Pineapple Tequila Thing

I’ve been intrigued by Juleps lately.

The confluence of Derby Day and Cinqo de Mayo this year, allowed some interesting variations, including a Tequila Julep on the eGullet cocktail forums.

On the DrinkBoy forums, a person who calls themself “Theurbanbartender” documented an inspired sounding Pineapple Julep.

“In a julep cup take a hand full of fresh mint leaves-muddle gently then add a couple of chunks of macerated pineapple( pineapple chunks that have been soaking in sugar for a day or so) 20mls Pineapple cordial. Muddle this gently again only just to break down the pineapple chunks then add crushed ice and 25mls bourbon. I used Woodford Reserve but I think its always down to personal taste. Gently pull all ingredients up thru the ice in a lifting motion top up with more crushed ice and then add another 25mls bourbon follow the above and then garnish with a small forest of mint and a long slender pineapple stick two small straws and bob’s your uncle and if your unlucky he’s your aunt. Please dont lynch me ;)”

That also sounded really awesome.

I was thinking I might combine the ideas!

However, when I was waiting for the bus the other day, I noticed an hispanic gentleman eating what appeared to be pineapple in some sort of red chile sauce. I remembered that sweet and spice are not necessarily exclusive values in Latin culture.

Now I had an idea that I could get my teeth into. I would make a Julep-like drink; but, try to use ingredients Native to the New World!

Pineapple Tequila Thing

Prep Work:

1 Day before, peel and chop up a half a pineapple and put it in a quart container. Crush 2 tsp of allspice and add it to the container. Seed and wash 2 dried red chiles, (I used Chile Negros; but, anything Ancho-ish would be fine,) cut them in strips and add to the container. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar* and 1 cone of piloncillo in 1 cup of water and pour over the pineapple mixture. Shake to combine and let sit overnight.

Before you go to bed, put your large julep glass in the freezer.

The next day, strain off the liquid and reserve the pineapple. We’ll call this “Spiced Pineapple Syrup”.

Cocktail Proper:

1 oz spiced pineapple syrup
3 oz Blanco Tequila (Herradura Blanco)
Chopped Pineapple (I’m not sure how picky you are. You can either use the pineapple from the syrup or chop more fresh. The pineapple from the syrup will have small crunchy pieces of allspice and/or chili in it. Depending on your perspective, this might be bad or it might be good.)
6 sprigs mint**
Juice 2 key limes
Pineapple Spear
Mezcal for float (Don Amado, Reposado)

Take your julep glass out of the freezer. Add Spiced pineapple syrup to the glass and 3 sprigs mint still on stems, and a tablespoon or two of pineapple. Gently crush the pineapple, syrup and mint. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add 3 oz of blanco tequila and the juice of 2 key limes. Churn mixture to combine. Withdraw mint sprigs. Top up with crushed ice, and churn again. Float on a bit of mezcal, garnish with 3 mint sprigs, the pineapple spear, and stick in a straw.

Tasty! I don’t know, if Bob’s not your uncle, you might ask your Mom about Jose…

*OK, sugar isn’t native to the New World. It’s originally from Southern Asia. I was too lazy to run to the store and buy Agave Nectar. At least I used a type of Mexican raw sugar called piloncillo!
**Also, I don’t believe mint is Native to the New World. I briefly considered Cilantro; but, I think that is from China. I considered a couple others; but, they were all too hard to find or obscure, so I went back to the traditional mint.

NOTE: I created this drink for a Mixology Monday a couple months ago.

I’ve since discovered, after reading this webpage:

The Secrets of Pisco Punch Revealed – The Lost Recipe

That my Pineapple Tequila Thing is strikingly close to the famous San Francisco Pisco Punch.


“1. Take a fresh pineapple. Cut it in squares about 1 by 1.5 inches. Put these squares of fresh pineapple in a bowl of gum syrup to soak overnight. That serves the double purpose of flavoring the gum syrup with the pineapple and soaking the pineapple, both of which are used afterwards in the Pisco Punch,

“2. In the morning mix in a big bowl the following: l/2 PINT (8 OZ.) OF THE GUM SYRUP, PINEAPPLE FLAVORED AS ABOVE 1 PINT (16 OZ.) DISTILLED WATER 3h PINT (10 OZ.) LEMON JUICE 1 BOTTLE (24 OZ.) PERUVIAN PISCO BRANDY

“Serve very cold but be careful not to keep the ice in too long because of dilution. Use 3 or 4 oz. punch glasses. Put one of the above squares of pineapple in each glass. Lemon juice or gum syrup may be added to taste.”

