Pineapple in cocktails stands for tropical vibes. No matter if it's in a creamy Piña Colada, a Bahama Mama, or in a Jungle Bird. But using fresh pineapple juice is not the only way to bring the flavor of the sweet fruit from South America into your drinks. You can also do that by using a tropical pineapple syrup.
Producing homemade fruit syrups is probably the easiest way to bring any fruit flavor into cocktails. And even if you can buy many of these syrups in supermarkets or online, making them yourself will lead to a much fresher and more flavorful result. Plus, by making syrups and other cocktail components yourself, you ensure you know exactly what's inside.
So let's go and learn how to make a tropical pineapple syrup with fresh produce.
Different ways to make pineapple syrup
There's more than one way to make pineapple syrup. In general, you can differentiate between the following three methods.
- Reducing fruit juice
- Macerating fruit
- Infusing the syrup
Let's have a quick look at these three options.
Reducing fruit juice
This method in itself offers multiple possibilities. The basic idea is to make use of the natural sugar in fruit juice. By reducing and thickening it, you can produce a low-sugar syrup. Optionally you can also add additional sugar to the mix.
Macerating fruit takes more time but usually creates a more flavorful syrup. For this, pieces of fruit are covered in sugar and sit to rest for a couple of hours. One example of this method is our banana syrup.
Infusing fresh pieces of fruit in a sugar and water mix is the traditional way to make pineapple syrup. That's the easiest and fastest option. The downside of infusing a syrup is that the infusion happens through cooking the syrup. Due to that, the fruit taste will be less fresh and a bit more like jam. If you want to make an infused syrup, have a look at our pink dragonfruit syrup.
Ingredients for making pineapple syrup
Making this delicious pineapple syrup only requires fresh pineapple and sugar. Theoretically, you could use any sugar, but I recommend a darker and less refined one. For instance, cane sugar or Demerara sugar will create a richer and mellower version of pineapple syrup.
Pineapple and brown sugar are excellent fits for Rum cocktails. So making a pineapple syrup with Demerara sugar is a natural choice.
For the base of the syrup, we need a ripe pineapple. -Only a ripe fruit has enough sugar in it to create the sweet and rich pineapple taste we're aiming for. A golden brown pineapple that's not too hard to the touch is perfect. Generally, it is better to choose an overripe pineapple than an unripe one.
How to make the pineapple syrup
For the fresh pineapple syrup, macerating the fresh pineapple is our choice. First, the fresh fruit needs to be cut into small cubes. The smaller the pineapple pieces, the better the sugar will coat them.
Then all pineapple pieces go into a saucepan together with the sugar. Stir until the sugar coats all bits equally and let it rest overnight. The sugar will extract the flavor and juices of the fruit and create a syrup without having to cook the entire mix.
The next day the sugar will be dissolved, and a pure, rich, and flavorful pineapple syrup will have developed.
Now add some water and gently heat the mix. Don't boil it as it just needs enough heat for the sugar to dissolve. After that, the syrup is ready to be strained and bottled.
Extending shelf life
As a rule of thumb, a regular syrup should be consumed within about two weeks from producing it. However, an effective method of extending the shelf life of your syrup is the addition of high-proof alcohol. A neutral spirit like Vodka can preserve the syrup better and easily double the storage time in the refrigerator. So you have twice as much time to elevate your tropical cocktails and drinks.
- 1½ cups Fresh and ripe pineapple
- ⅔ cups Demerara sugar
- 150 ml Water
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tbsp Vodka (optional)
- First, you have to remove the rind of the pineapple and make sure to remove the core, too. Then, cut the fruit into small cubes of about half an inch in size.
- Put the pineapple into a saucepan and add the sugar. Gently mix both until the sugar covers all pineapple pieces.
- Let the mix sit overnight so the sugar can pull the juices out of the fruit.
- The next day you will see pure pineapple syrup separating from the fruit.
- Add water and salt and stir gently until all the sugar dissolves. But remember: don't boil the mix as you only need the sugar to dissolve.
- Finally, strain your syrup into a sterilized bottle and store it in the fridge. You can add a bit of Vodka, as needed, to it to make it last longer.
- Use it up in two weeks (4 weeks when using Vodka).
Other Tropical syrups
If you want to bring some color to your drinks, as well, have a look at our Butterfly Pea Flower syrup. It is a deep blue syrup that turns bright pink when mixed with acidic ingredients like citrus juice, tonic, or Oleo Saccharum.