Happy Rum Day to all! I’ll take any excuse to drink rum, especially smack dab in the middle of summer. For this liquid holiday, I’ve decided to share one of my favourite rum creations, which pairs semi-savoury cilantro with sweet pineapple.
I love, love, LOVE cilantro, but it wasn’t always so. One of my earliest memories of cilantro was in a Peruvian dish called seco, which stewed out this fresh and floral herb into an unrecognizable green sludge, which tasted little of the vibrant original. However, working in an Asian restaurant for a bit, showed me how lovely fresh cilantro can be, particularly when paired with spicy or fruity foods. Now I love it and look for any place to put it. I wish I could roll about in it like a kitty in catnip.
I have never been too fond of the piña colada, finding it a bit too cloyingly sweet so this is a spin on the traditional, using super fresh ingredients and letting the rum and cilantro balance the natural sweetness from the pineapple and coconut.
Cilantro is an herb that can carry a lot of gritty bits of dirt, so to ensure you won't end up with any unpleasant granules, I suggest washing it thoroughly under running cold water. Then fill a large bowl or container with cold water and submerge the cilantro and let sit for at least 10 minutes. This will allow any remaining dirt to sink to the bottom of the container and you will be left with pristine cilantro.
If you are one of those people who absolutely abhor cilantro, try switching it out for some fresh mint.
Makes 4 cocktails
1 can of diced pineapple in syrup, frozen
1 coconut, cracked and water reserved
1 bunch of cilantro, well washed
1 cup of passion fruit juice
4-8 ounces of aged rum (depending on how strong you want the drinks)
Line a large, flat-bottomed plastic container with plastic film and parchment (this makes it easier to remove the frozen pineapple) and pour in the canned pineapple with the syrup
Place in the freezer and let freeze for at least 1 hour, up to overnight
Carefully crack the coconut and reserve the coconut water
In a blender combine the frozen pineapple, coconut water, passion fruit juice and rum
Blend on high until the frozen pineapple is completely incorporated
Take a generous pinch of cilantro and rub it on the rim of each of the cocktail glasses. This allows the volatile aromas of the cilantro to cling to the glass and meet the nose of the drinker, making it a truly sensory experience
In the bottom of each glass muddle about 1 teaspoon of cilantro (or more if you are a big fan, like me!)
Fill each cocktail glass with the blended cocktail and garnish with more cilantro