Just bizarre! Even when I try to be creative, I discover that my ideas have been thought of before. Well, OK, they didn’t serve it julep style or spice their pineapple-gomme syrup. Still!

Quillback Rockfish

I am lucky to have a boss who fishes in the Pacific Ocean off Half Moon Bay.

If I’m lucky, I sometimes get to share in the catch.

So far I’ve had Dungeness Crab once and Lingcod a couple times.

Last week he brought in 3 small-ish Quillback Rockfish he’d caught over the weekend.

He described how his wife usually prepares whole fish, and not wanting to disappoint, I knew I had to do something with them.

Now, I can’t remember the last time I had to scale a fish. Maybe when I was 10?

When I was little my Dad and I used to go fishing fairly often. But, I almost never caught anything. I do remember having to clean a mess of bluegills or crappies at least once.

Anyway, I cut off their significant spines (they aren’t called Quillback Rockfish for nothing!) with a kitchen shears , got out the paring knife, and gamely started scraping off the scales. As the scales flew everywhere in our kitchen, I remembered why we used to do this in our basement sink.

Eventually got them as scale-less as I could manage, put them in a dish, covered them inside and out with minced ginger, scallions, and cilantro. Poured on some rice wine and sprinkled with kosher salt.

By this time the steamer pot on the stove was chugging away nicely at a low simmer, so I lowered the dish with the fish in, and covered it up.

At about the same time I minced some garlic, ginger, and scallions for seasoning the greens. Started a pan for that, briefly sauteed the seasoning herbs, and added the chard stems. As soon as they had begun to cook, I added chard leaves, soy sauce, rice wine, and a bit of chicken stock, and covered them to steam.

After 15 minutes I checked the fish, and the seemed done. Smelled wonderful!

Briefly heated some sesame oil, added scallions and garlic, and then poured over the plated fish.

Chard was about done, so I plated that up, along with some steamed rice.

Boy, what a tasty meal!

The fish was a bit bony, so you did have to be a bit careful while eating. Still, a delicious, and relatively fast to prepare, weeknight meal.

When I came in the next day and proudly told my boss how I had prepared them, he beamed and said, “You made a real Chinese dinner!”

Charleston Cocktail

When I was growing up, my Mother would tell me stories of her parents when they were younger.

She thought my grandfather was the best dressed and most handsome man she knew. Apparently he was quite the snappy dresser, as she always remembered his spotless spats.

My grandmother, I’m told, was a bit of a flapper.

They apparently did well enough and had a lot of fun until the depression caught up with them.

By that time, they had three kids and no real prospects.

For them, the only help they got, came from a very conservative church.

No dancing, no cards, no drinking.

They took this very seriously and chose to live their life in accordance with that church.

By the time us grandkids hit the scene, that was how we all grew up.

Some of us have drifted away, and some of us have stayed with the flock.

This Savoy Cocktail Book cocktail, I assume named after dance of the same name, reminds me a bit of the colorful, carefree stories of my grandparents’ early days of marriage.

Charleston Cocktail

1/6 Dry Gin (1/2 oz Boodles Gin)
1/6 Kirsch (1/2 oz Trimbach Kirsch)
1/6 Maraschino (1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino)
1/6 Curacao (1/2 oz Senior Curacao of Curacao)
1/6 Italian Vermouth (1/2 oz Cinzano Vermouth)
1/6 French Vermouth (1/2 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth)

Shake (stir, please – erik) well and strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze lemon peel on top.

Regarding the video, I seldom count time or mixing strokes when I am stirring a cocktail, I just look for the consistency of the drink. I was a bit shocked, upon viewing the video, that I stirred for nearly a full minute. Cocktail was very cold and didn’t seem over-diluted to me; but, then, as I am using a mixing glass chilled in the freezer and cracked ice at approximately 5 below zero. I probably need to stir for a full minute to get any water into the cocktail at all! Also, forgot to turn off the music, so you have the pleasure of listening to a portion of Louis Sclavis’ 2005 recording, “L’imparfait des langues”.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.