Pineapple is one fruit that I love, however it is one that frustrates me most when it comes to placing orders for the bar as there are several different types.
The pineapple was a fruit that symbolised tropical regions through my childhood. It has been a symbol of “welcome and hospitality” since the Age of Sail. First, it was considered a luxury item because of its transit from the tropics to Europe as the fruit would become off very quickly.
At first only the wealthy could afford it as the cost of transport was high, once its popularity grew the rich and wealthy started to grow pineapples in their glass hothouses for personal use. Hothouses were very costly to operate and thus other ways were utilised to preserve pineapples like canning. One of the most influential ‘pineapple industrialist’ is James Dole – you may have heard of “Dole Pineapples”. Believe it or not the popularity of the pineapple dates back all the way to Mayans and Aztec cultures.
Even though that pineapple is indigenous to South America it was Columbus who introduced the pineapple to Europe, from where it spread all around the world with the Dutch, French, Portuguese and British all establishing “pineapple plantations” across their colonies in the tropics as the demand for the exotic fruit grew very quickly.
Pineapple is a tropical plant with edible multiple fruits formed by berries also called pineapple. Pineapples can be grown from the offset produced at the top of the fruit, flowering takes between five to ten months while growing up to 200 flowers, after that fruiting takes another six months.
There are several different pineapples varieties that are used for papermaking or used in the textile industry as well as in the culinary world. Pineapple is a staple ingredient in tropical cuisines – it can be used as a sweetener in savoury dishes, the main flavour for desserts, pineapple juice or in snacks. In bars, it is well known as the main ingredient in a Pina Colada or Tepache.
I love the fruit for its complexity and variety during the diversity of ripeness. Here is one of my favourite little twists on a Moscow Mule.
50 ml Rye Vodka
3 slices of pineapple fruit (Cut 1 inch thick)
15 ml Fresh Lemon juice
10 ml Sugar syrup
2.5 ml Fresh ginger juice (use a slow juicer to extract the juice)
2.5 ml Angostura bitters
- Clean the pineapple and cut it into small pieces about 1 inch thick.
- Peel the ginger and juice it.
- Combine all the ingredients except soda in a shaker and muddle the pineapple.
- Add ice and shake 5 times.
- Double strain into a glass over ice and top it up with soda.
- Gently stir and garnish with a mint sprig.
Bartender’s note: “Pineapple can be ripe, even if the outer skin is green.”