Infusions are intimidating, but they are really very easy. Cut up some fruit, throw in a little of this and a little of that, add liquor and wait a while. That’s about it. We’ve talked about infusions before with our Pineapple Infused Vodka and Hot Tamales Infused Vodka. Both are fabulous and mix well in many cocktails. Vodka is great for infusing because it has no real taste on its own. The flavors you add really come through. But what, I’m sure you’re wondering, if we used a base liquor with a stronger taste? Say, tequila. Never wanting to leave Consumatorium readers with unanswered questions, we thought we’d give it a try.
First, I infused tequila with pineapple using the basic method we described for our Pineapple Infused Vodka. It was . . . OK. Certainly good, but it didn’t blow me away. I found several recipes for tequila infused with vanilla and pineapple and decided to go in that direction. Here’s what I came up with.
- 2 medium sized, ripe pineapples
- 1.75 liters of Reposado Tequila (100% añejo, as always. You can use Blanco, but I like the smoother Reposado taste)
- 3 ounces of dark brown sugar
- 2 vanilla beans
- Lime wedges for serving
You’ll also need a fairly large container for the infusion process. A large glass jar (it does NOT have to be airtight) will do the trick. Keep in mind you’re pouring 1.75 liters of fluid and the fruit from two pineapples in it. You’ll also want a few re-sealable jars to store the fruity concoction in before you serve it. It will have to be refrigerated.
Split the vanilla beans lengthwise with a knife and toss them in the infusion jar. Then add the sugar and the tequila. Mix until the sugar dissolves.
Prepare the pineapple as is documented in the Pineapple Infused Vodka post. Basically, cut off the top and bottom and remove all the skin. Make sure you remove all the skin – even small pieces can add a bitter taste to the infusion. Cut the pineapple away from the core and toss the core into the compost heap with the skin. Cut the remaining pineapple into chunks about 2 inches by 2 inches and place gently in the infusion jar. No splashing allowed!
Cover the jar and wait about 11 days, stirring the mixture once per day. While it’s hardly an exact timeframe – factors like air circulation and amount of light effect the infusing process – the fruit will start to go bad and make the infusion more bitter if you wait too long. Mine wasn’t ready on day 8, 9 or 10. 11 seemed to be the peak with a touch of bitter coming through – I was tasting each time I stirred.
Use a spoon to remove all the big chunks then decant your infusion through a cheesecloth-lined strainer to remove all the small bits. Here, I made 3/4 of a liter for myself and another 3/4 as a gift in a recycled bottle. No, that doesn’t add up to 1.75 liters, some of the tequila is sacrificed to the disposed of pineapple and some is lost while decanting. In this case, I was a bit sloppy, too.
As for serving suggestions, this stuff is fabulous straight up. The tequila taste comes right through. Dave suggested a lime squeeze would add a lot and it did. I served the shots in small cocktail glasses with the juice from a slice of a large lime. The only problem is knowing when to stop drinking these things.
Remember, keep the container sealed and refrigerated when you’re not serving. This won’t be a problem, of course, if it’s all consumed in one sitting.