This past week I was on a much needed, and long planned, vacation in Maui. We had a great time relaxing and eating (and drinking) our way around the island. Trust me when I tell you that my waistline paid the ultimate price on that vacation. However, this little island getaway has given me lots of inspiration for both food and drink recipes which you’ll be seeing…starting today.
If you were following my twitter posts while I was gone, you can follow me at @MyMansBelly, you now know about my love affair with Mai Tai’s. But in a place that’s known for it’s fantastic pineapple, I had to supplement my Mai Tai diet with some pineapple drinks as well. One doesn’t want to be vitamin C deficient while traveling does one?
While the Mai Tai is considered one of the many pineapple drinks out there, the most famous of the pineapple drinks is certainly the Piña Colada. That snow white frozen libation topped (on the mainland) with a cherry and a tower of whipped cream that’s as tall as the glass itself. On Maui, it’s served with a wedge of fresh pineapple and no whipped cream (the humidity is no friend of the white fluffy stuff) and sometimes one of those plastic balls they call maraschino cherries (check out my recipe for a real maraschino cherry).
I’m not much of a fan of the ol’ Piña Colada though (blaspehemy – I know). It’s just too heavy for my liking. But I really like the combination of the coconut and pineapple flavors of the drink. Enter the Pineapple Martini. I had this flavorful martini one night when I was looking for something a little bit different, and less complicated flavors, but still had that amazing island elixir of fresh pineapple juice. Being my usual dirty minded self…I also call this drink the Peenie Martini. Because it really tastes like a Piña Colada Martini…but that’s just too much to say. Craig has not been amused by my drink naming skills.
The added benefit of the Pineapple Martini vs. the Piña Colada is that it can be considered a skinny drink. The average Piña Colada has 644 calories (that doesn’t include any fruit garnish or the whipped cream). The average Pineapple Martini only contains 146 calories. And the Pineapple Martini doesn’t have any fat calories at all…the Piña Colada can’t say that even if it doesn’t have the whipped topping. Skinny drink it is then!
This little cocktail couldn’t be easier to make. Just two simple ingredients that you can get at most any grocery store and you can have a bit of an island party right in your own living room. And you won’t even get any sand in your bathing suit. Which you’ll still be able to fit into courtesy of this skinny drink.
Don’t have the time, or the money, for a tropical vacation? Make your own tropical oasis at home. I know this sounds corny…or hokey…but it works (I’ve done this many times.) If you’ve got kids, get rid of them for the day/night/weekend. Don’t tie them up in the basement either…that will get children services called on you and their constant whining to let them out will ruin the good vibes. How about grandma’s house or calling a friend to take them for the night?
- Make up a pitcher of Pineapple Martini or some other tropical drink that you both like.
- Find a radio station that plays tropical music or buy a CD (these are usually really inexpensive)
- String some small white lights up around the room.
- Lay out a couple of beach towels or a blanket in the middle of the floor.
- Make up some finger food plates like steamed shrimp, cut up tropical fruit, nuts, chicken tenders with peanut sauce
- Put on your bathing suits (or at least a t-shirt and shorts)
Spend the evening drinking and relaxing and making up stories about your tropical day at the beach and how much fun it was.
Hey, kids are really good at pretending and imagining. As we get older we stop doing that, because “it’s not what adults do.” Pretending and imagining that you’re on a tropical vacation is a lot easier to do when you have the right props (tropical drinks, foods, beach towels). Lighten up and have some fun with it. You’ll be surprised at how relaxed you feel. And another bonus? No long security lines, nasty flight attendants or suitcases to lug around.
Pineapple Martini Recipe
Makes 1 drink
- 2 Ounces Coconut Rum (I used Malibu Rum)
- 2 Ounces Pineapple Juice (fresh or canned)
- Pineapple Wedge (optional)
In a shaker filled with ice add pineapple rum and juice.
Cover and shake vigorously.
Strain into martini glass.
Garnish with a pineapple wedge and serve.