Jul 31, 2022

Pineapple Ginger Smash

Prep Time: 10 mins
This pineapple ginger smash makes for a great cocktail (or mocktail, sans alcohol).

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Made with muddled ginger, lemongrass and cilantro with pineapple juice and vodka, this fruity and zesty cocktail is perfect for a hot summer day. Pineapple and cilantro are a common pairing in Mexican cooking and works just as well in this refreshing cocktail as in salsas or marinades.

Pineapple Ginger Smash 

Pineapple Ginger Smash with ingredients

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Vodka – Vodka is a clear, distilled spirit. It’s made by extracting starch from various grains, fruits and vegetables; commonly potatoes, wheat or rice. Unless flavors are added, vodka at its base is less flavorful than other spirits making it a great liquor for flavorful drinks like this.
  • Pineapple – Sweet and tart pineapple juice is perfect in summer cocktails and pairs well with zesty ginger and herby cilantro. Look for 100% fruit juice or fresh pressed pineapple juice for this recipe. 
  • Ginger – Peel away the skin of ginger with a spoon. It helps to navigate the uneven texture. The spicy flavor of fresh ginger root complements the sweet flavors of the pineapple and masks the alcohol. 
  • Lemongrass –  Lemongrass adds a bright, lemony flavor to this cocktail. I only use the bottom yellow part of the stalk (the top part is typically much too tough). Muddling it helps to release the flavor. Fresh lemongrass is best rather than using a pre-packaged paste since it has a more complex flavor.
  • Cilantro – Muddling the cilantro helps to infuse the cocktail with fresh, woodsy notes. If you don’t want any remaining bits of cilantro in your cocktail, I recommend double straining the drink through a fine mesh strainer. 
  • Agave – Rather than adding simple syrup to this cocktail recipe, I add a bit of agave, a natural sweetener. Agave has a neutral flavor and comes from the agave plant. 
  • Lime juice – A bit of citrus goes a long way to balance the flavors and brighten up this cocktail. 

How to Make a Pineapple Ginger Smash

mixing the Pineapple Ginger Smash ingredients
Step 1: Muddle aromatics. 

Add the ginger, lemongrass and cilantro to a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to press down and twist the mixture. Repeat this a few times until the ginger releases juice.

pouring the vodka into the Pineapple Ginger Smash
Step 2: Add liquid.

Add the vodka, pineapple juice, agave and lime juice.

shake the ingredients
Step 3: Shake.

Then add ice to the shaker, then close the top and shake vigorously.

straining and serve the Pineapple Ginger Smash
Step 4: Strain and serve.

Strain the mixture into a low-ball glass filled with ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

How to Make this Cocktail into a Mocktail! 

Whether you’re sober, sober-curious or simply trying to drink less, this summer cocktail can easily be made sans-alcohol. Omit the vodka and add 2 ounces of water to cut the sweet, tart and spicy flavors. If you prefer a drink on the fizzy side, top the drink with a splash of soda water instead of water. 

Swaps and substitutions 
  • The vodka can be swapped for another liquor like tequila or rum, based on preference. 
  • Are you one of those people where cilantro tastes like soap? You can simply omit it in this recipe!
  • A fan of spice? Cut a few slices of jalapeño and muddle them with the ginger and lemongrass for a spicier take on this cocktail. 
  • If you can’t find lemongrass, it can be omitted. 
served Pineapple Ginger Smash

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this cocktail recipe, I recommend giving these a try: 

Pineapple Ginger Smash

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1” knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, lower tender part only, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce agave
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • Pineapple wedges, for garnish

Instructions:

  • Add the ginger, lemongrass and cilantro to a cocktail shaker. Use a muddler to press down and twist the mixture. Repeat this a few times until the ginger releases juice.
  • Add the vodka, pineapple juice, agave and lime juice.
  • Then add ice to the shaker, then close the top and shake vigorously.
  • Strain the mixture into a low-ball glass filled with ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

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