Welcome to your weekend cocktail situation! I paired a spicy roasted pineapple syrup with tequila, fresh pineapple juice, tart lime, and super herbaceous cilantro! Some like it hot and this Spicy Roasted Pineapple Cilantro Cocktail has that lil’ bit o’ heat you crave!
I’m here to speak to a demand. A demand for cocktails. Whose demand? Well… Mine. I’m improving my cocktail game and taking you all for a ride down cocktail town.
Buckle your seatbelts.
I’ve been doing research, dreaming up pairings.
Playing with flavor profiles.
Some work. Some…? Not so much.
Have you tried my cocktails? They’re a bit on the sweet side, I know. I’m trying to change that.
But not today.
This cocktail is sorta sweet and pushed me outside my comfort zone.
Flow with me. Let’s talk about it.
I heard from a fellow food writer that pineapple and cilantro are hot right now in the Pinterest world. Not sure if you’ve noticed that I beat to the slightly tone deaf tune of my own drummer. I post what I want, when I want, if I want. I don’t necessarily follow food trends, and have recently begun to observe seasons. I do, however, post food I feel is appetizing.
Sometimes it’s pin worthy, sometimes…? Not so much.
And that’s been OK. Fine, actually. Because despite that, this little space has grown. I’m not in the same league as the famous names. That’s fine, bruh. I hold my own. Plus patient is my middle name. It’s not. It’s some long ass Latino name that almost made the Social Security Administration slap me with an annex card.
When I read “what was hot on Pinterest” article, I rolled my eyes. At first. Then I thought, fuck it – Posting what’s hot right now will not change the integrity of this space.
With that, this Spicy Roasted Pineapple Cilantro Cocktail was born.
I’m an island girl who loves pineapple, not just for its sweet tropical flavor and delightful acidity – I love it because it’s a rich source of vitamin C and Bromine, which is said to slow down the growth of cancer cells.
I love spicy cocktails. Not ‘holy crap, my nose is running heat’ – I dig the sort of heat you can feel on the tongue, yet not strong enough to overpower a dish or drink.
My spice of choice right now is Aleppo pepper, which isn’t too hot at all. I found some at TJ Maxx and depleted their supply. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, pulverized crushed red pepper will do. The pineapple is cut into slices, placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and then roasted with a sprinkle of pepper and brown sugar.
The roasting caramelizes the sugar and adheres the spice to the pineapple. The pineapple is then blended until smooth with water and sugar and cooked to extract a smoky simple syrup.
This simple syrup is muddled with cilantro leaves for a peppery herbaceous bite. I know some of you aren’t into cilantro – It’s a love it or hate situation – Like Hilary Clinton. Growing up Latina means cilantro runs through my veins alongside blood.
Lime juice, tequila, and fresh pineapple juice are added with some ice, and then shaken like a Polaroid picture in an Outcast video.
This cocktail is topped with a splash of seltzer and garnished with cilantro strips and an Aleppo pepper sprinkle (there’s a recipe for the sprinkle).
I can’t say for certain – I would have to remix all the cocktails on the blog to be sure – But I am almost positive this is one of the best cocktails I’ve made in a long time.
I loved it. In fact, I had two. For research purposes and whatnot.
The smokiness of the roasted pineapple syrup just shines. Lime and pineapple juices provide the right balance of acidity. That sweet/salty/spicy flavor of the sprinkle? It’s so dope. It’s sort of my favorite part. And the peppery cilantro just seals it. It’s like a contained explosion of flavor. So many layers. Every sip is different.
I don’t rep my cocktails all the time, though I am confident in my mixology skillz thus far.
I am repping this Spicy Roasted Pineapple Cilantro Cocktail hard.
It is truly a force to be reckoned with.
Spicy Roasted Pineapple Cilantro Cocktail
- For the Aleppo pepper sprinkle
- Aleppo pepper (or finely pulverized red pepper) - 1 tablespoon
- Granulated sugar - 1/2 tablespoon
- Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- For the spicy roasted pineapple syrup
- Roughly chopped fresh (or canned) pineapple - About 3 cups
- Light brown sugar, packed - 2 tablespoons
- Aleppo pepper, (or finely pulverized red pepper) - 1 tablespoon
- Dash of salt
- Water - 1 1/2 cups
- Granulated sugar - 1 cup
- Spicy Roasted Pineapple Cilantro Cocktail
- Cilantro leaves - About 14
- Spicy roasted pineapple syrup - 1.5 ounces
- Juice of 1 lime
- Tequila, light or dark - 1.5 - 2 ounces
- Pineapple juice - 3 ounces
- Splash of seltzer
- Cilantro strips for garnish
- Aleppo pepper sprinkle (see recipe below)
Make the Aleppo pepper sprinkle:
In a small container with a tightfitting lid, combine the Aleppo pepper (or finely pulverized red pepper), granulated sugar, and salt. Seal the container, shake to combine, and set aside. This sprinkle makes enough for many cocktails. Double or triple as needed.
Make the Spicy Roasted Pineapple Syrup:
Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pineapple on the parchment. Do not crowd the pineapple. Sprinkle brown sugar over the pineapple, followed by the Aleppo (or pulverized red pepper), and salt.
Place baking sheet in the oven and allow pineapple to roast for about 10-12 minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Remove from the oven and place in a blender with water and sugar. Blend on high until mostly smooth.
Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium/high heat until the sugar dissolves and the liquid takes on a syrupy texture, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and strain the mixture, pressing down on the solids to strain every bit of that deliciously roasted syrup. Either discard the solids or save them for another use, like ice cream topping. Transfer the syrup to a container with a tight fitting lid and bring to room temperature before using.
Makes a heaping cup of syrup for at least 7-8 cocktails. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for at least one month.
Make the cocktail (1):
To cocktail shaker or a mason jar with a tightfitting lid, add cilantro leaves and roasted pineapple syrup. Muddle with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon until the cilantro is fragrant. Add the lime juice, tequila, pineapple juice, and ice. Seal the shaker or Mason jar and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds until very cold. Pour the mixture into a glass, add a splash of seltzer, garnish with strips of cilantro, and a dash of Aleppo pepper sprinkle.