This was my cocktail last night for the Giffard West Cup 2019 called Well Seasoned.
We were tasked with a "Less is More" theme using Giffard's Carribean Pineapple and only one other ingredient measured in mL, the rest expressed in dashes, drops, or splashes.
50ml of Giffard's Carribean Pineapple
30ml of Glenfiddich's Fire & Cane
13 drops of 80/20 saline solution
4 dashes of black pepper tincture
3 dashes of citric acid solution
When I first tasted the Caribbean Pineapple I was pleasantly surprised by it’s complexity and the layers of flavour in the spirit, with distinct tanginess fresh pineapple, the fruity sweetness of a ripened pineapple and undertones of spice and rind. But one flavour that really stood out to me was the hint of grilled pineapple and that became the inspiration for my cocktail.
The great caramelized smokey flavour in a grilled pineapple comes from the Maillard reaction, when the pineapple hits that intense heat of the grill and the reducing sugars and amino acids in the fruit begin to create new flavours and aromas.
In order to create those decadent, smokey, caramelized flavours of the Maillard reaction in the cocktail without complicating the recipe I went with a single malt scotch that was partially peated to add that campfire smokiness that would come from a charcoal grill. To further tie the two main ingredients together the Fire & Cane is finished in South American rum casks as the Caribbean Pineapple liqueur is lengthened with a 7 year old rum.
Now as any chef knows if you have quality ingredients you don’t need much to showcase their flavours. So to finish my cocktail I seasoned it well with just salt and black pepper because I didn't want to overshadow the great flavour combination of the pineapple liqueur and the scotch, and that's how the cocktail got its name.