Playing with tiki flavors today by using some pineapple, a little orgeat and thyme to create the Pineapple Tiki Smash. This smash tastes amazing with mint as well, but I wanted to mix it up since mint is such a common flavor used in tiki cocktails.
Adding thyme to the cocktail introduces a touch of savory and herbaceous notes to the drink – directly countering all the sweetness from the pineapple and the orgeat. In addition, as a base sprit, both rum and whiskey work, and I prefer the whiskey, but the rum comes in just behind the whiskey for me. Only because I love the combination of whiskey and nut liqueurs.
If you’ve just jumped on the Quarantine Whiskey Smash train, we’re in the middle of the series of whiskey smash recipes this week. We started with a Whiskey Smash, and played with a Blackberry Sage Smash yesterday. We’ve also got our previous cocktails from the series: Quarantine Old Fashioneds ( Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), and Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary)
Back to our Pineapple Tiki Smash. I’m using orgeat here as the sweetener rather than a simple syrup. Orgeat is an almond simple syrup enhanced with orange and rose water flavoring so that it’s got a lovely floral note to it. If you aren’t a tiki buff or don’t have orgeat on hand, substitute out simple syrup with a smidge of almond extract (or amaretto) and a dash of orange flower water if you have it. It won’t have the same milky appearance as using orgeat, but it will still give the flavor balance you need to against the pineapple sweetness and the thyme’s savory notes.
I really wanted to use thyme in a smash this week, not just because I have it handy, but also because it’s a little unusual to use in cocktails when you’re mixing at home. Craft mixologists often add it to simple syrups to steep, or set a few sprigs on fire and use it to smoke their glasses. In general, to my palate, I like thyme when used with sours or citrus flavors.
However, if you don’t happen to have thyme, you can use another herb. Mint is excellent here, and basil tastes wonderful, too. Both accentuate the sweetness in the cocktail. If you have sage instead, it’s another great one here to counteract the sweetness in the cocktail by introducing those more savory notes.
Because we’re concocting these as quarantine cocktails, I’m not able to garnish with fresh pineapple as I usually would, and instead I’m using some frozen pineapple I’ve been saving for tropical smoothies. I think this is a better use for them, though.
One note – I tend to strain my whiskey smashes, so I’ve strained this cocktail. If you prefer a more tiki dump approach, shake for a little shorter time and dump the cocktail, ice and all into a double old fashioned glass and garnish.
Pineapple Tiki Smash – Smash Thyme
- 7 chunks of fresh pineapple
- 3 leafy sprigs of thyme
- ½ oz orgeat (or substitute ½ oz simple syrup with a dash of almond extract and orange flower water if you have it)
- ½ lemon, quartered
- 2 oz rum (or whiskey – I used an 8 year old Jamaican rum.)
- Garnish: pineapple fresh sprigs of thyme
- Put the chunks of pineapple, thyme, orgeat and lemon in the bottom of a shaking tin and muddle well with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. Add two ounces of rum or whiskey and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the container gets so cold it hurts. Strain into a glass filled with cracked ice and mound some ice on the top of it. Garnish with pineapple wedges or chunks and a fresh sprig of thyme.