Using fresh juice is not the only way to bring sweet pineapple flavor into your drinks. You can also do that by using tropical pineapple syrup.
Even though you can buy most syrups in supermarkets or online, making them yourself will make for a much fresher and more flavorful result.
Making this delicious simple syrup only requires fresh pineapple and sugar.
- Sugar: Theoretically, any sugar works, but I recommend a darker and less refined one. For instance, cane sugar or Demerara sugar is an excellent match for Rum Cocktails.
- Pineapple: For the base, you need a ripe pineapple. -Only then does the fruit contain enough sugar to create the sweet and rich pineapple taste we want. A golden brown pineapple that's not too hard to the touch is perfect. Generally, it is better to choose an overripe fruit than an unripe one.
There's more than one way to make pineapple syrup. In general, you can differentiate between the following three methods:
- Reducing fruit juice: the basic idea is to use the 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: That takes more time but creates a more flavorful syrup. 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.
- Infuse the syrup: That's the traditional and the easiest, fastest option. The downside is that you have to cook the syrup, which makes the fruit taste less fresh and a bit more like jam.
Macerating the fresh chunks of pineapple is my preferred choice for making my pineapple syrup because you get the most flavor out of the fruit:
- Step 1: First, cut the fresh fruit into small cubes. The smaller the pineapple pieces, the better the Demerara sugar will coat them.
- Step 2: The pineapple pieces go into a saucepan together with the sugar. Stir until the sugar coats all bits equally, and let the mix rest overnight.
What happens overnight - The sugar will extract the flavor and juices of the fruit and create a syrup without heat. The next day a lot of the sugar will be absorbed by the diced fruit, and a pure, rich, and flavorful pineapple syrup will have developed.
- Step 3: Now add some water and gently heat the mix. Don't boil it. You need just 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, stored in the fridge, the syrup is good for at least two weeks. An effective method to extend the shelf life is the addition of high-proof alcohol. A neutral spirit like Vodka is ideal.
More Exotic Syrups
If you like this pineapple syrup but want some extra flavor, try our grilled pineapple syrup. That brings some beautiful smoky notes. But, of course, pineapple is not the only way to get tropical flavors into cocktails. Demerara syrup or cream of coconut are also superb methods to sweeten a drink.
- 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 the 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, turn the stove to low heat and stir gently until all the sugar dissolves, then turn off the heat. But remember: don't boil the mix as you only need the sugar to dissolve.
- Finally, strain your cooled down 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).