Few flavor combinations signal the arrival of summer quite like that of rum and pineapple—just ask the Piña Colada. But there’s a shortcut to achieving that tropical burst of flavor, and its applications go way beyond resort drinks: pineapple rum.
The double-hitter has a long history in the Caribbean, where distillers were known to toss pineapple into rum barrels for added sweetness as far back as 1700s. But its stateside revival only goes back as far as 2014 when Alexandre Gabriel of Maison Ferrand and historian David Wondrich collaborated to create the historically-inspired Stiggins’ Fancy Plantation Pineapple Rum.
Named for the fictitious Reverend Stiggins—a Charles Dickens character known for his preference for pineapple rum—the modern interpretation of the spirit is both infused and distilled with Victoria pineapples. For bartenders, it’s a product that’s managed to exist outside the oft-derided realm of “flavored spirits” to become one of the most called on alt-rums in the modern drink-maker’s arsenal.
While it can easily be swapped in for a standard rum base in any classic rum cocktail (hello Daiquiri, Cuba Libre, Airmail), it has the ability to turn just about any drink tropical, even in small amounts. Here are few drinks that put it to good use, for when you’re in need of a little escapism.
Though it’s only four ingredients, the Golden Handcuffs punches well above its weight when it comes to flavor, thanks in large part to the inclusion of pineapple rum, which brings its inherent depth to any recipe.
Daiquiri Adjacent—Fairbanks Loan No. 2
A split base of gin and pineapple rum stays true to the core identity of this drink, which bartender Brian Kane describes as a “Daiquiri on steroids.”
Fruit Forward—Hey Baby, Que Paso?
Another Daiquiri riff that amps up the requisite lime with raspberry syrup, rhubarb-based amaro and, naturally, pineapple.
Tall and Tropical—Pineapple Cooler
An unabashedly tropical drink made with pineapple rum and ginger-spiced falernum.
In this summer-ready egg white cocktail, pineapple rum anchors the citrus medley of grapefruit, lemon and limoncello.