How to Make Pineapple-Infused Vodka
The equipment you need to make pineapple-infused vodka is nothing exotic, expensive, or hard to find. You might even have everything already. You will need:
- large glass jar (The kind with a spigot at the bottom is helpful but not a must.)
- large funnel
- large piece of cheesecloth
- large glass or ceramic bowl
- 1.75-litre bottle of vodka, (we prefer Tito's Handmade)
- 1 large pineapple, cut into large chunks
- Line the inside walls of a large, empty glass dispenser jar with large pineapple chunks. Stack them in a brick pattern or any other pattern you like. Truthfully, you could just dump the pineapple into the glass jar in a heap or in any fashion at all, but when the fruit is stacked in a nice pattern it makes an attractive addition to your bar or kitchen counter. Also, if the vodka is able to circulate around all sides of the pineapple, it helps the vodka become flavored more thoroughly and quickly.
- Pour the entire bottle of vodka into the dispenser jar. Make sure all pineapple chunks are entirely submerged. Cover the jar tightly. Set aside the empty vodka bottle for later. You can use it to hold your finished product.
- Place the jar on your counter top, in your bar, or in the pantry. We usually place ours up on the very top self of our pantry to keep any neighbor kids from deciding they need to pour themselves a big glass of "fruit juice." There is no need to refrigerate it because the alcohol in the vodka will preserve the pineapple, keeping it from spoiling or getting moldy.
- Allow it to sit for two weeks. If you like, taste the vodka periodically. You may be pleased with the taste before the full two weeks have passed. We have used some of ours for cocktails as soon as in nine days.
- After the two weeks (or however long you let it marinate) have passed, place a funnel in the opening of the original vodka bottle, then place a piece of cheesecloth into the funnel. Use the dispenser to pour as much of the vodka as possible through the cheesecloth and into bottle. If you wet the cheesecloth with a little vodka, the weight will help the cheesecloth stay down in the funnel better, which will prevent both a mess and wasted vodka.
- After you've drained all the vodka you can through the spigot, you may find that you have some left in the bottom of the jar. To get this out, we have found that it is easiest to pour the remaining contents of the jar into a bowl, and pour what's in the bowl into the bottle.
- When all you have left in the bowl is vodka-soaked pineapple chunks, place the pineapple pieces on the cheesecloth, wrap them up tightly in it, and squeeze any remaining liquid into the now-empty bowl.
- The vodka that you squeeze from the pineapple will have a much stronger pineapple flavor than the rest. To make the flavor of the entire batch homogenous, pour the vodka from the bottle into the bowl and mix well.
- The last thing to do is to pour your alcohol back into the original bottle or any other bottle of your choosing. It makes great gifts, especially if you have some pretty, smaller bottles you can divide it into.
- Store in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.
Step-By-Step Photo Instructions
Step 1: Line the sides of a large glass jar with pineapple chunks.
Step 2: Pour in the entire bottle of vodka.
Steps 3 and 4: Cover the jar, stow it away in a safe place, and allow the vodka to steep about 10 days to two weeks.
Step 5: Place a funnel in the original vodka bottle.
Also in step 5: Place a cheesecloth in the funnel.
Also in step 5: Pour the vodka through the cheesecloth into the funnel.
Step 6: Pour pineapple chunks and remaining vodka into a bowl.
Step 6: Pour the vodka from the bowl into the bottle.
Step 7: Wrap the pineapple chunks in the cheesecloth and squeeze out any remaining juice and vodka.
Step 8: Pour the vodka from the bottle into the bowl to mix flavors evenly.
Step 9: Return vodka to the bottle.
Tips for Success and FAQ
Here are some tips that I think should help you make this recipe a smashing success and some questions that get asked a lot. Please feel free to ask questions below or to add your tips to the conversation.
- Don't Use the Pineapple Core: This one speaks for itself. Don't use the core of the pineapple. It does something funky to the flavor.
- Mix-and-Match Flavors: While I used plain vodka, you can also use flavored vodka for a two-flavored vodka. For instance, you might use clementine vodka and infuse it with pineapple for a clementine-pineapple vodka!
- Vodka Quality Matters: Tito's is a good compromise. It's not terribly expensive, and it's good quality. Using a cheaper vodka, such as Svedka, is likely to negatively impact the taste of your final result. People have commented saying that Smirnoff "comes along beautifully."
What Should I Do With the Pineapple Pieces?
- Toss 'Em in a Blender and Make Alcoholic Ice Cubes: When you put water ice cubes into your drink, the ice eventually melts and dilutes your drink. You can combat this by pureeing your leftover alcohol-soaked pineapple bits with a bit of water (enough so that the puree is pourable) and freeze the result! Your ice cubes will then be made of more pineapple and alcohol, enriching the flavor of your drink as it melts rather than diluting it.
