Anyone who knows me knows I love a cocktail with a little spice to it. Actually, I love all things spicy whether it is food that has 

a great heat to it or a cocktail, like my Pineapples on Fire, that all but makes you wince with each sip. I once had the opportunity to participate in an amazing documentary film all about people and their love of spicy peppers called “Crazy Hot” by Eric Raine. I might be biased, but it is a must-see if you are anything like me and interested in seeing just how far this 

Pineapples on Fire

Pineapples on Fire

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rticular subcategory of “foodie” will go on the hunt for the hottest food and beverage experiences in the world. It might even make you appreciate spice a bit more! Honestly, I just love seeing people’s reactions when they take that first taste. That’s why I make sure spice is included in every cocktail menu I curate. Most people consider spice to be a flavor but it’s actually not! The most important thing I teach my teams all the time is that spice is a sensation, not a taste. It registers as pain on your palate so your body immediately releases dopamine to counteract the pain. To put it simply, it gives you a natural high.

When I’m working with cocktails I love identifying that perfect balance between spice and sweet. A great example of this is my Pineapples on Fire cocktail which is a real crowd pleaser! I adore how pineapple plays with the jalapeno, but really any fresh summertime fruit would have a similar effect. First of all, using fresh fruits allows you to cut back on any possible added sugar in the cocktail which makes you appreciate the beverage more with each sip. Spice pairs beautifully with all sorts of fruits, making my Pineapple on Fire recipe the most versatile summertime cocktail template! If you’re up for experimenting, try substituting pineapple with watermelon for that Fourth of July family cookout that’s coming up or maybe strawberries for a yummy brunch addition!

Here are a few behind-the-bar hacks that will help you with your ultimate home bartending skills!

Muddling Peppers

When muddling a pepper, you want to make sure you don’t bruise it. The goal is to gently release the oils with one good crunch. Once you release that flavor, muddle your fruit of choice over the top, and then add all the other ingredients. Always muddle in the container you will be shaking in to get maximum flavor!

Making for a crowd

Everyone loves to have a signature beverage available when hosting friends and family, but no one wants to be stuck behind the bar the whole time! That’s why I follow the 1:4 ratio rule when I know lots of people will be gathering together. Make a quick and easy pitch and then relax with your guests.

Now that you know everything, give this recipe a try. I’d love to hear what you think, so make sure to show your results on Instagram!

Pineapple on Fire

2 oz. Reposado Tequila

3 one inch pineapple cubes

1 slice of jalapeno

.75 oz. of Fresh lime juice

.5 oz. agave syrup

Favorite salt (mine is this Black Lava Salt)

 

Glassware: Rocks

Garnish: Cut Pineapple and Jalapeno on top

In a mixing tin muddle one jalapeno slice (or 2 if your feeling adventurous) and pineapple together. Add Reposado Tequila, lime juice and agave syrup.  Add ice to the tin and shake for 10 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass then garnish and enjoy. 

 

Note – I, personally, like to rim the glass of this cocktail. Here I used a black volcanic lava salt which I find to be striking in a cocktail. Now, there are many other salts in the cocktail world that work just as well, so regardless of what salt you have, sea salt or kosher salt, etc. this cocktail will do wonders.