If you were to name 3 ingredients as the most essential to refreshing “tropical” cocktails - they would without a doubt have to be rum, lime and sugar - or as Jeff Berry calls them: “the holy trinity”. If you were to expand that list to include a 4th ingredient (making it a quaternity, if you want to know) it would most certainly have to be pineapple. Pineapple is magic in cocktails. It exudes the very essence of a summer beach drink, it's high in acidity and thus isn’t overly sweet and it plays extremely well with almost anything. Case in point: The Pineapple Daiquiri. You already have a perfect cocktail in the Daiquiri. But add pineapple, and you have perfection and on a tropical pedestal.
To appreciate this drink in all its glory, I highly recommend using fresh pineapple cubes or better yet, fresh pineapple juice. That being said, pineapple juice from a can will still make a damn fine cocktail.
2 oz white rum
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz fresh pineapple juice or 3-4 chunks of pineapple
¾ oz simple syrup
In a shaker muddle the pineapple chunks (if using), add remaining ingredients. Fill with ice, shake for 8-10 seconds and fine strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice and if you like, some pineapple fronds (the leaves).
If you make a Pineapple Daiquiri, let me see! Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.
Making Fresh Pineapple Juice
The best pineapple Daiquiri is made with fresh pineapple juice, followed by pineapple cubes muddled in a shaker and then canned juice (not that I would turn down one with either of those). Making pineapple juice requires an extra step but I find it makes a cleaner, rummier drink that epitomizes everything you would hope a Pineapple Daiquiri to be. The easiest way to make pineapple juice is to use a juice extractor. Quick tip: pineapple juice is very frothy at first. It’s better to let it settle for 5-10 minutes - or longer for larger batches. A head of foam will form on the top of the juice, with thicker more concentrated juice underneath- the latter is what you want to use in the drink.
If you don’t have an extractor, you can muddle pineapple cubes in a separate shaker tin and strain out the juice. For one or two drinks, it’s really not much work (any more than that and I imagine it would become tiresome). It’s best if you let the muddled fruit sit for a minute or two before straining, this will allow more juice to seep out.
Be sure the pineapple is ripe and succulent or the drink will come out thin and too tart. This is, of course, the advantage of using canned pineapple juice - consistency. But while it is great for some drinks, here with canned juice you'll miss the brightness of the fresh fruit. Here’s how you cut up a pineapple, or you can just buy it pre-cut from the grocery store. The cubes should be a bright rich yellow. Not light yellow, or with a hint of green.