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.
December 1, 2013 at 11:35 pm
Where’d you get the bottle?
December 5, 2013 at 2:07 pm
The bottle on the left is a re-purposed Whistlepig Rye bottle. Part of the Consumatorium’s reduce-reuse-recycle campaign 🙂
March 31, 2014 at 9:03 pm
GREAT RECIPE! just did it for a ladies beach trip. seems better to sip on beach than beer.
March 31, 2014 at 9:17 pm
Hey Jen, Glad it worked out! Yes, I totally agree that it’s better than beer on the beach. More potent too 🙂
November 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm
If it’s liquor, why does it have to be kept refrigerated? Does it not have a good shelf life?
January 19, 2016 at 10:00 pm
Any options for the vanilla besides vanilla beans? i can’t seem to find them anywhere for anything less than $12 a bean!
January 19, 2016 at 11:26 pm
Yeah, vanilla beans are a bit pricey. I can find them cheaper around here and I see them on Amazon for $12 for 10 beans (http://www.amazon.com/Vanilla-Products-USA-Gourmet-Madagascar/dp/B0198W203U/ref=sr_1_8?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1453245367&sr=1-8&keywords=vanilla+beans).
You can probably try vanilla extract. I have never used it but it should work. Vanilla extract is mostly alcohol anyway 🙂
I’d go light to start. You can even add it at the end of the infusion process. Basically, add the vanilla to taste. And be sure to tell us how it turns out.
October 26, 2016 at 4:28 am
During the 11 days (or so) does the concoction need to be refrigerated then? Or just after it’s been filtered and ready to drink?
October 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm
Good question, Mara. I do NOT refrigerate while infusing, just after everything is done. I don’t think it would infuse well if refrigerated.
September 17, 2017 at 12:53 am
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December 21, 2019 at 6:11 pm
I wanted to ask if there is any brand that makes a Pineapple and Vanilla Infused Tequila. It is my brother’s birthday and I would like to give him something very special on this occasion.
December 21, 2019 at 6:21 pm
Greg, not that I know of. There are companies the do a pineapple vodka, but it’s not even close to the same. Sorry, I think it requires a personal touch.
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