Pineapple Cocktails

PIneapple cocktail: Isla Bonita Punch

Isla Bonita Punch from Serious Eats

The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mix up a pineapple cocktail or to to conjure memories of sunshine. Here are a few to try:

Fever Pitch ~ Cachaca, basil and Green Chartruese combine with pineapple for an herbacious cocktail that’s topped with a nice egg white foam and dash of celery bitters.

Low Calorie Piña Colada ~ A regular Piña Colada has more than enough calories to make it a meal. This lighter version lets you enjoy the flavor and experience without feeling like you have to skip dinner.

Mulled Pineapple Cocktail ~ Who says pineapple cocktails are only for summer weather? This warm, spiced cocktail claims both winter and pineapple proudly.

Isla Bonita Punch ~ A fizzy, vanilla-laced pineapple punch is just what your winter party needs …. right?

Algonquin Redux ~ Rye whiskey, pineapple, Dolin Blanc vermouth and bitters make for a sophisticated cocktail that blends a classic flavor profile with a little pineapple magic.

Pineapple Cocktails

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita from Boulder Locavore

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita from Boulder Locavore

Spring has sprung and the sun is shining. (At least it is here. If it’s not sunny where you are, pretend it is.) The presence of pineapple in a cocktail is proven to increase warm-weather enjoyment. Science! So here are a few pineapple drinks to try this gorgeous spring. Tiny umbrella optional.

Fever Pitch ~ Pineapple mixed with cachaca, basil, Green Chartreues and celery bitters = sophisticated, complex and potentially mind-blowing.

Queen Califa ~ Adding rum agricole, falernum and allspice dram to pineapple puts this drink squarely in the tiki category. So you know it’s a good time.

Low-Cal Piña Colada ~ This “skinny” version has all the coconut and pineapple flavor, without most of the calories. But it tastes great regardless of the calorie count (or lack thereof).

Pineapple Cilantro Margarita ~ This is a good one for a backyard barbecue or lazy afternoon lounging outside.

Hotel Nacional Special ~ Another fun tiki drink … and another one that would be great for sipping outside.

Low-Calorie Piña Colada (aka Skinny Piña Colada)

skinnypinacoladaThis drink has that lovely coconut-pineapple flavor that makes the Piña Colada so popular … only with half the calories. Savvy Housekeeping made coconut-infused vodka, and we got together for a low-calorie summer tropical cocktail party. Call it a Skinny Colada or whatever you like, but one thing is for sure: It’s damn tasty!

The infusion uses dried, shredded coconut (the kind used for baking, so you probably have half an old bag of the stuff in your cupboard). Using vodka let the pure coconut flavor shine through, but it would also be good with a light rum. We made ours a double, but you could easily halve it for a smaller drink. We also juiced a fresh pineapple, but the canned stuff would work just as well. Grab your tiny umbrella and get mixing!

Skinny Piña Colada

3 ounces Coconut-infused vodka (recipe at the link)
2 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 ounce lime juice

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake drink and strain into a glass.

Photo by Savvy Housekeeping

Pisco Punch

Pisco, a clear grape-based brandy, was a popular ingredient in many San Francisco cocktails during the late 19th century, most famously Pisco Punch—created by the Bank Exchange Saloon.

Since the owner of the saloon took the recipe with him to his grave, there are many variations on this cocktail floating around out there. If you want to be authentic, you should use gomme syrup—a rich simple syrup made with gum arabic that adds a silky texture and prevents sugars from crystalizing. Most people just aren’t going to bother to hunt for gum arabic or commercial gomme syrup, so I skip it in my recipe.

With or without the gomme syrup, this cocktail is a winner! It’s bright and festive but also has depth and just the right balance between sweet and dry. Try it for party time … or any time.

Pisco Punch

(This recipe is for 1 serving. Scale up to make more.)

2 ounces pisco
3/4 ounce pineapple-infused rich syrup*
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice

Place a chilled pineapple chunk you saved from the syrup at the bottom of a coupe, punch cup or rocks glass. Shake the pisco, syrup and lemon with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain into the glass that has the pineapple chunk in it.

*Pineapple-Infused Rich Syrup

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/2 pineapple, cored and sliced into chunks

Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Let simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Place the pineapple chunks in a large bowl and pour the cooled syrup over them. Cover and let it steep and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the pineapple chunks and save them to serve with the punch. (This recipe makes 2 cups, so you’ll use a quarter of a pineapple per cup of syrup.)

Photo by Jackson Stakeman