The final of my 3 Vodka infusions; this sweet and tropical infusion will be perfect for those with a sweet tooth and a penchant for the tang of a fresh pineapple (like me).
It is a relatively versatile infusion that works best in tropical cocktails but also finds its place in the more ‘traditional’ recipes. Think along the lines of a Tropical Martini or Tangy Screwdriver…
Check out the infusion recipe below and then enjoy the tropical combination of your new Pineapple Vodka and a cocktail whose origin story was set in Brazil; The Very Tropical Caipiroska.
Pineapple Infused Vodka
1 whole (medium) pineapple, sliced/diced
70cl (700ml) Vodka
50 grams Sugar
Add all of the ingredients to a sterilised & tight sealing bottle.
Leave to sit for up to 48hrs.
Strain into the original vodka bottle and seal it.
Keep in a cool dry place away from sunlight, or in the fridge/freezer if you want it served chilled…
This infusion is extremely fresh and does not hide its tropical pineapple flavour! This vodka is a wonderful inclusion in any cocktail you want to perk up with a tropical hit. Try it in your next vodka base tropical drink or as an addition to your next Pina Colada!
Cocktail: Very Tropical Caipiroska
50ml Pineapple Infused Vodka
2 teaspoons Sugar*
Garnish: Pineapple leaf & speared fruit.
Add the sugar into a rocks glass.
Cut the lime into quarters and then squeeze and drop each piece into the glass skin up.
Very gently muddle the lime and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, fill the glass with crushed ice.
Add in your infused vodka, cover with a napkin and swizzle.
Top up with more crushed ice and then garnish.
Serve with a straw…
*the type of sugar determines the amount of muddling. Whilst using a sugar cube looks good, it also requires a lot more work. Use some granulated sugar, or better yet go for caster sugar!
This cocktail is based on the classic Caipirinha from Brazil and was huge during the last world cup [Brazil 2014]. During the 4 weeks that Fifa’s biggest tournament ran, there were more variations on the Caipirinha than one could shake a proverbial stick at. Whilst the Caipiroska was already well-liked before the WC, it did benefit a great deal from the exposure of its parent during the football tournament…
With citrus flavours galore and vast amounts of other tropical flavours a-plenty, the Caipi family of cocktails have gone from strength to strength. There are so many different varieties of this drink that it was only a matter of time before infused spirits/liqueurs made their way into the recipes!
This pineapple vodka based version is fruitier and lighter than a normal Caipiroska (the infusion process takes some of the alcohol burn away.
Fervent Shaker Top Tip: This cocktail is fantastic short and iced. But if you’re after something a little longer (and lighter) then why not make this in a tall Collins glass? You’ll have to prepare it in a rocks glass before adding it to the larger glass. You should pour the ingredients (once muddled) into a Collins glass, add the ice, then the alcohol. Before adding more crushed ice, add in some fruit juice – in this instance a splash of Pineapple & Mango would be fantastic! – Then top up with the ice.
So then how to carry on my inspired by cocktails… I last posted a lovely South American Cocktail, and it seems fitting to continue with another one. This time from Chile!
1 measure Pisco
3 measures Papaya Juice
1 teaspoon Caster sugar (to taste)
Shake all the ingredients over ice and strain into a well-chilled martini glass.
Similar to various other forms of cocktails (Caipirinha and sours come to mind) this one in particular uses a rather unorthodox spirit in Pisco, and combines it with some local produce to provide us all with one of the best fruity cocktails I’ve had in a long time…
Shaking these ingredients is the best form of mixing this cocktail, but I must say that you get much smoother results from using Agave Syrup or Sugar syrup. Either way it makes the drink a tad smoother, not to mention adding more flavour (especially if you use Agave).
And there you go, a Chilean cocktail using Chilean ingredients and mixed in the Chilean way.
Now here’s a bit for all you avid readers: a little bit of advice on Papaya and how to source and prepare it should you care about the authenticity of the drink…
Nothing says Chile like Chilean Papaya Juice with Pisco and should you add a dash of sugar to that mixture you end up with one of the best Chilean cocktails out there: The Serena Libre.
