This sparkling Brazilian-inspired pineapple and mint drink is perfect with grilled meats as a summer party beverage.
To me, nothing screams summer like thirst-quenching tropical drinks and grilled foods. A super-refreshing and tasty sparkling pineapple and mint juice is garnished with grilled pineapple. I loved it so much that I had to share it with you.
The combination of pineapple and mint is not new. In Brazilian cuisine, it is commonly used in teas, popsicles and ice cream, beverages and alcoholic drinks, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I used this combo of flavors as an inspiration for our beverage for today. The difference is, I used sparkling water instead of regular water, and garnished our drink with grilled pineapple. These few simple touches created a delicious summer drink with a creative presentation. You can have our sparkling pineapple mint juice as it is, or transform it into a cocktail drink by adding a bit of cachaça, white rum, vodka, or white wine. If you are not a fan of sparkling water, you can use regular water instead– as we do in Brazil.
- 1 large fresh ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut mostly into chunks/cubes (reserve about 8 to 12 cubes and 4 to 6 small to medium triangles to garnish the drink)
- 6 cups chilled sparkling water if desired, use regular water
- 10 large fresh mint leaves (plus more to garnish)
- 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
- Crushed ice
- Reserve about 8 to 12 cubes and 4 to 6 small to medium triangles to grill and garnish the drink if desired. In a blender, blend together the remaining pineapple chunks, sparkling water or regular water, mint leaves, and sugar until obtaining a smooth mixture. Strain the mixture, place into a pitcher with as much crushed ice as desired, and garnish with mint leaves and grilled pineapple triangles. The grilled pineapple cubes can be inserted by two's onto picks to garnish the top of each of the 4-6 glasses, as shown in the pictures.
- To grill the pineapple, brush a hot griddle with vegetable oil and grill both the reserved pineapple chunks and triangles on all sides until grill marks appear, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side. Let cool down and garnish the drink.
Denise Browning is a native Brazilian foodie, trained Chef, cooking instructor, restaurant menu/recipe developer, and former lawyer. She is also the author of From Brazil To You - a blog that features Brazilian, fusion, and international dish recipes, stories, and photography of Brazil. Her writing has appeared in Cia Brasil Magazine, while her photography is frequently featured on Foodgawker, TasteSpotting, and Foodepix. She lives in Texas with her American husband and two children.