Warm enough that I’m Riding with the Top Down with this strawberry pineapple tiki cocktail. Weather has definitely warmed up this week and I needed something bright and sweet to pick me up. If I had a toy car I’d be driving about town with the top down. And lots of sunscreen.
It’s Use It Up week, or Must Go week on the blog this week – that means I’m using up and remixing with the odds and ends of syrups, infusions and other tidbits I’ve been playing with over the last few weeks. If you’re like me, once you get into mixology, the short shelf in your fridge starts to look like a science experiment. Small jars and cryptic labels (“Pin/Sage Syr,” or “Verm -Stb Inf 3 days” or “Coffee inf – Ape. 48 hrs”) camp out in the fridge and your spouse looks accusingly at you every time she tries to find a condiment or jam.
So I’m starting with some fresh pineapple syrup I made two weeks ago that’s still very vibrant, but I wanted to play it up with some fresh strawberry puree. So, I put two ounces of the pineapple syrup in the blender with 4 strawberries and double strained it. It cut the sweetness of the syrup because of the tartness of the fresh strawberries.
But I wanted something spicy as well, so I found my Besamim spiced liqueur and my Scrappy’s cardamom bitters. I was feeling more rum than whiskey with this combination, given the pineapple and the spiced liqueur, so I went with a blended rum, but I might go with a white rum and a smidge of overproof if I did it again.
Making a cocktail is always an experiment.
I find it’s harder to taste test along the way with a sour because so much changes if you taste it before and after you shake it. Something about the agitation combined with the dilution makes the outcome less predictable than a stirred cocktail for me. Good thing I have enough of all the ingredients to make more than one cocktail.
Riding with the Top Down – Pineapple Strawberry Tiki
- 1 oz pineapple strawberry syrup**
- ¾ oz Besamim spice liqueur (substitute St. Elizabeth's Allspice dram if you don't have Besamim)
- 2 oz blended rum
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 20 drops Scrappy's cardamom bitters
- Garnish: strawberries, fresh flowers, pineapple fronds if available.
- Combine rum, Besamim, syrup, lemon juice and bitters in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake for at least 30 seconds – until the outside of the shaker is so cold it’s hard to hold. Strain into a rocks glass with ice or a chilled coupe glass with one large cube if you’re feeling fancy. Garnish away and sip to your heart’s content.