Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pineapple Cooler--A Unique & Tasty Simple Saturday Sipper (Or...What Do You Do With YOUR Pineapple Rinds?!)

We have a saying here; "Lucky we live Hawaii" that can pertain to many things--the weather, the gorgeous scenery, the friendly people and laid-back island culture, even the abundance of things like sweet juicy local pineapple. They are so sweet and good that you hate to waste any part of them so I was excited to find a recipe for a unique Pineapple Cooler in my copy of "Delia's Summer Collection" by Delia Smith. (Purchased for $1 at the Friends of the Library sale. Yes, I know I keep repeating that, but I loves me a bargain!)

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!"

Pineapple Cooler
"Delia's Summer Collection" by Delia Smith
(Serves 6-8)

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.

Happy Saturday!


  1. I am so pleased you tried this! I have been looking at this recipe for more than 10 years now and never tried it!

  2. HOMEMADE LIQUEUR! You are every med student's dream, I hope you realize. Given how much "we" drink! And that cooler sounds incredibly refreshing...definitely necessary for this super wet heat.

  3. Deb - This is such an exciting post! I love that you can make a drink with the pineapple rind. The final product looks to have a beautiful yellow color, just like a pineapple! And, the pineapple liqueur-Whoa! I bet that stuff is going to good enough to drink straight up-LOL!

    I've been wanting to make my own liqueur lately, but I always forget to pick up vodka on my trip into Lexington.

  4. You always make the best drinks! This one is so unique! And refreshing and delicious sounding too. And that liquor - that's something special too!

  5. Deb, thanks for such a wonderful recipe, it looks superb and I am sure tastes even better than that.

  6. While I think I live in paradise, Hawaii is THE paradise. Our pineapple mostly comes from Costa Rica. Nothin' like Hawaiian pineapple. I LOVE the concept of this drink. The liqueur, I'll bet, will be awesome! Looking forward to hearing how that turns out, and how you use it.

  7. homemade liqueur is so fun to make! can't wait to see how it turns out.

  8. OMG, that's gorgeous!! I've seriously been contemplating making some of the liqueur for some time now. Seriously, beautiful. I wish I had one of those coolers to sip on right now... Plus, thanks so much for sharing it with Two for Tuesdays this week...mmmmmm ;)

  9. I LOVE this idea. I hate wasting with a passion this is an awesome idea! (Thanks for rubbing it in about Hawaii by the way!) Going to try both of those ideas...

  10. The drink looks awesome and the pineapple liquer is going to be wonderful! Can't wait to see what you do with it!

  11. I can just taste how good this would be from the beautiful photographs. I have a recipe from Daisy Martinez that also used the skin from pineapples; Pineapple Vinagre, she calls it. It's used to dress vegetables and meats. Must try these. Thanks.

  12. This is a lovely drink and one that is novel to me. I can't wait to try it. Our pineapple does not come from Hawaii, but I think it will give we an idea of how this drink tastes. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  13. I am all about not wasting anything and this is one of the most original uses I have ever seen. That homemade liqueur is what I want some of!! I will be your newest follower so I don't miss what you do with it! Thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  14. Yummy! I love recipes that use parts of foods that we usually throw away. This cooler sounds awesome! I also love that you are making pineapple liquor! So, fun. Thanks for adding this to our Two for Tuesday blog hop this week!

  15. Thank you for sharing this at T4T. You had me at "it tastes like cider." I make apple cider every autumn. But to think I could make something similar in the summer blows my mind! Are there other fruits that can be used this way? Melon maybe?

  16. wow deb! I totally love this! I too hate to waste anything, so my rinds used to go into the compost bin. I totally love whey soda, so this is gonna be something I definitely try! As for the pineapple liquer, whooo hooo that sounds like the ticket for a good pina colada! Thanks for sharing the real food love on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! :) Alex@amoderatelife

  17. Deb, I am so glad I ran into you! This is fabulous! I am definitely making this next week :D Thanks so much for sharing this real recipe on Two for Tuesdays. I love that you added honey ;D I can't wait for the liquor recipe :D

  18. Aloha Deb! I too live in Hawaii and am trying this recipe. I covered it for 3 days... now there is some mold on the pineapple rinds. Is it still ok to drink? When I strained the juice, no mold was in the juice, but I wasn't sure if it's normal. Thanks for the post!

    Aloha from Maui,

  19. Hi Danielle,
    If the house is too warm, I find you can get a little mold in the three days beyond the regular fermenting scum. I have made it a few times now and had some mold growing on a couple of the batches but I kept scrapping it off and then strained it and it tasted just fine and didn't seem to hurt me at all so I think you should be fine.




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