Combining a small amount of sugar with a 3:1 ratio of fresh papaya juice to Pisco creates a seriously refreshing and tasty cocktail that would suit a menu in almost any beach bar you could think of. But here at the Fervent Shaker Co. we don’t have a beach bar so how do we prepare this stunning cocktail? Here let us tell you a secret…
The main thing to remember here is that whilst the cocktail recipe specifically calls for Chilean Papaya Juice, you do have room for a spot of cheating when it comes to the Papaya Juice: You will be hard pressed to find genuine Chilean papaya here in the UK so you have to use what you can find, but take heart from the fact that Sainsbury’s source their papayas from Brazil & Ecuador for certain parts of the year (they also source from Ghana & Jamaica at other times); so whilst you cannot always be sure of Chilean Papaya, you can sometimes get Brazilian/Ecuadorian papayas (and that means South America – which helps), although any good quality papaya will suffice.
Dont Skimp on quality; when it comes to the quality of the fruit remember one thing: You want flavour. And you usually have to pay for that flavour. The dirt cheap ‘basic-value’ range of fruit simply will not do. Go for the supermarket standard or top brand (Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference or Tesco’s finest are good examples).
Think about your budget; Papaya Juice is best used if juiced from whole fruits, although that can be expensive so we personally recommend getting fruit juice for better value.
But overall always remember; if you are looking to be as authentic as possible then try looking out for when your supermarket/farm shop sells fresh papaya and check where they’re from and then following this juicing guide and enjoy super-fresh Papaya Juice (certainly not from concentrate)…
I have no idea about Papaya availability for you Americans/Rest of the world readers – so please feel free to comment below and share with others.
Peel the tangerine and place in a chilled rocks glass.
Sprinkle over the sugar and muddle gently until the sugar dissolves
Add crushed ice and pour in the Cachaca.
Stir well and top up with crushed ice.
Garnish with a tangerine segment and serve with a straw.
This cocktail is based on a traditional Brazilian Caipirinha, which is a great cocktail, but the tangerine twist makes this already fantastic drink a little more special.
I know what you’re thinking; “lies, this drink is too good to tweak” well, I dare you to try it! Pick the sweetest tangerine you can find and don’t be afraid to chuck in a few extra pieces for added zing.
Although this drink is a tweaked Caipirinha, it holds its own in both taste and the look; taking on a stunning orange hue courtesy of the fruit.
So my post the other day should have set everything all out for you. The posts in this series will focus on supplying you 3 detailed cocktail recipes, which may or may not be alcoholic.
The basic idea is to help you understand the cocktail more (especially its flavours). Also it’s about having fun! See what ‘menus’ you can come up with at home…
Here’s a mini-intro:
Starter cocktails are simple and refreshing. These cocktails will not be anything you wouldn’t have heard of before, but they will be perfect for starting your ‘meal’ off. They should be refreshing and where possible: Crisp. Think limes, fizzy mixers and overall a balanced drink and you’re half way there…
This is the tricky course. The cocktails you’ll find here will be a little stronger than you’re probably used to, and this is not a bad thing. Think an Old fashioned, think Mad Men, think classic and classy and you’re on the right track. This course is all about alcohol with depth and will include cocktails where you can better appreciate the alcohol…
Something sweet, something to end the night on a high… This section will cover some of the better sweet cocktails. Are you one of those people that just have to have a dessert when you go out for a meal? Then this is the section for you…
This post is all about Dark Rum (Goslings is the optional rum of choice although any branded dark rum will do)
First a little bit about dark rum:
As some of you may know, Gosling’s is widely considered the national rum of Bermuda. In my opinion, and it is an educated one, this is often not as clear cut as you would think, in part due to the amount of rum brands hailing from the Caribbean, not to mention the amount coming from Barbados itself. Arguably the most famous dark (black) rum from Barbados is Goslings Black Seal.
