Unfortunately for us, we did not discover this drink while lying under palm trees on a dreamy island vacation at the eponymous Hawaiian resort where it was created; instead we stumbled upon it while lying on our couch and flipping through the pages of Shannon Mustipher’s always enticing Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails. What attracted us to this beverage was the promise of delivering all the tropical goodness of a tiki drink, but in a much shorter, more compact package.
The combination of Pineapple and bourbon is a secret weapon in the cocktail world, and here that combo works to perfection. Mustipher draws parallels to an amped up whiskey sour and—with its hefty dose of fruit—it reminds us of a Wisconsin style old fashioned. The drink delivers layers of fruit and spice: bourbon and pineapple are present from start to finish, with spice from the bitters on the nose and a nice wash of even more fruit at the end. The drink has a really nice yellowish orange opaque color, providing the perfect opportunity to break out the pineapple fronds for a fresh green garnish. It's fruity and caramelly flavors of pineapple—all in the sour style—brings to mind another excellent contemporary drink: the Sutter's Mill.
Mustipher recommends overproof bourbon: specifically Booker’s or Old Grandad 114, and we can see why that recommendation is a good one; the body of the drink is quite fruity and sweet so the high proof balances things out. That said, if you don’t have overproof on hand, any good bourbon will do. For a subtle tweak, we tried King Floyd’s aromatic bitters in this mix and it was exceptional, adding a lot to the nose of the drink. Use fresh citrus juice and high quality pineapple juice, and leave the old school cheap grenadine on the shelf, or even better: make it yourself. This drink is also easily scaled to a punch. Just follow the same ratios.