I’ve been intrigued by Juleps lately.
The confluence of Derby Day and Cinqo de Mayo this year, allowed some interesting variations, including a Tequila Julep on the eGullet cocktail forums.
On the DrinkBoy forums, a person who calls themself “Theurbanbartender” documented an inspired sounding Pineapple Julep.
“In a julep cup take a hand full of fresh mint leaves-muddle gently then add a couple of chunks of macerated pineapple( pineapple chunks that have been soaking in sugar for a day or so) 20mls Pineapple cordial. Muddle this gently again only just to break down the pineapple chunks then add crushed ice and 25mls bourbon. I used Woodford Reserve but I think its always down to personal taste. Gently pull all ingredients up thru the ice in a lifting motion top up with more crushed ice and then add another 25mls bourbon follow the above and then garnish with a small forest of mint and a long slender pineapple stick two small straws and bob’s your uncle and if your unlucky he’s your aunt. Please dont lynch me ;)”
That also sounded really awesome.
I was thinking I might combine the ideas!
However, when I was waiting for the bus the other day, I noticed an hispanic gentleman eating what appeared to be pineapple in some sort of red chile sauce. I remembered that sweet and spice are not necessarily exclusive values in Latin culture.
Now I had an idea that I could get my teeth into. I would make a Julep-like drink; but, try to use ingredients Native to the New World!
Pineapple Tequila Thing
1 Day before, peel and chop up a half a pineapple and put it in a quart container. Crush 2 tsp of allspice and add it to the container. Seed and wash 2 dried red chiles, (I used Chile Negros; but, anything Ancho-ish would be fine,) cut them in strips and add to the container. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar* and 1 cone of piloncillo in 1 cup of water and pour over the pineapple mixture. Shake to combine and let sit overnight.
Before you go to bed, put your large julep glass in the freezer.
The next day, strain off the liquid and reserve the pineapple. We’ll call this “Spiced Pineapple Syrup”.
1 oz spiced pineapple syrup
3 oz Blanco Tequila (Herradura Blanco)
Chopped Pineapple (I’m not sure how picky you are. You can either use the pineapple from the syrup or chop more fresh. The pineapple from the syrup will have small crunchy pieces of allspice and/or chili in it. Depending on your perspective, this might be bad or it might be good.)
6 sprigs mint**
Juice 2 key limes
Mezcal for float (Don Amado, Reposado)
Take your julep glass out of the freezer. Add Spiced pineapple syrup to the glass and 3 sprigs mint still on stems, and a tablespoon or two of pineapple. Gently crush the pineapple, syrup and mint. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add 3 oz of blanco tequila and the juice of 2 key limes. Churn mixture to combine. Withdraw mint sprigs. Top up with crushed ice, and churn again. Float on a bit of mezcal, garnish with 3 mint sprigs, the pineapple spear, and stick in a straw.
Tasty! I don’t know, if Bob’s not your uncle, you might ask your Mom about Jose…
*OK, sugar isn’t native to the New World. It’s originally from Southern Asia. I was too lazy to run to the store and buy Agave Nectar. At least I used a type of Mexican raw sugar called piloncillo!
**Also, I don’t believe mint is Native to the New World. I briefly considered Cilantro; but, I think that is from China. I considered a couple others; but, they were all too hard to find or obscure, so I went back to the traditional mint.
NOTE: I created this drink for a Mixology Monday a couple months ago.
I’ve since discovered, after reading this webpage:
That my Pineapple Tequila Thing is strikingly close to the famous San Francisco Pisco Punch.
“LANNESâ€™ PlSCO PUNCH RECIPEâ€‚
“1. Take a fresh pineapple. Cut it in squares about 1â€‚by 1.5 inches. Put these squares of fresh pineappleâ€‚in a bowl of gum syrup to soak overnight.â€‚That serves the double purpose of flavoring theâ€‚gum syrup with the pineapple and soaking theâ€‚pineapple, both of which are used afterwards inâ€‚the Pisco Punch,
“2. In the morning mix in a big bowl the following:â€‚l/2 PINT (8 OZ.) OF THE GUM SYRUP,â€‚PINEAPPLE FLAVORED AS ABOVEâ€‚1 PINT (16 OZ.) DISTILLED WATERâ€‚3h PINT (10 OZ.) LEMON JUICEâ€‚1 BOTTLE (24 OZ.) PERUVIAN PISCO BRANDY
“Serve very cold but be careful not to keep the ice in tooâ€‚long because of dilution. Use 3 or 4 oz. punch glasses. Putâ€‚one of the above squares of pineapple in each glass. Lemonâ€‚juice or gum syrup may be added to taste.”
Just bizarre! Even when I try to be creative, I discover that my ideas have been thought of before. Well, OK, they didn’t serve it julep style or spice their pineapple-gomme syrup. Still!