Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Charred Pineapple and Vanilla Rum

I have been making differently flavoured alcohol for a few years now, mostly vodka and occasionally gin. I tend to let the flavourings do their thing for at least a year before tasting. There a few exceptions, I recently made a horseradish vodka that needed a few hours infusion time, max, but generally with fruit I like to leave it for as long as possible. Not too long ago, I wanted to make a flavoured spirit for a gift- not vodka or gin- and with only about a fortnight to make it in. I turned to my fried Toby, who makes incredible cocktails, as well as tinctures, homemade ginger beer, and all sorts of delicious things to drink or make drinks with. He suggested charred pineapple and vanilla rum, which could be done in a week. I was surprised, but not sceptical about the short infusion time- I trust his advice in these matters completely.

This is how I did it:

Peel and cut one ripe pineapple into slices . Char the pineapple slices- I did this by skewering it, and holding if over the flame of my gas hob. You could use a blow torch, or even a lighter. Put the pineapple slices in a 1 litre jar, add a few spoons of demerara sugar, and top with rum- I used golden rum. Put the lid on, and give it a shake to help dissolve the sugar. Leave for 6 days, then add a vanilla pod- I crushed it slightly with the flat side of a knife before adding it, to help release the aromatic oils. Leave for another day, strain and bottle.

I was really pleased with the results- I had to try some before giving it away, of course, for quality control purposes. Now, I like to always have a bottle on hand for myself. It's nice on its own, but I like it even more in a daiquiri. The basic recipe for a daiquiri is here, I substituted the white rum for the pineapple rum, and cut used a touch less sugar syrup, as the flavoured rum is sweetened already.

I've been playing with the recipe too- I don't always include the charring step, depending on what I feel like drinking, and how bothered I can be. The last batch I made, I used spiced rum, and added a bay leaf instead of a vanilla pod for the final flavoring- this has been my favourite version so far.

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