What makes this drink so unusual is that it is made by fermenting the rind of the watermelon, which normally gets tossed away. The pineapple, (this one from the farmers market), is carefully washed, the rind cut off (the pineapple flesh can be eaten or saved for something else), and the skin chopped into pieces and soaked in a bowl of water on the counter for several days, before it is strained and mixed with a sweetener. Easy-peasy, eco-friendly, & fun--a perfect summery Simple Saturday Sipper!
Delia says, "This is a most extraordinary drink. It sounds so unlikely, but it really does taste good--not like pineapple juice but more like cider. It's very refreshing on a hot summer's day, and it's great fun to make in that it uses only the skin of the pineapple which is normally thrown away--so there is nothing to lose!"
"Delia's Summer Collection" by Delia Smith
the rind of 1 ripe medium pineapple, well rinsed
approximately 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar (I used honey)
sprigs of fresh mint
First of all cut the stalky top and the base off the pineapple and discard these. Now stand the pineapple upright on its base and, using a sharp knife, cut away the skin in long strips, working your way all around the fruit. Reserve the fruit itself for a dessert.
Now to get to work with a sharp knife, chopping the skin into small pieces about 1 inch (2.5 cm) square. Then pile them into a bowl, pour over 1 1/2 pints (850 ml) cold water, then cover the bowl with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 3-4 days or until the mixture is bubbly and fermenting. Strain it into a jug, add sugar to taste and serve with lots of ice and sprigs of mint.
Notes/Results: Refreshing and really good. I worried that the drink wouldn't have much flavor but it does. The pineapple flavor is there although it isn't as sweet, and it has a certain edge to it, the "cider-ish" taste that Delia Smith describes. Although the recipe calls for sugar, I used a local artisan honey and liked the flavor it added. Serve this one really cold over ice and it's quite a thirst-quencher--plus it's very fun to use something that you normally throw away to make a delicious drink. I will definitely make this again.
So what happened to the inside of the pineapple? Well, it is in the process of becoming homemade pineapple liqueur. It has been steeping in a mix of vodka and rum for a week, the chunks will be removed tomorrow and will be squeezed, the juice strained and sweetener added (more local honey for me.) Then it gets aged for a month before it is ready to use, so more on how the liqueur turns out and how I use in a later post. ;-)
I'm linking this post to girlichef for Two for Tuesdays Blog Hop Carnival. Check out her site here, (or one of the other 5 bloggers hosting) on Tuesday for all the links to the wholesome, natural "real food" out there in blogland. This Pineapple Cooler is made from local pineapple, and in this case local honey, simple, natural, whole food ingredients.