Early in my Tiki education, which at that point was primarily Beachbum Berry’s Sippin’ Safari and a scattering of blog posts, I learned a mantra: Always fresh squeeze your juice! It’s not so hard with lemons, limes, and oranges, but pineapples are always a challenge. They’re cumbersome and not easily juiced with normal kitchen gadgets. Even after a budget centripetal juicer appeared, juicing pineapples was still something I sought to avoid – the juice was too frothy and the yield too low. It always felt like I was forsaking too much product in the wet, pulpy remains.
Salvation arrived via an inexpensive masticating juicer which yields far better results with pineapples and nearly everything else. With a carefully selected ripe pineapple, I get between a half and a full quart of high-quality pineapple juice, begging to be used in tropical libations.
Problem solved, right? Unfortunately, despite my extensive library of Tiki recipes, I soon was bemoaning that many recipes utilizing pineapple juice only call for three-quarters of an ounce or less. As a simple home Tikitender, it can take weeks to use at that rate. Frustrated over making the same set of high-pineapple usage recipes over and over – Mr. Bali Hais, Boo Loos, Chartreuse Swizzles, Pina Coladas, and others, I took matters into my own hands and devised my Pineapple Grove Swizzle.
In mulling over what to include, I wanted some of my favorite flavors while keeping it light and fresh rather than a heavy spice bomb like a Rum Barrel. For lighter tropical drinks, I reach for lemon rather than lime. Regarding the falernum, I wanted healthy ginger notes to combine beautifully with the pineapple juice. As such, you might go with a darker, commercial falernum like Maggie’s Farm, rather than Velvet Falernum. Of course it’s fun to make your own at home.
For the rum component, I wanted a bit of lighter feel but with a healthy Jamaican funk, without it taking over–a perfect opportunity for a blend of rums! Here I went for a multi-country white rum (Plantation 3 Stars) with a smaller amount of high proof, high ester Jamaican overproof (Rum Bar Overproof). Of course, you can experiment with other blends – Banks 5 or Denizen White subbing for the Plantation, and Wray & Nephew Overproof or Rum Fire replacing the Rum-Bar to create different levels of funk.
Remember – every recipe is just a suggested starting point. Here, consider tweaking the ratios of Plantation/Overproof to your desired funky preferences, and feel free to adjust your sweet and spice levels. Post your findings in the comments!
Passion Grove Swizzle – Cocktail Wonk (Matt Pietrek)
- 1.25 oz Plantation 3 Stars
- 0.75 oz Jamaican overproof (e.g. Rum-Bar)
- 1 oz pineapple juice, fresh pressed
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz passion fruit syrup
- 0.5 oz falernum (One with strong ginger notes)
Build in a chilled cooler glass. Fill mostly with crushed ice. Swizzle vigorously with a swizzle stick or use a spindle blender. Top up with more crushed ice. Garnish festively.