Tag Archives: simple syrup

A New Invention – Lime Strength Pineapple Juice

In Dave Arnold’s ‘Liquid Intelligence’, he talks about about a method he uses to increase the acidity of orange juice to make it act as a substitute for lemon or lime as the sour component in a cocktail. This got me thinking about other juices that might be suitable for the same treatment. Pineapple juice seemed like a likely candidate, as it’s got some acidity already, and conveniently pineapples have just gone on sale here.

I did some research on the acid content of pineapple juice, wading through various industrial science papers from the pineapple industry, and, as best as I can determine, pineapple juice has an acid content of about 1.2 g/100ml, of which 87% is citric acid and 13% is malic acid (the same acids as in lime juice, just in different proportions).

I picked up a small pineapple, peeled and cored it, and threw it in a blender. Then I strained it and squeezed it through a nut-milk bag to get rid of as much pulp as possible. My final yield was 400 ml of juice. I knew I wanted a final acid content of 6 g/100ml, so I needed to add 4.8 grams of acid per 100 ml, or 19.2 grams acid total for the 400 ml. I went with a mix of 15.6 g citric acid and 3.6 g malic acid (about 4:1, part way between the acidic composition of lime juice and that of pineapple juice). Then I stirred until dissolved.

Based on the combination of acids, I figured the taste would work best as a substitute for lime. I substituted the juice for lime juice in a gimlet and in a daiquiri, and both were spectacular. A couple nights later, at the local cocktail book club meeting (where we were, not coincidentally, discussing ‘Liquid Intelligence’) we tried it in a Last Word. Aside from being a bit to sweet (the pineapple juice has about 8 times the sugar as lime juice), this was also quite good. The only recipe I’ve found it to be an unsatisfying substitute for lime juice is a margarita.

Next time I’m going to try getting the acid ratio a little closer to the 7:1 ratio of pineapple juice (so 4.2 g citric and 0.6 g malic per 100ml) to see how that affects the flavor. My guess is that this will make it a better candidate for replacing lemon than lime.

Lime Strength Pineapple Juice
Peel and core a pineapple. Blend and strain, or run through a juicer. For every 100 ml of juice extracted add:
3.9 g citric acid
0.9 g malic acid
Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate, keeps at least a week, but the flavour is best right away. Use in place of lime in any recipe, but reduce the amount of simple syrup or liqueur or it will be a bit too sweet.

Pineapple Gimlet

Pineapple Gimlet
60 ml gin
25 ml lime strength pineapple juice
20 ml simple syrup
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Mixology Monday LXXIII: Jack Dandy


This will be my first attempt at a Mixology Monday post. I thought about keeping to my ongoing project instead of coming up with an original drink, but that would make sticking to Cardiff Cocktails‘ “Witches’ Garden” theme a bit tricky since the only fresh herb (or root, spice or bean) used in the entire “Playboy’s Host and Bar Book” is mint, which seemed a bit too obvious a choice.

So I decided to mix up something original with about the only ingredient I could gather right outside my window – dandelion. I thought perhaps dandelion-root coffee might perform well as a substitute for coffee in certain cocktails. I didn’t want anything that had coffee as the main ingredient, though, which eliminated a good chunk of the spiked-coffee type drinks. However, the Black Jack (or at least one of the drinks by that name) seemed a likely starting point. This cocktail apparently originated in 1914, and consists of equal parts brandy, kirschwasser, and cold coffee, with a sugared rim.

So I went out, dug up a dandelion root, and took a trip to the emergency room (long story). Once I was back on my feet I washed, dried, and roasted the root, which luckily gave me just enough for making 4 test drinks.

Substituting dandelion-root coffee worked better than I expected – I thought it would be a reasonable, but not perfect, stand-in. Instead, it hinted at coffee but was also very much its own thing. I tried a few proportions, but I like the equal parts the best. I also took the sugar off the rim and put it directly in the drink. The combination of ingredients really showcases the dandelion root flavours well – the smokiness from roasting the roots plays nicely with the brandy, and there’s a sort of nutty, chocolate flavour that enhances and is enhanced by the kirsch.

So here it is, a dandelion variation on the Black Jack:

Jack Dandy

Jack Dandy
20 ml brandy
20 ml kirschwasser
20 ml dandelion-root coffee*, chilled
10 ml simple syrup
Stir all ingredients together with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a dandelion flower.
*Dandelion-Root Coffee

Dig up dandelion roots. Wash them, chop them fine, dry them on a baking sheet for about 2 hours at 200° F. Add 2 tablespoons dried root to a saucepan. Roast over medium high heat until nicely browned. Pour in 1 cup of water. Let simmer, covered, for about 15 min. Strain. NOTE: 2 tablespoons per cup makes a pretty strong coffee, which is good for the cocktail but might be a bit much for drinking straight.

Edit: Here’s the roundup of this month’s Mixology Monday entries. Some great looking drinks there!