Enjoy summer and get fruity with those party drinks

Roasted Pineapple–Infused Tequila
Dawn Egan

THE best thing about summer? Seasonal fruits. The best thing about summer fruits? Their endless possibilities to transform spirits into amazing cocktails. And there's no easier way to do that than by infusing your favourite liquor with ridiculously juicy, ripe produce.

Vodka often gets all of the attention when it comes to infusions. As does tequila.

Though these spirits can take on countless flavour combinations, why should they have all the fun? Infusions range from fruity tequila and bourbon to spicy gin.

Around the world a popular boozy infusions brings together tequila and pineapple.

It's a killer combination. The pineapple is roasted and over the course of two days imparts its flavour to the spirit. After straining, the infusion can be enjoyed neat or mixed in cocktails like the Margarita or the Mojito.

The smoky notes of the tequila and the caramelised flavours in the roasted pineapple complement each other well and give drinks a tropical flavour. Another mouth-watering recipe is gin infused with both cool cucumber and spicy jalapeño.

Anyone who's familiar with Hendrick's Gin will know how well the flavour combination works, but adding chile heat fires up Martinis and Gin and Tonics. Leave the infusion overnight for best results. Try these recipes while the pickin's still fresh.

Roasted Pineapple–Infused Tequila

12 one-inch cubes fresh pineapple

12 oz Tequila

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the pineapple on an unlined nonstick baking sheet and roast for one hour (or until slightly browned). Let cool.Combine the pineapple and Tequila in a 16-ounce jar, seal and shake for 30 seconds. Let sit at room temperature overnight. Strain through a cheesecloth, squeezing out any excess liquid. The infusion will keep in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Spicy Cucumber Gin

12 oz Gin

10 slices Cucumber

½ Jalapeño, cut lengthwise with seeds removed. Combine all ingredients in a 16-ounce Mason jar. Seal and shake for three seconds. Let infuse at room temperature for 12 hours or until the infusion is at the desired level of spiciness. Strain through a cheesecloth. The infusion will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


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