Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mixology Monday, June 2014: Pineapple!

Greetings one and all, it's Mixology Monday time (which, as you might've figured out by now in my twisted timeframes is always too close to the deadlines for any comfort whatsoever). Thiago of Bartending Notes is our host this month, with a theme perfect for the summer months or for dreams of the summer months: Pineapple!
Let’s bring the king of fruits back! After being canned, mixed with all sorts of sugary liquids and blended into guilty pleasures not to be named some 80s dreadful cocktails, the pineapple needs more respect!

Once a symbol of hospitality, the King of fruits might be know misunderstood. One of the greatest non-citrus souring agents, used for crazy garnish ideas, infusions, old gum syrup flavoring, the pineapple is a fruit to be reckoned.

Be in a tiki cocktails, an old school classic like the Algonquin, a crazy flavor pairing or just mixed in a delicious Verdita, get creative and make a cocktail using any part of this delicious, juicy fruit or share you favorite pineapple cocktail with us!
When active, follow this link to see what pineappley goodness everyone concocted!

So what pairs with pineapple? Besides the usual rum, coconut, vanilla, baking spices, lime?


I know, I know, let's not let the suspense linger any further.

Island Laurel
1 1/2 oz dry white rum (Brugal Extra Dry)
3/4 oz fresh pineapple juice
1 tsp Becherovka liqueur
2-3 sprigs fresh oregano + oregano garland for garnish

In a rocks glass, lightly press the sprigs of oregano in the rum.

Add pineapple juice, Becherovka and ice (crushed would be nice here).

Stir briefly to chill and dilute.

Garnish with an oregano garland for fresh aroma.

Yes, fresh oregano in a cocktail, and it's not meant to smell/taste like pizza. The thing I really like about this herb when fresh is its almost-floral-yet-resinous quality. You just don't get that from a shaker of dried leaves.

I picked up my bottle of Brugal Extra Dry recently on clearance, since I needed a white rum in stock. Excellent bottle and very cocktail-friendly. When I first opened, nosed, tasted, with a partial mind to this month's pineapple theme, the first thing that cried out at me was fresh oregano of all things (yes, in combination with the rum and pineapple). Probably some kind of unholy vanilla, passionfruit, dry vermouth flavor association going on.

So, after melodramatically throwing up my hands and giving up one too many times with too many other ideas -- and struggling with pineapple's sour yet also quite sweet aspect throwing off the balance of sweeter-oriented cocktails -- I turned back to the original dry-oriented flavor combination. Yeah, it's an odd way to use pineapple, but I like its understated yet very present turn in this drink. A lilting floral quality on the tongue, like a slightly-sweet Martini.

The Becherovka I threw in just to balance the sweetness, and it's a great pairing with pineapple in general, like I found out with Giganta. Though, yes, I was trepidatious about pairing its baking spice goodness with the oregano. Turns out oregano pairs well with cinnamon, however -- whoda thunk?

Mega thanks to our host Thiago for offering to accept this way past due. Pineapple sure was beguiling as a theme, but surprising too. Can't wait to see what everyone else came up with.

Big thanks to Fred Yarm of cocktail virgin slut for lifting the MxMo torch high so we herd of cats know which direction to look.

Thanks also to Mixology Monday founder Paul Clarke for starting one of the best institutions on the web.

Saúde & cin cin!