- Serve Them as Tasty Bites: Think of them as the equivalent of alcohol-soaked gummy bears. If your vodka happens to "finish" on the night that you're having a party, you can set the pineapple bits out as an added treat.
- Use Them as Garnish: Waste not, want not. The leftover bits look beautiful (and taste delicious) when used to garnish those sweet cocktails you'll be making.
How can I get my pineapple to stop floating?
- Use Canning Lids: One commenter had an issue with their pineapple trying to float away. They decided to use some canning lids to keep the rogue fruit from floating away.
These Drinks Can Be Dangerously Delicious!
Drinks made with pineapple vodka are fruity, fun, and fashionable. This sweet yellow fruit gives drinks that tropical taste that whisks you back to your favorite vacation spot, while the vodka packs plenty of punch. These drinks can be deceptively delicious because you can't really taste the alcohol, so take care when enjoying this liquor. Remember that many of these cocktails, for example the basic pineapple martini, are close to being straight vodka. Hand your car keys to the hostess, pace yourself, keep careful count of how many drinks you've had, and never, ever drink and drive.
Pineapple Vodka Cocktails, Martinis, and Shots
There are plenty of lip-smacking cocktails you can make with your pineapple-infused vodka. I've used "PIV" as shorthand for "pineapple-infused vodka." And feel free to adjust the proportions if you'd like things a little sweeter, a little less boozy, etc.
The Easiest of All: Drink It Straight
- Ice cubes
- Maraschino cherries (optional)
- Pineapple (optional)
- Simply plop a few ice cubes in a highball glass, pour some vodka over the ice, and enjoy.
- Garnish with a pineapple chunk and a maraschino cherry speared onto a cocktail pick, if desired.
- Place some ice and pineapple vodka in your cocktail shaker, shake well, and strain into a martini glass.
- As above, if desired, garnish with pineapple and a maraschino cherry.
- 3 oz pineapple vodka
- .5 oz pineapple juice
- Dash of lime juice
- Dash of triple sec of grenadine
- Shake together in a cocktail shaker with ice: 3 ounces pineapple vodka, .5 ounce pineapple juice, dash of lime juice, dash of triple sec or grenadine.
- Strain into martini glass, garnish with a pineapple chunks skewered on a cocktail pick.
- 1 oz PIV
- 1 oz raspberry liqueur
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- Shake together with ice: one ounce of pineapple vodka, one ounce of raspberry liqueur and .75 ounce pineapple juice.
- Strain into three shot glasses.
- 1.5 oz of PIV
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz pineapple juice
- Mix together 1.5 ounces pineapple vodka, 4 ounces orange juice, and 2 ounces pineapple juice.
- Pour over ice into a highball glass.
- 1.25 oz of coconut rum
- 1 oz Midori melon liqueur
- 1.5 oz of pineapple juice
- Splash of PIV
- Shake together in a shaker with ice: 1.25 ounces coconut rum, 1 ounce Midori melon liqueur, 1.5 ounces pineapple juice, a splash of cream and a splash of pineapple vodka.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- 1.5 oz PIV
- .75 oz blue curacao
- .75 oz raspberry liqueur
- 1/5 oz coconut rum
- Mix together 1.5 ounces pineapple vodka, .75 ounce blue curacao, .75 ounce raspberry liqueur, 1.5 ounces coconut rum.
- Pour over ice into a tall hurricane glass.
- Fill remainder of glass with pineapple juice.
Why We Make Our Own Pineapple-Infused Vodka
Making your own pineapple-infused vodka is easy and rewarding if you are a lover of cocktails. I'm not suggesting that anyone actually make vodka. I guess you could, but I don't know how—and I believe it is illegal in most states. However, what I do know how to do is turn a bottle of plain old vodka into yummy pineapple-infused vodka.
My husband and I, along with another couple, have long-standing tradition of splurging on a trip to Del Frisco's once a year for steaks and drinks. We usually order a great red wine with dinner, but before dinner, at the bar, we enjoy experimenting with the fun cocktails the bartender whips up for us. During our last Del Frisco's excursion, the bartender made us some fabulous pineapple-flavored drinks that we loved. We just had to get the recipe. My husband got to chatting with the bartender, and he explained that the drinks were simply pineapple-infused vodka shaken with ice and served martini-style. He showed us his huge jar of pineapple that was sitting in vodka, steeping, as the sweet, tropical flavor of the pineapple became infused in the vodka.
Infusing vodka with fresh pineapple flavor is definitely not a quick process. It requires several steps, plus allowing the vodka to sit for about two weeks, but the process is actually a fun little project and the results are delicious. Bring a bottle to the next party you attend, and you'll make all kinds of friends right away. It's a real icebreaker and conversation starter because everyone wants to taste it and learn how you made it.