I have your next hit cocktail — it’ll be gangbusters. Prepare yourself. For The PPD.
“What is The PPD?” You may ask. It’s the perfect thing to impress your date. It will run out at your party, leaving people begging for more. It suits both chick flick night and sports night without fail.
The PPD is, dare I say, magical in its symphony of flavors. Dark caramel meets sweet and juicy pineapple where it becomes candied, and a subtle heat is then introduced with chili flakes. The pineapple is reserved for garnish, because I love it when my drinks come with snacks, don’t we all?
When the spicy pineapple caramel syrup is cool, it’s combined over ice with freshly squeezed lemon juice for tang and bourbon for its warmth and molasses character. After your first sip, you’re left with a heightened sense of, “Oh my, what is this? Oh, yes.” It’s a very strong offering. You should probably make this tomorrow.
So here’s to your cocktail party, your boo-thang, and your before-dinner treat. Here’s to The PPD.
The PPD Cocktail
Spicy Pineapple Caramel Syrup (yields 1 1/4 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pineapple,
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 part syrup
- 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 parts bourbon (or fizzy water for a non-alcoholic version)
Begin by cutting off the ends of the pineapple, stand it on one side, cut off all the skin, slice it into 1/2 inch slices, and then quarter the rounds.
Add the sugar and 3 tablespoons of water (it should look like wet sand) to a medium saucepan or pot over medium-high heat (the mixture should look like wet sand to start). Make sure all the sugar is saturated, and then let it cook for 3 to 5 minutes without stirring. Avoid stirring the mixture too much or it will crystalize. If you see a dark spot form, gently mix the caramel with a wooden spoon. Cook the caramel until dark brown and you see the first billow of smoke rise from the pot, about 7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 tablespoons of water to loosen the caramel (mind the splatter). Then add scant 1 cup of water. Scrape down any hardened bits of caramel into the liquid. Add the pineapple, chili flake, and vanilla. (If the caramel seizes up when you add the water, don’t worry, it will cook down into a syrup again.) Cook with the lid on for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pineapple starts to look a touch translucent and its flavor is imparted on the syrup. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool completely. Remove the pineapple with tongs or a slotted spoon, and drain them on a wire cooling rack.
For the cocktail, stir the syrup, lemon juice, and bourbon together over ice. (For the “parts,” if you’re making an individual drink, use a shot glass, and if you’re making a pitcher for a party, use a cup.) Serve with a slice of the drained, reserved pineapple.
(See photos below for stages of the caramel, the last being immediately before adding the additional water and extra ingredients.)