I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for creative cocktail ideas. While the standards are amazing and often my go-tos, I do like to mix things up a bit. If I see something new and different on the menu when I’m traveling, I’ll likely give it a try. I just may want to duplicate it when I get home.
As you know, I got the opportunity to set sail with Carnival a few weeks ago. While on the ship, there were myriad things to do. Usually, around 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon (after a day of sun and relaxation), I would make my way back to my room and get changed for the evening, Then I would take my sun-burnt, um, I mean beautifully tanned, self to one of the bars on the ship for a pre-dinner cocktail. While the ship has lots of bars to suit various tastes and personalities, I usually find one and stick with it. On this particular vacation, I fell in love with the Alchemy Bar.
The Alchemy Bar isn’t your average bar. As the name suggests, it has sort of a pharmacy theme and offers “relief for what ails” you. Specialty cocktails are its forte; no beer or soda in sight. What I loved most about the bar, however, was the unique flourishes they add to their cocktails. While I was there, I saw rosemary and cinnamon sticks lit on fire, the oils from an orange peel burnt over a cocktail, and smacked mint (We will get to that one in a second.)
Cocktails as an art form! Color me impressed. This quickly became the place for me. And my drink of choice? The Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini.
After just one sip, I was hooked. The combination of spicy heat, sweet pineapple, and fresh mint was Flavortown Heaven!
I asked the bartender how the cocktail came together. A couple key ingredients are jalapeño pepper infused vodka and chipotle pineapple syrup. Mixed with a few other flavorful ingredients, this cocktail was born.
A few weeks following my trip, I was eager to try my hand at making this drink. I made the spicy vodka using jalapeños. (I believe Alchemy Bar used habaneros.) I found that adding three jalapeños with the seeds removed to one bottle of vodka produced plenty of spicy kick. You can certainly add more peppers if you like things extra hot or just use traditional vodka to cut back on the heat. I let my vodka sit for a few days to soak in the jalapeño flavor.
I also found this Chipotle Pineapple syrup from Monin, which I later learned is the syrup that Carnival uses.
Let’s not forget about the garnish. As I mentioned, Alchemy Bar seems to be famous for their flourishes. For this particular cocktail, a leaf of mint is placed on the palm of one hand and is smacked with the palm of the other hand. It might seem a little silly, but it makes for an audible and memorable presentation. Plus, smacking the mint leaf releases oils which help to flavor the cocktail.
Now, with all my ingredients assembled, I was ready to shake up my own Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini!
Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini
- 2 ounces vodka, flavored with jalapeños
- 1 ounce chipotle pineapple syrup
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 6-8 mint leaves
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the vodka, chipotle pineapple syrup, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves (Reserve one leaf for garnish.). Shake vigorously.
Strain into a martini glass. To garnish, smack the reserved mint leaf between your palms, and float it on top of the cocktail.
I highly recommend giving this cocktail a try. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. In fact, I convinced quite a few people to try it while on the ship, and they were equally impressed.
Now, I’m off to sip my martini and pretend I’m sailing on the Caribbean again. Cheers!