spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | “tiki on the wagon” | scenes from #bossbabefestMSP

It’s pretty much a “yes” for me, if someone invites me over for a cocktail party, but when a group of over 50 bloggers gets together to celebrate the peak of summer and toast its bounty, I’m ALL IN. This is year two of #DRINKTHESUMMER, a virtual sipping soirée, hosting by Sherrie of With Food + Love, and I’m bringing a Tiki-inspired, sparkling pineapple shrub mocktail to the party.

Even though I’ve spied a few, fallen yellow leaves in the backyard and have been enjoying the recent cooler mornings, I’m holding onto summer, as much as I possibly can. Especially the seasonal cocktails, fruit-packed popsicles, and salads on repeat. Our tomatoes are chiming in with me, since many of them on the vine are still green. It seems we’re all trying to soak up a little extra sunshine and warmth.

I’ll take all that I can get.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubsLast week, I led my first cocktail workshop at my favorite kitchenware shop here in Denver, Hazel & Dewey. I was excitedly nervous, and, of course, had a ton of last-minute, loose ends to tie the day-of, but it went well and actually ended up selling out at 20 attendees! My sister-in-law showed up with an entire pack of her girlfriends, and a couple of my fellow blogger friends came out for the night, as well.

The hit of the night was the Pimm’s Cup we all made with seasonal fruit shrubs. Most of the attendees hadn’t tasted a shrub before, so it was an eye-opening experience for them to try these tart, concentrated, fruit-based “drinking vinegars.” I’ve talked about shrubs here on the site before, so if you need an introduction to one of my favorite cocktail additions, this post is a great place to start.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

I usually make “cold-process” shrubs, which take a little longer to make than the hot versions but tend to taste a little brighter, as well. “Hot-process” shrubs are easy to make and are ready to enjoy almost immediately, unlike the cold versions, which take up to a week to fully macerate and develop. This recipe for a spiced pineapple shrub takes under 20 minutes to make and is delicious on its own with a splash of soda water or combined with a little rum.


spiced pineapple shrub


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 pound chopped pineapple {roughly 2 cups}
  • 1/2 a cinnamon stick
  • 2 or 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod, cracked
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring to fully dissolve.
  2. Add the chopped pineapple, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom pod and return to a slow simmer. Continue simmering for ten minutes, stirring and gently crushing the pineapple chunks, releasing the juices.
  3. Remove from heat and add the apple cider vinegar, stirring well to incorporate.
  4. Pour the mixture through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids.
  5. Store the finished shrub in the fridge for a few months.
  • This recipe yields between 2 1/2 to 3 cups of drinking vinegar. Once you’ve made the recipe, it will only get better and more integrated flavors over the course of a few days.
  • You can easily swap out any fruit for the pineapple and make a different seasonally inspired shrub, using this recipe. Just leave out the spices or even add an herb, like sage, to the mix. The ratio here works well with any in-season fruit.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

Believe it or not, this is actually my very first non-boozy drink recipe here on the blog. Lately, I’ve been trying to taper my alcohol intake, while also decreasing my sugar consumption. It seems like I wake up with a fuzzy headache if I have even two glasses of wine. A fun bonus of this so-called “cleanse” has been coming up with interesting and delicious mocktails, er, fauxtails, if you prefer the term.

Drinking vinegars are the perfect answer for enjoying flavorful, non-alcoholic sips. In fact, I always keep a batch or two in the fridge. When I’m serving and sipping cocktails at a get-together, having a glass of sparkling water with a dash of drinking vinegar in between cocktails not only keeps me level, but it also keeps me hydrated. Win, win.

This Tiki-esque mocktail is inspired by Sherrie‘s master hand at mixology at the bloggers retreat she and Amanda hosted last month {more on that after the recipes!}. We made tea-based drinks, complemented with infused syrups and tart drinking vinegars, finished with sparkling water. So simple and so flavorful. This mocktail blends tropical pineapple with cozy baking spices, bright passion fruit juice, and sparkling coconut-flavored water. Because sometimes you just miss your Tiki cocktail addiction.

