-tart powerhouse that gives this cocktail its unique visual appeal. Leave 'em out, and you lose half the fun.

Emma Rose

Crushed Ice

It's what keeps your sipping on a cool wave. Just right, and it's a refreshing frozen wonderland. Too little, and you'll have a drink that's over too soon; too much, and you might just freeze your taste buds off.

Alex Green

Garnish: Pineapple Wedge and Maraschino Cherry

The finishing touches for Instagram-worthiness. The pineapple adds a touch of sweetness, while the cherry pops with a hint of tart flavor—and let's not forget the eye appeal.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Lava Flow Drink

  1. Blend the strawberries and 1/4 cup of crushed ice until smooth. Pour the mixture into a hurricane or highball glass.
  2. Rinse the blender, then add the light rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and the remaining 3/4 cup of crushed ice. Blend until smooth.
  3. Slowly pour the rum mixture over the strawberry mixture in the glass, allowing the two layers to swirl together and create the 'lava flow' effect.
  4. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Blend the ingredients until they are completely smooth to achieve the perfect texture.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer.
  • Use fresh strawberries and pineapple for the best flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Grilled Shrimp: The sweet and fruity flavor of the Lava Flow pairs well with seafood, especially when it's lightly seasoned or comes with a tropical salsa.
  • Fruit Platters: A selection of tropical fruits can complement the tropical flavors in your cocktail.
  • Chicken Skewers: Opt for skewers with a sweet glaze to echo the sweetness of the cocktail.


  • Teriyaki Chicken: The sweet and tangy tastes of teriyaki pair nicely without overpowering the drink.
  • Fish Tacos: The lightness of fish tacos marry well with the refreshing quality of this tropical beverage.


  • Coconut Ice Cream: Play up the coconut cream in your drink by pairing it with a similarly flavored dessert.
  • Key Lime Pie: Its tangy flavor provides a nice contrast to the Lava Flow without overwhelming the palate.

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What you could change in Lava Flow

  • Light rum can be replaced with dark rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Coconut cream can be substituted with coconut milk for a lighter version.
  • Fresh strawberries can be replaced with frozen strawberries or other berries.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Lava Flow

Exchange the strawberries for a mix of raspberries and blackberries for a deeper berry flavor and a dramatic color twist. The raspberry's tartness and blackberry's earthiness will create a complex, layered 'lava flow.'

Ingredients: Replace the 1/2 cup of strawberries with 1/4 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup blackberries. Recipe: Follow the original recipe, substituting the berries accordingly.

Chocolate Coconut Lava Flow

For those who adore the marriage of coconut and chocolate, add a chocolate swirl. You'll be sipping on a tropical-choco dream. Just don't overdo the chocolate, or you'll obscure the delicate flavors of the fruits.

Ingredients: Add 1 oz of chocolate syrup to the coconut mixture. Recipe: Drizzle chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass before pouring in the strawberry mixture.

Mango Lava Flow

Mango adds a rich, tropical sweetness that plays well with the pineapple and coconut. Use it instead of strawberries for a yellow 'lava' that's as delightful to the taste buds as it is to the eyes.

Ingredients: Replace the 1/2 cup of strawberries with 1/2 cup of ripe mango chunks. Recipe: Follow the original recipe, subbing in the mango for the strawberries.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lava Flow

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Lava Flow

Why is the Lava Flow cocktail associated with Hawaii?

Due to its tropical and vibrant flavors, the Lava Flow cocktail is often associated with a Hawaiian vacation. The cocktail's fruity and creamy taste, along with its stunning visual presentation, perfectly represents the exotic and beautiful nature of Hawaii. The name 'Lava Flow' further associates this cocktail with Hawaii due to the state's volcanic activity.

Is it acceptable to use other types of rum for the Lava Flow cocktail?

Yes, while light rum is typically used in the Lava Flow cocktail for its subtle flavor, variations can be created using other types of rum. Spiced rum may provide the drink with a more complex flavor, while flavored rums can give the cocktail a unique twist.

What is the best time to enjoy a Lava Flow cocktail?

A Lava Flow cocktail is perfect for any warm, sunny day. Its refreshing tropical flavors and the visually appealing presentation make it the perfect companion for lounging at the beach or poolside. It is also a popular selection at summer parties and Hawaiian-themed events.

What food pairs well with a Lava Flow?

Given its tropical flavors, a Lava Flow cocktail pairs well with dishes that feature similar profile. Grilled seafood, particularly fish or shrimp, tropical fruit salads, or Hawaiian BBQ chicken would all be great options.

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