David T Smith takes a closer look at our Master medal-winning Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin, and gives you a bunch of tantalising cocktail ideas...
During the second Golden Age of the cocktail (1950 to the 1960s), liqueurs and cordials were all the rage, as were fruit gins. These were dry gins that were infused with fruit before being sweetened. The most common of these were lemon and orange gins, which were made by the likes of Plymouth, Gordon’s, and Beefeater, but other flavours were popular, too, such as passionfruit, grapefruit, and - from a brand called “Dinner at Eight” - pineapple.
As tastes changed and the Summer of Love shifted minds to other intoxicants, these fruit gins were confined to the annals of history; until now, that is.
Inspired by the tales of old, That Boutique-y Gin Company have resurrected one of the fruit gins and given it a 21st century twist - the result is “Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin”. Bottled at 40.1% ABV, the gin is made using whole, peeled pineapples that have been coated with demerara sugar and spit-roasted so that it caramelises.
The base gin has a classic recipe, with botanicals including: Juniper, Coriander, Angelica, Orange, Lemon, Nutmeg, Cassia, Cinnamon, Orris and Liquorice.
The two are combined and the result is a luxurious and devilishly indulgent liquid. The toasted sugar and caramelised pineapple are reminiscent of a pineapple fritter, whilst the brighter, juicer pineapple notes of the underlying fruit cry out to be mixed in tiki drinks.
The pineapple has also long been seen as a sign of hospitality, and has been connected with gin for a long time - just have a look at the cap of a Tanqueray bottle - so it is perhaps surprising that there are not more pineapple gins.
Nose: The inside of a pineapple fritter - juicy, with a touch of zestiness and light caramel.
Taste: An indulgent harmony of flavours greet the tongue: a beautiful mix of sweet and sour pineapple and rich, sweet caramel.
Finish: Lingering sweet pineapple, as well as the dry, crisp freshness of the gin, inviting you back in for another sip.
Pineapple Gin is a surprisingly versatile drink and mixes well with a variety of ingredients. For a straightforward serve, fill a tall glass with lots of ice, add a measure of the gin before topping up with your favourite mixer, be that tonic, soda water, cola, or - our personal choice - Ting. The grapefruit soda’s bittersweet flavours combine well with the tart sweetness of the gin.
For a touch of decadence, add a splash of Pineapple Gin to a Champagne flute and add a glug of sparkling wine.
For the more ambitious home bartender, here are some other ideas.
Pineapple Gin Daiquiri
25ml White Rum (preferably a Rhum Agricole)
25ml Pineapple Gin
15ml Lime juice
10ml Sugar syrup
A real taste of the tropics, with the light sweetness and grassy complexity of the rum. This adds to the flavour of the gin, which contributes a light sweetness and plenty of punchy pineapple. The lime juice intermingles with the the other fruit notes for a long, crisp finish.
Hawaiian Station Master
Inspired by the “Berlin Station Master” (a Martini with Islay Whisky) and the famous Canadian pizza that - controversially - combined ham and pineapple.
25ml Pineapple Gin
25ml Dry Gin
5ml Smoky Scotch whisky
This drink will likely prove as controversial as the pizza; the intriguing mix of peat smoke (reminiscent of smoked ham) and the sweet, juicy pineapple is quite the juxtaposition. The underlying botanicals add complexity and a slightly dry finish.
Not content with these creations, we sought out Tiki expert, Jeff “The Beachbum” Berry, who has recently released the excellent Total Tiki app, which contains nearly 250 Tiki cocktail recipes. Jeff recommended the following drinks to try with the gin, which have been slightly modified.
50ml Pineapple Gin
10ml Lemon Gin
10ml Orange juice
1 tsp Powdered sugar
3-4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
A fruity drink with plump pineapple notes at the start and a refreshing citrus twang on the finish - all with the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
30ml Pineapple Gin
5ml St Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
5ml Coco Lopez Coconut Cream
3 dashes Orange bitters
This drink has a slight pearlescent opacity thanks to the coconut cream (in a pinch you could substitute for normal milk or cream). The drink is creamy, jammy, and fruity; sweet, spicy and dry - really leading your senses through a range of sensations. The cinnamon and gin also add a pleasant sweetness. Indulgent, but still refreshing.
30ml Pineapple Gin
15ml Dry Gin
10ml Lemon juice
5ml Orgeat syrup
A good choice for those with less of a sweet-tooth. This has a lovely balance between the sweet gin and the tart lemon, making something akin to a White Lady with a tropical twist.
Hopefully these cocktail ideas will inspire you to mix up your own creations using the Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin. Whether simple or complex, there are plenty of delicious creations to be made - here comes the summer...
Oh, it's also well worth mentioning that Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin took home a prestigious Master medal at The Gin Masters 2017. Well happy about that, we are.
Off-trade/on-trade enquiries should be directed to our UK distributor, Maverick Drinks.