Southern Charm Tip #94: Have a Signature Cocktail

Every Southerner should have a signature something. For some, it’s a color (blush or bashful, perhaps?). For others, it’s a strand of pearls. Here at Southern Living we endorse a signature cocktail. Since the pineapple has long been a symbol of hospitality (dating back to Columbus, but largely embraced by the South), we stirred up a pineapple cocktail to toast each season.

Even better: Print the cocktail recipe on pretty paper and package with pewter pineapple cocktail stirrers ($23 for set of 4, woodburypewter.com) and you’ll also have a signature, go-to hostess gift. How do you like them (pine)apples?

For Spring: Pineapple-Rum-Tea Punch

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 regular-size green tea bags (such as Tazo All Natural Zen Green Tea)
  • 1 (20-oz.) bottle lemon-lime soft drink, chilled
  • 1 cup light rum
  • 2 cups pineapple sherbet

Preparation Process pineapple, sugar, and lime juice in a blender or food processor 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, pressing to release juices. Discard solids. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and add tea bags. Cover and steep 7 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir tea into pineapple mixture; cover and chill 4 to 6 hours. Gently stir chilled lemon-lime soft drink and rum into pineapple mixture just before serving. Place pineapple sherbet in a punch bowl or individual glasses. Pour pineapple mixture over sherbet. Serve immediately.

For Summer: Strawberry Basil Pineapple Ade

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation Bring 6 cups water and pineapple to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil leaves. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Process pineapple mixture and strawberries in a blender, in 3 batches, until smooth. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a pitcher, discarding solids. Stir in lemon juice. Serve over ice, or cover and chill until ready to serve.

For Fall: Tailgate Sipper

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup chilled lemon sparkling water (such as Perrier)
  • 1/2 cup Southern Comfort
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation Process pineapple in a food processor or blender 30 seconds or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a 2-qt. pitcher, pressing to release juice. Discard solids. Stir in bourbon and remaining 4 ingredients. Serve immediately over ice.

For Winter: Pineapple Cranberry Wassail

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 navel orange, sliced
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation Bring first 7 ingredients and 4 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a pitcher, discarding solids. Stir in lemon juice. Serve immediately. White Wine-Pineapple-Cranberry Wassail: Prepare recipe as directed, reducing water to 2 cups and stirring in 2 cups dry white wine with lemon juice.

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