An incredible way to add tropical flavors to your homemade cocktail recipes. Sweet, fruity and vibrant.
Making your own syrups using fresh fruit is one of the easiest way to add layers of flavors to the drinks you make.
And sure, you can buy pre-made versions from the supermarket (or good ol' Jeff Bezos) but they are usually easy to make yourself. Plus there's a certain satisfaction that comes from eating or drinking something you made from scratch.
So let's get into it.
The method I use for fruit syrup
There are three common methods to make fruit syrup:
- Use fruit juice
- Macerate the fruit
- Infusing the syrup
I make the majority of fruit syrups using the maceration method, a.k.a. letting the fruit sit covered in sugar to extract the flavors.
There are a few reasons I choose this way.
Using fruit juice can make really nice syrups, but not everybody has a juicer so it's just easier to avoid juicing when possible. The reason I avoid the infusing method is because I like to try and keep a fresh fruitiness and when you infuse the syrup while it's cooking you are also cooking the fruit giving it a more fruit jam flavor.
The process of making pineapple syrup
The maceration method I use will take a little bit of time, but for almost all of it you don't have to do anything!
First, cut the fruit into 1/4 inch cubes. The smaller the pieces the easier it is for the sugar to pull out the flavorful liquids in the fruit. Then toss the pieces into a small sauce pan, dump in the sugar and stir it so that all of the fruit is coated, cover, and let it rest for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Wait until the sugar starts to dissolve and it begins looking like a syrup.
The sugar helps pull the juice and flavor out from the fruit which gives you a more flavorful syrup without having to cook the syrup with fruit in it or wait for an infusion.
What ingredients to use
It's just pineapple and sugar so you can't screw it up too bad.
But, I would suggest you use cane sugar!
I use cane sugar in place of standard granulated sugar for just about anything I can. Cane sugar ads a really nice mellow caramel type flavor that works well with just about anything. So unless there is a recipe that needs sweetness without adding any flavor whatsoever, I use cane.
And then choose a nice pineapple.
You're looking for something with a golden and brown outside and a little bit of give when you press on one of the "eyes".
A pineapple that is past its' prime can also still make a nice syrup, but avoid anything on the under ripe side since they wont' give you as much flavor.
How to store cocktail syrups
To help extend the storage life of cocktail syrups at home I like to add a little splash of Everclear.
Why would you add Everclear to a syrup?
No, not so you can catch an extra buzz. Adding a little neutral spirit like a high proof vodka or Everclear helps preserve the syrup a little longer.
Always store fruit syrups in the fridge.
They will stay good for a few weeks, but sometimes you will notice the flavor start to change over time. It won't be bad but it could seem less bright/fresh after about a week, so make small batches and use it up!
Pineapple Syrup Recipe for Drinks
- 200 g Fresh Pineapple - 1 1/2 cup
- 150 g Granulated Sugar - 2/3 cup
- 150 g Water - 2/3 cup
- tiny pinch Salt
- 1/2 oz Everclear or high proof vodka - optional
- Cut the rind off of the pineapple, remove the core, and cut into about 1/2 inch pieces.
- Add 200g of the pineapple to a small saucepan.
- Pour the sugar onto the pineapple and stir to coat the pineapple.
- Let the sugar and pineapple rest for at least 3 hours (or up to overnight) until the sugar draws out liquid from the fruit and looks syrupy.
- Add the water and heat gently on the stove just until all the sugar is finished dissolving.
- Pour through a strainer into a bottle for storage. Add the Everclear to help it store a little longer.
Share this syrup
You can also try subbing this syrup into just about any recipe that uses simple syrup and sounds like it would be nice with pineapple....
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