Pineapple Infusion

Infusing Vodka with pineapple is a similar process to infusing it with Hot Tamales candy, it’s just a little more difficult to prepare and takes a bit longer. Don’t let that put you off. Yes, you need to plan ahead – 11 days ahead – but the destination is more than worth the journey. This stuff is so good, you may find yourself thinking of having it for breakfast.

While I worked on my own version of the preparation a bit, this is hardly my idea. The Capital Grille restaurant has been making pineapple infusions for years. They call them Stoli Dolies

The same warnings I gave you about the Hot Tamales Infusion apply here:

  1. Make a lot of this stuff. Once people try it, they’ll suck it down. I’ve gone through 1.75L with a handful of people in a few hours.
  2. The end result of this infusion is pure alcohol and some small amount of fruit juice (VERY small). Contrary to what the quantities would suggest, it’ll taste a lot like straight up pineapple juice, but it’s almost all vodka. I suggest you warn your guests. They’re going to get trashed if they don’t keep that in mind.
  3. Just in case the last point wasn’t clear, just hide everyone’s car keys.
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium size, ripe pineapples
  • 2, 1.75L bottles middle-grade vodka (I use Stolichnaya)
  • A few additional slices of fresh pineapple for garnish (not part of the infusion)
You’ll also need a large container to hold the 3.5L+ of liquid heaven you’re about to create. The container you’re infusing in does not have to be airtight, but the lid should close somewhat securely to make sure nothing evaporates or flies in. I’d also suggest, 3-4 Ball jars or similar for storage of the final, post-infused product which will need to be refrigerated as well as a strainer to remove the pineapple remnants when decanting.

First things first. Cut up the three pineapples by shaving off their tops, bottoms and sides. Core the pineapple or just cut the fruit off around the core. I find that slices that are about 1/2″ thick work well. Perfection isn’t critical here, but why waste good fruit?

Pineapple Vodka Infusion

Pineapple Vodka Infusion

Stack the pieces of pineapple in your infusing vessel to maximize the surface area that will come in contact with the vodka. Since my pieces weren’t regular, I sorta just tossed them in and adjusted them by hand to make sure they were separated.
Pineapple Vodka Infusion
Pour the two bottles of vodka into the container making sure that the pineapple pieces remain as separated as possible. The pineapple should be completely covered.
Pineapple Vodka Infusion - 2013-06-21-23
Now the hard part. Put the container somewhere that won’t get direct sunlight and wait 11 (yes, that’s eleven) days. It’s absolutely worth it.
 
Over the course of the 11 days, some of the pineapple may start losing its color and look more white than yellow. Don’t worry, that happens.
Pineapple Vodka Infusion
Did you leave it for 11 days? You are so impatient. Come back when it’s been 11 days . . . 
 
Now, decant the infusion into Ball jars or another sealable container by removing the big chunks of pineapple then straining the remaining liquid through a fine strainer. You can just throw the big pineapple chunks away. At this point, they are potent enough to snap your head back when taking a bite. You’ll use fresh pineapple for a garnish when you serve the drinks.
Pineapple Vodka Infusion
Serving is much easier than preparing. Simply pour some of the infusion into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a cocktail glass. The infused vodka gets very frothy, which adds to the presentation. Garnish with a fresh slice of pineapple and serve’ em up.
 
Did you remember to take everyone’s car keys? Now is your last chance . . . 
Pineapple Vodka Infusion
Keep in mind, this infusion needs to be refrigerated. Not that you’ll have it that long, but even refrigerated this stuff will only hold up for about two weeks.
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About Will Herman (103 Posts)

I don't know what it takes to become a professional mixologist, but I'm going to night school at my own home bar to achieve that status. For now, I'm an amateur cocktail creator who enjoys learning about new drinks and rediscovering the classics.

Comments

  1. Have you tried this as the base of any mixed cocktails?

  2. No, I haven’t. I had tried the Hot Tamales Infusion in cocktails – it didn’t work. I’d think you can make some good ones with the pineapple version though. Go at it! 🙂

  3. I’m planning to do this soon with some Colorado peaches. How many days would you recommend for this infusion?

  4. I just did a small peach infusion, left it about a week. The peach flavor isn’t verry intense, but it does have a smooth, buttery aftertaste. Nice. Also a car key quarantiner.

  5. A friend recommended removal of the peach skins prior to infusing – said they made the result very bitter. You?

  6. Generally, the skin of any fruit tends to leave a a bitter taste. Not only true in infusions, BTW. Definitely take the skin off. One week seems a little short to me. I’d try some after ten days, but be ready for two weeks. Like Grant says, peaches are a pretty mild flavor.

