We are not shy about our love of pineapple here; it smells heavenly, produces a beautiful and natural froth, and gives each drink a lovely and refreshing texture. We also adore split-base drinks, as they often yield adventurous experiences without requiring exotic bottles. Therefore, it goes without saying that a split-base cocktail that also employs pineapple would jump off the page to us. Indeed, this delightful mixture culled from the pages of the Nomad Cocktail Book sports many of the benefits from both camps; it offers a diverse and adventurous drinking experience combined with a creamy and refreshing body, yet most of the ingredients listed here are basics or easily procured at a grocery store.
This drink sits nicely alongside other excellent short pineapple drinks such as the Pago Pago Cocktail and Hotel Nacional Special. Like those drinks this recipe sports a fruity and complex flavor package, but with the added benefit of a split-base composition that is both herbal and smoky. At first whiff the drink shows off a fruity, herbal, and smoky bouquet. More fruit and agave come through on the sip with a bit of sweetness and smoke to finish. It’s a semi-tropical drink that benefits from the added dry gin without ever announcing it. Many who drink this might not be able to identify it, but the gin effectively backs the mezcal without overpowering it. Similarly, the addition of elderflower liqueur not only bequeaths this drink with a name (we thought Hawaii is burning might be more appropriate), but adds an extra note of fruitiness that helps cement this drink as neither tropical nor European, rather some strange amalgamation of the two.
One of our favorite parts about working with pineapple is the froth, however getting a nice head can require some finesse. We like to dry shake pineapple drinks for a few seconds before adding the ice, and afterwards even more froth can be acquired from the emptied shaker with a spoon. A light, neutral dry gin is an ideal choice here as it works best when supporting the mezcal. We like Ford’s gin in these situations, as it is cheap and laid back, yet still high quality. Consider the level of smokiness when opting for a mezcal, but do remember that a split-base is employed here, so it is safe to explore more flavorful options.