Saturday, December 21, 2013

Mulled Pineapple Cocktail

It’s holiday time, the weather is nice and cool, and the book Winter Cocktails is fitting nicely into this state of affairs. As I started looking at my review copy of the book, I marked pages of each cocktail I wanted to try. Then, I realized I was just marking every single page. The Rosy Cheek is a Winter White Hot Chocolate made with steeped macadamia nuts, crushed pink peppercorns, and lemon juice for brightness. The Cup of Thai is warm coconut milk flavored with lemongrass, ginger, and lime peel and spiked with rum. The Nutella Melt is hot chocolate with Nutella melted into it and added hazelnut liqueur with a garnish of espresso-flavored whipped cream and chopped hazelnuts. There’s also Classic Eggnog, Pumpkin-Bourbon Eggnog, and Butterscotch Eggnog. I want to curl up on the couch and sip these concoctions one after the next. And, these options are just from the chapters for Hot Toddies and Mulled Drinks and Eggnog, Hot Chocolate, Coffee and Tea. There are also Punches and Pitchers and Chilled Winter Cocktails as well as a chapter for infused liquors and syrups and one for snacks to go with the cocktails. I couldn’t decide where to start with the hot chocolate and eggnog options, so first I opted for Liquid Gold: Pineapple Juice, Spiced and Spirited. 

I’d never thought of making a warm, mulled cocktail with pineapple juice, but I loved the idea. Tropical fruits are always a good antidote to cold weather, and it was unusually cold here. To start, fresh pineapple was cubed and seasoned with sugar, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, and salt. Then, it was broiled for a few minutes per side until slightly caramelized. The pineapple was set aside until cool and then skewered on picks. For the drink itself, allspice berries, peppercorns, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks were warmed in a saucepan before pineapple juice, rum, brandy, and a scraped vanilla bean and seeds were added. It was left to simmer for about 15 minutes before being poured through a sieve for serving. 

The mulled juice smelled as lovely while it simmered as it tasted in the mug. Warm spices with sweet pineapple juice mixed well with brandy and rum. And, the spiciness of the caramelized pineapple chunks was a good contrast to the sweet flavors. I served some toasted macadamia nuts with the cocktails and imagined a view of sand and surf and tall, swaying palm trees. Mele Kalikimaka! 

Liquid Gold 
Recipe reprinted with publisher's permission from Winter Cocktails.
serves 4 

Though it calls to mind a tropical setting, the pineapple is in fact a winter fruit. It is also an iconic symbol of hospitality. Warm your home and your friends with this mulled pineapple drink that showcases both its sweet and tart flavors. 

Pineapple Garnish 
12 or more (1⁄4-inch) cubes fresh pineapple 
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
1⁄4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper* 
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1⁄8 teaspoon salt 

Mulled Pineapple Juice 
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries 
1 tablespoon black peppercorns 
1 tablespoon whole cloves 
2 cinnamon sticks 
4 cups pineapple juice 
6 ounces dark rum 
2 ounces brandy 
1 vanilla bean pod, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out 

*Piquant and vibrant, Aleppo is a type of crushed red pepper native to Syria. It is available at specialty markets. 

For the Pineapple Garnish: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange pineapple cubes in a single layer. Combine sugar, Aleppo pepper, ground cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle pineapple cubes with sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly. Rearrange pineapple in a single layer and broil until caramelized, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer tray to cooling rack. When cool enough to handle, skewer at least 3 pineapple cubes onto each of 4 short skewers or sturdy toothpicks (see page 156 for Sources). 

For the Mulled Pineapple Juice: Place allspice, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add pineapple juice, rum, brandy, and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. To serve, place one pineapple skewer in each of 4 heat-proof cups. Ladle juice into cups. 

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  1. Divine and very original!

    Happy Holidays!



  2. A lovely winter drink!
    Have a wonderful holiday season, Lisa!

  3. Oooh I am loving this. A little bit of tropical sunshine pineapple flavors in the cold winter are such a pleasant surprise. Will try and grab a copy.

  4. Wow, a new concept in a winter drink! I love the idea of this - all sorts of summer flavors made winter-appropriate. Really nice - thanks.

  5. This would definitely warm you up the right way, it looks so delicious :D
    And I adore pineapple!

    Happy Holidays!

  6. What a great idea! Our Christmas is always a hot weather summer Christmas so this would be perfect for Australia :D

  7. I can imagine how this is a great cocktail for anyone who needs warming. I love how it has all those beautiful spices in it. This would be a great drink to relax with in front of a fire xx

  8. i love the name of this drink! not only that, but it sounds delicious. never would've thought of making mulled pineapple juice, but it's brilliant.

  9. This looks sensational, Lisa! I'd love to add it to my roster of drinks.

  10. Oh my word this sounds amazing!! Happy Holidays!!

  11. Wow Lisa, this pineapple drink sounds delicious with all the spices in it...this is perfect for the season.
    Happy Holidays :D

  12. Merry Christmas Lisa! Mulled Pineapple Cocktail sounds unseasonably delicious!!! Oh my goodness thanks for sharing...

  13. Merry Christmas Lisa. It sounds wonderful!

  14. Oh my! I must get this book. All those eggnogs! And this pineapple cocktail sounds amazing. So pretty too! I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

  15. My mom and my sister would lovin it for sure....
    me and my dad is alergic with pinneaple,
    Merry christmas and happy holidays, God blessed you all the way!

  16. What a wonderfully original winter cocktail! Thanks very much for sharing, Lisa. Happy holidays!

  17. Una verdadera delicia.este cocktail .. Feliz Año Nuevo,abrazos y abrazos.

  18. Great idea for a winter drink!! I could use a few of these right now :)

  19. What an incredible cocktail. Yum! Perfect for Aussie summer too, as though it's hot here the pineapple kinda brings it into tropical territory :) The presentation with the toothpick to nibble on is divine, thanks Lisa xx


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