Grilled Pineapple Chartreuse Swizzle

Grilled Pineapple Chartreuse Swizzle

I’m taking a cue from the barbecue for this grilled pineapple Chartreuse swizzle. The classic Chartreuse swizzle is a thing of beauty. It’s a combination of minty-herbal Chartreuse, spice-filled falernum, lime, and tropical pineapple juice all poured into a glass and swizzled with a mountain of crushed ice. It’s the type of refreshing cocktail you want to sip on the hottest of days. But grilling the pineapple before mixing into the swizzle takes this drink to the next level.

The History of the Chartreuse Swizzle

The Chartreuse swizzle was first mixed up in San Francisco by Marcovaldo Dionysos in a cocktail competition in 2003 and has been swizzled by bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts ever since. Adding in grilled pineapple lends layers of flavor to this modern classic that you can only get from caramelizing sugars and charring over a flame or high heat.  

What is a Swizzle?

A swizzle is a style of cocktail named for its technique. All of the spirits and ingredients are added into a glass and swizzled back and forth with a bar spoon—or a specific tool called a swizzle stick—in order to mix the ice around to properly chill and dilute the drink. When you see frost starting to coat the glass you know it’s ready to sip. 

The swizzle stick is traditionally made from the branches of the tree of the Quararibea turbinata in the Caribbean. The branches have star-like, radial spokes that when whittled down act as a whisk for crushed ice drinks. 

What You Can Use Instead of Chartreuse

With the scarcity of Green Chartreuse at the moment, here are a few replacements for the green spirit that I love:

  • Dolin Genepy Le Chamois liqueur – Considerably sweeter and more vegetal than chartreuse, it’s still one of the best substitutes.
  • Strega – A bit sweeter and lower ABV than Chartreuse, but it has lots of herbs to get the similar layers of complexity.
  • Faccia Brutto Aperitivo – Made from mountain herbs like Chartreuse, it has a lower ABV so you’ll need to add more of this spirit when substituting into your cocktail.
  • Élixir Végétal de la Grande-Chartreuse – This version of Chartreuse, also produced by the Carthusian monks, is more concentrated than regular green Chartreuse and is sold in a wee bottle inside a wooden case. It is currently easier to find, though it is so concentrated you should only use a teaspoon or so in this cocktail (or to taste).

Why is Chartreuse so Hard to Find?

Supply chain issues and shortages are not unfamiliar or surprising in the wake of the pandemic. The French herbal liqueur, Chartreuse, is no exception. Instead of supply chain issues putting a wrench in the green spirit’s distribution, increased popularity in cocktails and limited production of the spirit from monks in the Chartreuse Mountains are the cause here. A monk-ey wrench if you will. 

Rather than trying to keep up with demand, the Carthusian monks have announced that they are going about business and worship as usual. I have immense respect for the monks who are choosing to maintain their practice and lifestyle over keeping up with the spirited demand. It also makes every time we get to sip Chartreuse now a heavenly experience. 

Tips for Mixing Up a Chartreuse Swizzle

  • Muddle like you mean it — To muddle properly, use a muddler (or the handle end of a wooden spoon or a dowel) to press down on the pineapple, then twist firmly but gently. Repeat this process until the juice has been pressed out of the pineapple. The pineapple doesn’t need to be beaten to a pulp.
  • Crushed ice is nice — For any swizzle, you want a generous amount of crushed ice or pebble ice. To crush your own ice, use a Lewis bag and a mallet to crush ice cubes into fine shards. Alternatively, if you own a pebble ice machine, you can use these small, crunchy ice pellets instead.
  • How to swizzle —To use a swizzle stick, set it in the glass with the bottom of the stick on the bottom of the glass. With the stick between your palms, rub your palms together. This will cause the stick to…well…swizzle. If you don’t have a swizzle stick, you can use a barspoon instead.

“This cocktail is exceptional. It combines the aromatic, herbal flavor of green Chartreuse with the sweetly spiced falernum liqueur and the freshness of muddled grilled pineapple. Chartreuse is a bit hard to find these days, but this cocktail is well worth the search.” —Joan Velush

Grilled Pineapple Chartreuse Swizzle/Tester Image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Grilled Pineapple

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as avocado oil, for the grill grates

  • 1 small whole pineapple

  • 1/4 cup honey

For the Swizzle

  • 3 wedges grilled pineapple

  • 1 1/4 ounces Green Chartreuse

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce falernum liqueur

  • Cinnamon, for garnish

  • Pineapple frond, for garnish

  • Lime wheel, or edible flower, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Coat grill grates or a grill pan generously with oil. Turn your grill on medium or place the grill pan on the stove over medium-high.

    Ingredients to make a grilled pineapple chartreuse swizzle cocktail

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Cut off the pineapple crown, reserve the fronds. Cut a 1/2-inch-thick slice from the base and discard. Leave the peel on. Cut the pineapple in half from top to bottom through the core.

    A cutting board with a pineapple cut in half, a bottom slice, and top with fronds

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Slice the pineapple halves crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half moons. Brush honey on both sides of the pineapple slices.

    A cutting board with half moon slices of pineapple brushed with honey

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. When the grill is hot, add the pineapple to the grill or grill pan. Cover if on the grill and let cook for about 4 minutes per side or until lightly charred.

    Slices of honey-brushed pineapple on a grill

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Remove the pineapple from the grill and let cool. Cut each pineapple half moon into 3 wedges. You will need 3 wedges of pineapple for each cocktail: 2 for muddling and 1 for garnish.

    A cutting board with small, grilled pineapple wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Cut the skin off the pineapple for muddling.

    A cutting board with small, grilled wedges of pineapple, with the pineapple skin removed

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Add two of the grilled pineapple wedges to a Collins glass. Muddle well to release the juices.

    A collins glass with two grilled pineapple wedges at the bottom

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Fill glass with crushed ice and add the Chartreuse, lime, and falernum.

    A collins glass with ice, Chartreuse, lime, falernum, and grilled pineapple wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Insert a bar spoon or swizzle stick into the drink and swizzle the cocktail back and forth until frost appears on the outside of the glass. Top with more crushed ice to completely fill the glass.

    A grilled pineapple chartreuse sizzle cocktail in a collins glass

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

  10. Sprinkle cinnamon over the glass, and garnish with the reserved grilled pineapple wedge and pineapple fronds. If desired, garnish with a lime wheel and an edible flower. Serve.

    A grilled pineapple chartreuse swizzle cocktail, garnished with cinnamon, grilled pineapple, lime, and pineapple fronds

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

How To Store Leftover Pineapple

Refrigerate leftover grilled pineapple in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Recipe Variation

Adding a spritz or small float of roasted mezcal or pot still rum over the cocktail enhances the grilled pineapple flavors.

How Strong is a Chartreuse Swizzle?

The grilled pineapple Chartreuse swizzle is around 16 percent ABV (32 proof), making it about half as strong as a high-proof cocktail like a Manhattan.

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