If you’re in charge of drinks for your next outing or family holiday gathering and need a fresh idea, pineapple wine is a tasty drink that appeals to a wide range of people.
One of the great things about pineapple too is that while it’s definitely a tropical fruit, it’s available year round in just about every part of the world.
Pineapple wine can have a festive and tropical appeal if you’re at the beach, but it’s also a fine choice for holiday gatherings too – in some cultures it’s even served for Easter or Christmas!
So What Is Pineapple Wine?
It’s important to note right off the bat that there’s a little bit of ambiguity out there when it comes to pineapple wine. Some people’s idea of the term is a bona fide wine where ingredients are combined followed by a fermenting period that takes place.
Pineapple has extremely high natural sugar levels so it’s a perfect candidate for this method of winemaking. The caveat with this method is that the fermentation period can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on your recipe.
Others are really thinking of a pineapple wine punch when they hear the term “pineapple wine”. Punches typically rely on some combination of Moscato and pineapple juice, along with a few other ingredients to form a sweet and quite tasty mixed drink.
No matter which way you prefer, this guide is here to help you out! We’ll touch on methodology for both of these variations so that you can decide which is a better choice for your next get together.
How to Choose Your Pineapple
There’s no doubt that the fruit is the star of the show here, and choosing the right pineapple can make all the difference when it comes to pineapple wine – especially if you’re going the fermentation route.
The first question is the one of fresh vs canned pineapple. My short answer? Go with fresh if you have the option. Of course, it may not be prime season for pineapple or your local grocer may not carry them, so canned is definitely an option if you need to – you can still make perfectly tasty pineapple wine with canned fruit.
If you are using canned fruit for a pineapple wine recipe, you should make sure that the product you buy doesn’t include any additives or preservatives. These extra components can stall the fermentation process, or at a minimum will negatively impact the process.
If you’re using fresh pineapple, be sure to pick out a ripe pineapple to use for your wine. There are a few ways you can tell if a pineapple is ripe before you buy one. The easiest is to pick up the pineapple and smell it (you don’t have to get that close to it). Ripe pineapples will usually have a sweet smell, particularly near the base of the fruit.
Color wise, a ripe pineapple will have vibrant looking leaves and a greenish yellow exterior. Ripe pineapple will also be firm on the exterior but a little bit soft when you squeeze it.
Making Pineapple Wine
So here’s the thing – you can really go all out when it comes to making pineapple wine. And by that I mean you can bust out all of the fermentation equipment, hydrometers, acid testing kits, demijons, and so on to make your drink.
That’s all good and well – but in this recipe I’m assuming that you don’t have tons of specialized home brew handy. It’s designed to keep things as simple and easy as possible.
Here’s the equipment you’ll need:
- Large glass jar, or multiple smaller ones
And here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1.5 lbs pineapple
- 8 cups water
- 3 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
You’ll want to have more sugar and water on hand to proof the yeast and also to sweeten the wine if you want some extra sweetness after the process is finished.
Proofing the Yeast
- 4 tbsp warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
- 1 1/2 lbs pineapple, chopped
- 8 cups water
- 3 1/4 cups sugar
- Proof the yeast by adding sugar and water to a small pot over medium heat. Add yeast and stir quickly until combined.
- Once yeast begins to boil, turn off heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour 8 cups of water into a glass jar, then pour in the rest of the sugar.
- Add chopped pineapple to the glass jar.
- Add yeast mixture to the glass jar.
- Stir wine mixture then cover. Store glass jar of wine mixture in a cool, dark area.
- Over the first 24 hours, stir wine every 8 hours - this is to release carbon dioxide.
- After the first 24 hours, you only need to stir once per day.
- After 7 more days, strain wine into a new glass jar.
- Taste a small amount of the wine. It should taste a tiny bit sweet - if the wine is bitter add a cup of sugar to the wine.
- Cover and store the wine for another 7 days. After these 7 days - so 14 days total - the wine should be ready to serve.
- Serve chilled and enjoy!
- To clarify the wine, you can add a tiny bit of egg white to the wine and stir after the 14 days.
- A pinch of baking soda can make the wine less acidic.
- Many people bottle the wine after 14 days and store for an additional 7-10 days before serving, but this is totally up to you!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 1gSugar: 61gProtein: 1g
Alternative: Pineapple Wine Punch
If you’re in the mood for something a little more tropical and suited for poolside enjoyment, pineapple wine punch is the way to go. This one is a guilty pleasure of mine and goes down really easy on hot summer days by the water.
- 750 ml Moscato (can substitute your favorite sweet white wine)
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1 cup orange juice
- 18 oz Sprite
- Pineapple to garnish
Combine all of the ingredients into a large pitcher and stir well and chill. Be sure to stir well quickly before you serve the punch as the pineapple juice pulp will settle to the bottom of the pitcher.
That’s a Wrap
Any time you can make a big batch of a drink ahead of time for a get together or party, I’m all about it. Bona fide pineapple wine takes a while to make to completion, but the payoff is worth it at the end. If you’re looking for an easy recipe to put together just before party time, the pineapple wine punch is as straight forward as it gets and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Have you tried either of these methods? How did it go? Have suggestions for our recipes or methodologies? Let us know about it in the comments section below.