  7. I removed the skins, fyi. but haven’t done it any other way, so couldn’t comment on how it compares. But me likey the way it turned out; not messing w/it. Peaches are prime right now, of course, so get to it.

  8. Grant, a little early for the Colorado peaches, is it not?

  9. A Mexican restaurant we visited in Carlsbad, CA served margaritas made with pineapple-infused tequila and a grilled pineapple stick garnish. They were pretty spectacular.

  10. i am abartender and would consider using malibu rum for a stoli doli martini with a slice of pine apple for garnish. a little over the top might be to rime the glas with shaved and toasted coconut “aaah wefweshing”!

  11. Tanya Johns says:

    So Morton’s steakhouse uses the infused pineapple vodka and X-Rated Passion Fruit liquor with a squeeze of lime and calls it a Palm Beach Martini. It’s awesome.

  12. James P. says:

    This is a little more work intensive but I have a small fruit press that I put the pineapple slices in after the soak. I usually get about 8 cups of juice/vodka back from this and strain it back into the infused vodka I pour off originally. The pulp isn’t good for much after that. Heed the warning this is stout stuff.

    • James, tat’s a terrific idea. I have thrown the pineapple out – like you say, nasty stuff. But, there’s a load of great stuff in it. I’m wrapping up a tequila/vanilla/pineapple infusion tomorrow. I’m going to press the pineapple to get back my fair share.

      Thanks!

  13. Stephanie says:

    I strained my pineapple chunks into a cheese cloth and squeezed all that juice into my vodka. It gave it more pineapple flavor. I love this stuff!

  14. Does this need to be refrigerated whole fermenting, or just after the straining?
    Thanks!
    Wendy

  15. Does this need to be refrigerated while fermenting, or just after the straining?
    Thanks!
    Wendy

    • Wendy, I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It does not need to be refrigerated while infusing, In fact, that will keep it from infusing correctly.

      Thanks for the question!

  16. I made this and was ready this past Friday evening. The first drink, (3 oz in shaker with ice then strained into martini glass) was excellent. Worth the wait and all the hype. However the next evening it tasted a bit bitter, not as smooth as the first day. Then today, two days later, it definitely has a bitter edge to it. The first day was so easy going down I was afraid I’d drink too much of it. But now I’m not as excited about drinking it. Any ideas what I could do to fix this from happening? Thanks,

    • Dan, so sorry for the delay! This sounds like either the fruit is being left in too long or you had too much rind on the fruit during the infusion. When you were preparing the fruit, did you make sure you removed all the rind/skin? It’s super bitter. It sounds like you did because the first day was so good, but just checking. It’s important.

      At the end of the infusion, that is, after the 10-11 days you let the infusing process go, did you remove all the fruit and strain out any pulp (small pieces of fruit and skin)? You should filter with at least cheesecloth a couple of times. Coffee filters are even better.

      Do either of these make sense as problems?

      • Will, The first part, yes, I used only the fruit with no green armor sides and no core either. I’m a big pineapple eater on a regular basis so I know about trimming a pineapple very well.

        The second part, no, I did not strain it with cheesecloth etc., I used a strainer with a handle, like you would use for kitchen work however this one is fine mesh but not like a filter you mention.

        Perhaps this was my problem. The first day was great tasting but the next day and the following days the infusion started to go bitter because it wasn’t strained enough?

        I’ll be starting a new batch next week and do as you suggest and let you know the results.
        Thanks man,

        • One more thing, Dan. Are you refrigerating the mixture post-infusion? I find it’s best when it remains cold.

          Looking forward to find out what you learn. I’ve made this several times this summer without any problems.

          Thanks!

          • Will, I made a new batch and this time filtered with cheesecloth, then squeezed extra juice from the pineapple chunks also with cheesecloth, then filtered the whole thing through a coffee filter.

            Maybe overkill I don’t know, however the result was great the first day and the second day too. No bitter taste the second day. I’m refrigerating the post-infusion mixture too. Thanks for your help man.

        • Dan, so glad it worked out. Totally worth the work, right? 🙂

          I didn’t understand that you were squeezing the extra juice out of the pineapple. That can also be a problem. I find that sometimes, it’s just way overcooked – a very sharp taste. While I hate to do it, I just toss the pineapple after the infusion and don’t bother with the juice inside. But if you’ve got it working, all the better.

          Enjoy!

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