Now the thing to remember when making this menu is the rum. It really has to be a black/dark rum (or at the very least a top quality golden rum). This is not because I’m a rum snob (I am but that’s neither here nor there) but in fact because these cocktails are all about Dark Rum. To get the best flavours out of them you need to use dark rum.
Ok, now I’ve got the rules and regulations out of the way let’s get onto the fun stuff: The cocktails…
Gosling’s Dark N’ Stormy
120-140ml Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Ale
50ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Slice of lime to garnish (so the consumer can add it if needed)
So this is probably one of my most favoured cocktails. It’s simple, balanced and genuinely fantastic. I’m not a fan of too much spice and I was so happy when I found that this drink is just within my threshold.
As some of you may know, Gosling’s is widely considered the national rum of Bermuda. In my opinion, and it is an educated one, this is often not as clear cut as you would think…
It makes for a perfect start to a 3 course cocktail menu because not only is it simple to make, it’s also designed to be crisp and refreshing, a perfect start to any ‘meal’.
The problem with this cocktail though, is that you will be hard pressed to find anywhere in the UK that serves it… My local Chiquito’s restaurant serves it (and dark n stormy’s) but not many other places do. In this case, you can improvise by simply using any other dark rum. I prefer Kraken Spiced myself, but Captain Morgan’s works equally as well.
The Garnish of a lime wedge is for aesthetic pleasure, but also enables the consumer to add it if they prefer it.
Cocktails like this are the ones that creep up on you. If you’re not careful you’ll start falling over and texting ex’s before you know it. But enjoyed responsibly they can be the best cocktails you’ll ever have… Give it a go, and let me know what rum you prefer in your Dark N’ Stormy!
1 teaspoon caster sugar
75ml soda water
50ml Dark rum
The original recipe for the one above can be found here:
Add the Soda water & caster sugar to a chilled glass. Mix until the sugar dissolves and then fill the glass 2/3rds with crushed ice. Then add the dark rum and garnish. When garnishing the recipe calls for wheels and a cherry, but if you’re able to skewer the rind of a lemon, orange and the cherry then try that for some added class…
This cocktail is all about the flavour of the rum used. In keeping with the menu theme of Dark Rum, this cocktail uses the more ‘flavour-deep’ rums. Any dark rum can be used in this drink; my advice is to just use your favourite dark rum here.
Whether you prefer Gosling’s, Kraken Spiced, Morgan’s Black, or even Havana club 7yo, it’s all about the rum’s flavour and its depth.
A perfect course for sampling the flavours dark/black rum can offer. This is one of my favourite ‘strong’ cocktails and I admit I have to be in the mood for it, but it is genuinely a great drink. Do not be surprised to see it on bar menus across the U.K. & U.S.A. over the next few months…
2 teaspoons Lime Juice
2 teaspoons Falernum
25ml coconut water
50ml Dark Rum
1 teaspoon Apricot Brandy
50ml Single Cream
1 x Slice Mango
1 x Pineapple Leaf
1 x Mint Sprig
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake well (until the shaker ices up). Strain it into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with the mango slice, mint sprig and pineapple leaf, using the pineapple leaf as the ‘spoon’ for the other two garnishes.
This cocktail is all about the sweet flavours from the other ingredients bringing out certain qualities in the dark rum. In some restaurants they add Falernum to dark n’ stormy cocktails to help sweeten them slightly…
A perfect end to the Dark Rum 3 course meal, this cocktail will be ever so slightly sickly, and you won’t want more than one, but it is silky smooth and has a naturally layered depth thanks to the rum used. This drink should have a golden hue to it, and you would not be wrong to think of it as a kind of golden Pina Colada (albeit without the pineapple).
Why not give it a go and let me know if you find a better way of making it? (Equally let me know if you like it just the way it is).
