Once a highly favorable sipping spirit in Dickensian England, pineapple rum faded from fashion and was all but lost until Maison Ferrand proprietor and rum master blender Alexandre Gabriel partnered with spirits historian David Wondrich. In 2014, the duo introduced a Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum (their third collaboration together), primarily based on a recipe from 1824. It was a one-off limited edition release at New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail. The initial batch was so well received that Gabriel decided to make it available every year, as a limited edition release in his Plantation Rum roster. This is not an artificially flavored alcoholic beverage; it’s infused with real pineapple rinds. It’s a nuanced, delightful sipper, with Trinidad’s Plantation Original Dark and Plantation Three Star White as its base spirits, and Queen Victoria pineapples infused therein.
To best understand how thoughtful and well-crafted the rum is, one must look at the inspiration and process. Gabriel and Wondrich source the “1824 English Journal of Patent and Inventions” and the “1844 Journal of Agricultural Society” for the basis of their creation. Their infusion method, however, is rather modern. The rinds (where essential oils reside) of Queen Victoria pineapples—widely considered the best—are infused with the white and dark rum (separately) for three weeks. The white rum concoction then gets distilled in pot stills, and is married with the dark rum infusion in barrels for three months. The result is entirely tropical, with pronounced pineapple flavor accenting the spiciness of the rum. However, it’s not fruity in the way that overly sugary fruit-based cocktails are. It’s far more dynamic and of the utmost quality.
Plantation Pineapple Rum is presently rolling out across the US and currently served at many of the best cocktail bars in NYC and Chicago. It can be purchased online for $30.
Images by Cool Hunting