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Drink DuJour: Bar Belly’s Pineapple Express

A simple yet striking take on the classic daiquiri

Summer is upon us, and there’s hardly a better time to sip something bright, shaken, and rum-based. A classic daiquiri with rum, lime, and sugar usually does the trick. It’s a straightforward template that’s sure to please when well-executed (balance is key), and like many classic drinks, it serves as the perfect blank canvas for a good riff.

At Bar Belly on New York City’s Lower East Side, improved classics are a strong suit. The cocktail menu boasts interesting takes on otherwise simple recipes. An espresso martini made with Turkish coffee, Thai coconut, and tonka bean water, a green cardamom mule, a cucumber melon gimlet layered with aromatics like lemongrass and peppercorn is a standout…but perhaps most noteworthy is one perfectly suited to the home bartender.

‘Liquid Director’ Federico Avila’s Pineapple Express is a daiquiri variation that extends one ingredient into three different uses and minimizes waste in the process. It is less esoteric than some of its fellow drinks on the menu, but no less exciting in the flavor department. After juicing a pineapple, creating a syrup using the juice, and infusing the rind into rum, Avila combines the three ingredients with fresh lime before shaking and fine straining into a coupe. “The final product is a silky, well-balanced, and very refreshing daiquiri with floral and grassy notes,” he says. It goes down just a bit too easy–luckily, Avila’s make-at-home recipe (slightly simplified from the bar’s more complex version) produces enough infused rum and syrup for multiple rounds.

.75oz lime juice
.75oz pineapple juice
.75oz pineapple syrup*
2 oz pineapple-infused white rum**

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously. Double strain into a coupe glass.

*Pineapple Syrup: Combine one part pineapple juice to two parts sugar in a pot on low heat until sugar dissolves completely (do not boil). Allow to cool and store in glass bottle in refrigerator. Syrup should last for approximately one month.

**Pineapple-Infused Rum: Place the rinds of one pineapple into a container with 1 liter of white rum. Place in refrigerator and allow to infuse for approximately 24 hours; remove rinds and store at room temperature in glass bottle.