The sweet-tart union of rum, lime and sugar has been riffed on for almost as long as the Cuban-born drink has existed. Since its invention in the late 19th century, the original shaken Daiquiri has spawned a seemingly endless line of successors. First appearing in the 1920s, the Daiquiri No. 2 includes orange Curaçao and orange juice, while the No. 3, more commonly known as the Hemingway Daiquiri, gets an added dose of grapefruit and maraschino liqueur in place of simple syrup. Since then, nearly every fruit on the color spectrum has entered the picture—though the juicy, tart nature of pineapple is especially apt for the three-ingredient rum sour. Whether you choose to simply juice the fruit, muddle it or turn it into a shrub, here are three ways to make the pineapple Daiquiri your own.
For a straightforward and undoctored approach, the quickest path to pure pineapple flavor is to juice it. In Dutch Kills’ Pineapple Daiquiri, simplicity reigns supreme. An added ounce of pineapple juice allows its fruity, tropical essence to shine without shouting over other flavors. The best part is, you can use the leftover pulp to make a shrub (see below).
Pineapple Slices (and a Shrub)
Forgoing juice entirely, muddling a few slices of ripe pineapple with dry sugar instead of syrup extracts concentrated flavor without further dilution—or bulky equipment. In his Pino Frio, served over shaved ice, Paul McGee also adds pineapple shrub to the muddling mix for a more pronounced fruitiness. Steeped with warming spices like cinnamon, star anise and green cardamom, the blend provides “an extra layer of flavor and acidity and really helps tie everything together,” says McGee. Of course, store-bought shrub is a fine substitution to boost the freshly muddled pineapple slices.
To stretch the shelf life of your pineapple, turn it into a cordial that you can keep on hand for several weeks. Fresh juice combined with both cane and white sugar over heat will form a fruity syrup, but after a longer, thirty-minute simmer, new flavors emerge. The result is a thicker, golden cordial that imparts all of pineapple’s lushness with the warmth and richness of toasty caramelized notes. In Alec Bale’s Rainmaker, a simple Daiquiri variation, it’s the sweetener of choice to complement a splash of Bénédictine.