The Frozen Cocktail Order That Infuriates Bartenders

Bartenders hate making frozen drinks for a variety of reasons, with messiness and noisiness being two of the most commonly cited. But not all blender-made drinks are equal offenders in these aspects. There's one frozen cocktail that stands out to bartenders as being the worst of the worst, both in terms of its noisiness, and the amount of cleanup required afterward: the Miami Vice.

The drink — which shares a moniker with a 1980s television show, and is believed to have been created in its eponymous city — is unusual in that it's comprised of equal parts of two other classic cocktails: the piña colada and the strawberry daiquiri. As a consequence, bartenders don't just have to get one blender going, but two. That means double the noise and double the cleanup.

In other words, it's a bartender's nightmare, and one that can become even worse if others at the bar suddenly decide they want the same thing. If you've ever wondered why bartenders claim to hate frozen drinks, often alleging that the blender is broken at the slightest provocation, the Miami Vice serves as a perfect example.

Why the Miami Vice is a bartender's nightmare

Did we mention that the Miami Vice can take more than twice as long to prepare as a typical cocktail? Well, it can. Essentially, the bartender must follow all the steps for making both a piña colada and a strawberry daiquiri, each of which can be annoying in its own right. This is not only because of the use of blenders, but also due to related factors.

For instance, bartenders dislike the noise blenders create, not just because it bothers them personally, but because it disrupts the ambiance of the bar. Bar owners and their staff are very intentional about crafting the right mood and music, sometimes even focusing on ambiance more than the cocktails themselves to set the bar apart and draw a crowd. To have that carefully crafted ambiance destroyed by the sound of not one, but two noisy blenders, is infuriating to bartenders.

The disruption of a smooth flow of cocktail service is also an issue, especially with drinks that are overly time-consuming to make, and wasteful in terms of ice usage. Yes, you can blame the blender for these problems as well; and since the Miami Vice requires two of them, it should come as no surprise that most bartenders dread making them.

How to order a Miami Vice without infuriating bartenders

Of course, if bartenders don't work somewhere that specializes in frozen drinks, it's likely their bar doesn't even have two blenders. In that case, making a Miami Vice becomes more time-intensive than it normally would with the proper equipment.

Fortunately for bartenders, vacation-style cocktails had their heyday in the 1980s, when the television show "Miami Vice" was still on the air. But for aficionados of the Miami Vice, ordering one isn't necessarily a crime against nature. The drink is delicious, after all, especially in a beachside setting. But if you want it made properly — and not hurriedly by a harried and disgruntled bartender — it's wise to remember two things.

First, never order this drink in a busy bar unless the Miami Vice is specifically listed on the cocktail menu. If there are only a few other patrons present, most bartenders won't mind making a frozen drink, even one as intricate as the Miami Vice. That's assuming you also remember the second consideration, which is to tip generously. Bartenders are much more willing to make a time-consuming drink if they feel they're being properly appreciated for the extra effort.