Pineapple infused cocktails will forever hold a special place in my cynical heart because they are linked to a winter holiday spent in Spain when I was fifteen. I’ve mentioned this on the blog somewhere before. My cousin studied abroad in Barcelona and I was fortunate enough to get to tag along with my aunt and uncle to visit. Actually, my own parents forgot to factor me into a Christmas Vegas trip and I was doomed to spend Christmas alone until the heavens smiled down and bestowed upon me the gift of travel and experience that lovely December.
I remember the first of many nights spent with my cousin and his friends; I—feeling indescribably mature and important—to be included in conversations of art, cuisine, and culture.
We went out to a bar our first night there and I was extremely nervous—true to my innate apprehensive temperament.
“Don’t worry, they don’t check ID,” assured a local student studying history.
They ordered my drinks.
“We’ll get you something light that tastes good,” said the beautiful French girl whose name now escapes me.
We walked in, no one paid me any mind, and I was handed a glass of Malibu Rum with pineapple juice. The next night it was vodka and pineapple juice. Everywhere we went someone ordered me a pineapple libation. Perhaps due to flavor, perhaps because from night one it was always what I was drinking. In any event, it became my signature flavor that trip.
Memories of those long crazed evenings are conjured—floating through dark clubs playing dated American pop music or jovially wandering the bustling streets awash in lamplight—any time pineapple meets liquor. Which brings me to today’s recipe. I made chipotle pineapple mojitos with my pineapple infused vodka from Heritage Distilling and Jones’ Pineapple Chipotle Pineapple Soda.
The HDC pineapple vodka is natural tasting, accurately reminiscent of fresh cut pineapple. The soda was interesting, mild. The chipotle element was more of a vague suggestion in terms of flavor, but the pineapple aspect was nice. I think next time I would add in some chipotle seasoning of my own to enhance the smoky flavor.
I muddled a ton of mint with fresh-juiced pineapple and the vodka until the scent ascended the cocktail shaker. Strain that over crushed ice and top of with soda and you have one bright, refreshing drink perfect for a warm spring afternoon. Or, as it so happened, a cold rainy one like today.
- 5 oz. fresh pineapple juice
- 2 oz. Heritage Distilling Pineapple Vodka
- 1/2 bottle Jones Pineapple Chipotle Soda
- 15-20 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with mint leaves, pineapple juice, and vodka. Muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon to crush mint and release oils. You can also just do this in the glass but I don't like mint leaves sticking to my lips when I drink.
- Fill a highball glass halfway with ice. Strain in pineapple juice and vodka.
- Top off with soda and a sprig of mint.