Did you know? Falernum is a slightly alcoholic (typically 11%) sugar syrup with various flavours infused into it. It is originally from Barbados (the brand you can buy nowadays is from Bridgetown, Barbados). So this goes perfect with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum…
Continuing my theme of the day: how interchangeable certain alcohols are in certain cocktails; I feel compelled to discuss, briefly at least, the family of Caipirinha cocktails:
Across the Caribbean and now most of the world the preferred distillate of sugar cane is Rum. White, golden, dark, spiced even the newer infused rums, it doesn’t matter what type of rum, what matters is that it is RUM.
This may be the case across almost all the world, but down in South America, Brazil especially, this is far from the case. Cachaca is the distillate of choice. Cachaca is a sugar distillate not too dissimilar to rum, but it arguably lacks the same smoothness of some rum products. Regardless of its texture, it has been used in one of the 20th century’s most popular cocktails. Served across the beaches of South America, be it Brazil, Argentina and even Uruguay, Caipirinha’s are a source of great joy for locals and tourists alike.
The standard recipe for a Caipirinha takes half a lime (cut into wedges) and muddles it with brown sugar, then after topping up with crushed ice, 2 measures (around 50ml) of Cachaca is added. A quick stir later and you’re sipping on a very strong, but refreshingly crisp cocktail.
This cocktail is traditionally served with crushed ice in a rocks glass.
Classic (American/UK) Caipirinha Recipe
½ lime (cut into wedges)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Top up ice.
Top tip: very gently muddle the lime with the sugar until the sugar has all but dissolved. Then add the cachaca and give it a swizzle stir. Serve with 2 straws.
This recipe is so easy to tweak to your tastes its perfect for chilled evenings watching the football with your pals, or catching up with your girlfriends after a busy day shopping. Either way this versatile drink can be tweaked several ways:
Short Cachaca Mojito
½ lime (cut into wedges)
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
2-5 mint leaves
Top up crushed ice.
Splash of soda water
This version of the Caipirinha is simply a short version of a Mojito using cachaca instead of rum. Using the same method for the standard Caipirinha, only when muddling the lime and sugar you muddle the mint leaves too.
The splash of soda water adds the familiar mojito fizz, without diluting the drink.
10ml triple sec
¼ orange (cut into chunks)
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
Top up crushed ice.
This cocktail uses the margarita as inspiration, mixing triple sec, cachaca and lime to create the feel of a margarita but served in a traditional South American way.
The interchangeable alcohol idea:
A famous north American/European cocktail known as the Caipiroska is a simple twist on the standard Caipirinha cocktail. The Caipiroska uses high quality vodka, lime and sugar to the same ends as a Caipirinha. The idea is that this is a refreshing drink using an alcohol that North Americans and Europeans are used to (vodka).
Classic Caipiroska Recipe
50ml high grade vodka (i.e. Green Mark)
½ lime (cut into wedges)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Top Tip: If you have it available, use agave nectar. This sugar syrup like product is fantastically sweet and works brilliantly with this cocktail (as well as mojito’s but that’s a discussion for a future post).
If you find this drink a little too strong for your tastes, then try having it in a taller Collins glass and top up with soda water…
One last note about the Caipiroska; the citrus noted above is lime, but because vodka is such a neutral spirit, there is no reason why you cannot use the same quantities of any citrus fruit; some good examples and quantities are as follows:
Orange – ¼ orange (cut into chunks)
Lemon – ½ small lemon (cut into wedges/chunks)
Grapefruit – ¼ small Grapefruit (cut into chunks)
After note: now it has come to my attention (through a source) that the above recipe is purely an Americanised version of the cocktail. I have it on good authority (see the comment below) that the original recipe from Brazil actually uses lemons. Although they are actually green lemons! It’s quite easy to see that from an american point of view if it’s green it must be a lime… Well this is not true. Brazilians use what are simply green lemons. So if you want a Brazilian Caipirinha (and you don’t mind swapping out the green colour for yellow) replace the lime chunks with lemon. For an extra special twist, shave a large full circumference slice of lemon peel and fit it around the glass (after muddling the chunks & sugar), then add the ice and Cachaca … Whichever recipe you choose I’m sure you’ll enjoy the drink all the same. sure lemons will change the flavour slightly, but it’ll still be a refreshing summer drink!