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American Welcome Drink - Pineapple Ginger with Rum

An American Welcome Drink by SeasonWithSpice.com

Pineapples and murder?

From prosperity in the East to hospitality in the West, the pineapple is a positive symbol around the world.  But when I was a child, the pineapple symbolized mystery and murder.

The historic and infamous Glensheen Mansion – along the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota – is a trove of pineapples.  Pineapples carved in the woodwork and furnishings.  Pineapples hanging from light fixtures.  Pineapples decorating stairwells and entryways.  Symbols of welcome throughout the eerie 38-room home.

While the pineapples caught my eye as a child, it was the whispers that intrigued me.  A decade earlier, in 1977, a nurse was killed with a candlestick holder as she confronted an intruder on the elaborate, central staircase.  Moments later, the intruder entered a second-floor bedroom and smothered the 83-year old heiress, Elisabeth Congdon, with a pillow from her bed.  A Clue-like event intentionally left out from the tour, but clearly on everyone’s mind.

Luckily, a sinister association of a child’s imagination is only temporary.

Sweet bali pineapple from penang, malaysia

Seeing pineapples of all different shapes and colors in Penang during Chinese New Year – representing a prosperous future – is a reminder of the powerful symbol of the fruit.

In Western culture, the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality.  A sign to guests that the house is a welcome place for them.  The origins of this practice date back to early colonial America, when fresh pineapples were a luxury item from the Caribbean.  To honor guests into the home, the hostess would create an extravagant centerpiece for the dining room table, adorned with a pineapple on top.  If the family could not afford to buy a pineapple, but wanted to honor their guests – as well as appear more affluent than they were – the hostess could rent a pineapple from a grocer.

This custom of the fresh pineapple on top of the centerpiece led to the popularity of pineapple motifs in the home, as just as significant a sign of hospitality.  That is why throughout the US, especially on the East Coast and in the South, pineapple motifs can be found in many historic mansions.  And the tradition continues to this day, as pineapple is a popular design for stair finials.

Pineapple-Ginger cocktail by SeasonWithSpice.com

There couldn’t be a more appropriate American Welcome Drink than a pineapple one…with rum.  Since bottles of rum accompanied the shipments of pineapple from the Caribbean to colonial America, I’m sure the first American cocktail was created on-board.

Fresh ginger for making cocktails

For a bit more bite, I blended in fresh ginger, and after one sip, the spicy sweet drink had me wondering why pineapple and ginger are not combined more often.

Ginger-Pineapple Rum Cocktail by SeasonWithSpice.com
To carry on the tradition of honoring guests with a fresh pineapple on top, I did just that, by topping the drink with a dwarf pineapple.  The most tropical drink you’ve ever seen, but more American than apple pie.

An American Welcome Drink by SeasonWithSpice.com

Spiked Pineapple Ginger Drink recipe by Season with Spice
Makes 2 drinks

2 cups fresh pineapple – core removed and chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 tsp sugar*
1/2 cup water
Ice cubes
Splash of milk (optional)
2 shots of rum

1. Add pineapple, ginger, sugar, water, and five ice cubes (and milk, if adding) into a blender, and blend until smooth and foamy.
2. Add five ice cubes into both glasses, along with a shot of rum.
3. Pour mixture into glasses and serve immediately while still foamy. If you can find two dwarf pineapples, top each glass with one.

* I used a Bali pineapple (Malaysian pineapple) which is very sweet, so you may need to adjust the sugar amount depending on what type of pineapple you use.
- If you’re out of rum, try it with vodka.


BiteMyCake said...

This is one of my favorite fruits. This is perfect. The first picture with that cute pineapple on top of this heavenly drink-precious :)

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Tamara, I still can't believe there is a pineapple small enough to top a drink.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

When I got the email notification, I almost doubt my eyes because pineapple is ON TOP of the drink... I can't help coming here to say I almost fell off the chair (maybe exaggerated). =) I feel like drinking this one rather than regular coffee/mocha in the morning. Sounds so delicious!

Indonesia Eats said...

Love the last shot here! Pineapple always reminds me of nanas goreng (pineapple fritters), pacri nanas, pineapple fried rice, kue nastar (pineapple tarts). Not to mention the pineapple juice at the steer food hawker

seasonwithspice said...

That's funny, Nami. I was thinking some people might see the picture and assume the glass was gigantic to hold an entire pineapple.

Since you love ginger, I highly recommend making this one.

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Pepy! Pineapple actually reminds me of those dishes/snacks too, which is odd since I'm from Minnesota where I should be reminded of canned pineapple rings:)

Kevin (Closet Cooking) said...

Now that is one nice looking drink!

Alexander said...

This sounds and looks delicious

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Kevin!

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Alexander, definitely give it a try

Emily @LivingLongfellow said...

We've been dying for an Asian beach vacation one of these days, and this drink caught my eye. What I'd do to drink one of these on a beach in Koh Tao. Maybe if I drink this it will somehow teleport me there. Funny you mentioned Glensheen. I grew up about 2 miles from there, and we'd occasionally go for the tours. Kind of a freaky place, but memorable nonetheless!

seasonwithspice said...

Hi Emily, that's interesting you grew up so near to Glensheen. I'm sure the kids in the neighborhood must have had plenty of ghost stories about the house. We drove by there a few times during our last trip to Duluth, but didn't go in. Next time, definitely.

Sara said...

This looks amazing! I so need to try it out...fun making your own cocktails! :)

seasonwithspice said...

Thanks Sara! Yeah, lots of fun making cocktails at home.

laumo said...

can someone advise me how to make the traditional hawker pineapple drink. I crave for it after being away for 10 over years.

Season with Spice said...

Lots of added sugar:)

Kelli said...

Sounds awesome! Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

Olusia konwa said...

dwarf pineapple is simply beautiful not mention all the rest :)

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