And I won’t judge you, if you toss a little rum in the mix, either. 😉


“tiki on the wagon” | spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut


  • 4 ounces strongly brewed black tea {see recipe notes}
  • 1 1/2 ounces spiced pineapple shrub
  • 1 1/2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • ice
  • Coconut La Croix
  • sage sprig, for garnish
  1. In a mixing tin, combine the tea, shrub, passion fruit juice, and ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass, filled with fresh ice.
  3. Add a splash or so of Coconut La Croix and garnish with a sprig of freshly picked sage.
  • To make the strongly brewed black tea, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add four bags of black tea. Let cool to room temperature and strain off the bags.
  • If you’re not a coconut person, I’m sure the Apricot La Croix would substitute just swimmingly.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

I owe Sherrie and her stellar partner-in-crime, Amanda of Heartbeet Kitchen, the biggest, heartfelt thanks for brightening my summer {and the summers of seven other lady bosses!} by hosting the most memorable retreat last month in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Sherrie and Amanda brought together ten beautiful, talented ladies – all fellow bloggers – and hosted us in a sprawling house on Lake Phalen with the most breathtaking views.

It was just like summer camp, complete with a flower crown-making class, late-night chats, a chance to play around in the Betty Crocker Test Kitchen at General Mills, and a DIY mocktail party the last night of our stay. In fact, the recipe in this post is inspired by the summery shrubs that Sherrie made that weekend.

I’ll close by sharing some captures from last month’s inspirational #BossBabeFestMSP retreat, but first, be sure to check out all of the fabulous, summer-inspired drink recipes, both boozy and non-alcoholic, for #DRINKTHESUMMER. You can view the entire list of over 50 drinks, via Sherrie’s post over at With Food + Love. I’m already crushing over a few.

CHEERS!! 

To drinking up the summer, to slowing down and savoring, and to cherishing friendships. Amanda, Alanna, Sarah, Liz, Shelly, Kristan, Renée, Emilie, and Sherrie, you all completely ROCK.

Cheers BossBabeFest IMG_9149 spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

The evening that we made our own mocktails together was one of my favorite moments on the trip. The ten of us had returned from a flower crown-making workshop earlier that afternoon and were giddy, inspired, and hungry. We didn’t quite know what was in store for us that night. The chefs at Create Catering came to our lake house and prepared a six-course, vegetable tasting dinner for us, presented to us from our partner for the evening, La Croix. My favorite course? The mushrooms, which were foraged that morning, and served over smoked quinoa with a lemon-truffle vinaigrette, cauliflower, and crisp shallots.

The air was warm, the candles were lit, and the conversation flowed well into the night. Through laughter and over tears, we toasted the sisterhood we’d formed with some great wine. I had packed nine bottles in a sturdy, cardboard box and checked them with me on my flight. Thankfully, none of them broke, and I was able to pair them, along with a couple from Amanda’s collection, with the vegetable dishes we enjoyed.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

Before we enjoyed that memorable farm-to-table dinner, Amanda drove the ten of us over to Willful Goods, where Araya toured us through her studio and led us in a flower crown-making workshop. We all let our guards down and let our creative energies flow. It was such a powerful reminder that acts of creativity can fuel our current projects and calm our minds.

A special thanks to Sarah for capturing Amanda in the photo below and to Shelly for catching me in action.

spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs spiced pineapple shrub sparklers with black tea + coconut | holly & flora #mocktails #shrubs

 

I know that another visit to Minnesota is in my future. My only wish is that the trip lasted longer than it did. I didn’t want to go home. We all reluctantly packed and said our goodbyes, leaving inspired and invigorated, supported and loved.

A super huge THANK YOU to all of the companies we partnered with, who made this beautiful weekend possible, especially to Vital Proteins, our official sponsor. Much gratitude to our other sponsors, as well: General Mills, La Croix, Bob’s Red Mill, Vital Farms, NOW Foods, Rodelle, and Udi’s Gluten-Free. The memories we made, and the friendships we forged will last a lifetime.

…now get after those DRANKSSSS!!

 

// BOOZY //
// NON-BOOZY //

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Jayme Henderson

Occupationally speaking, I am a sommelier and mixologist at a busy, upscale Denver restaurant. I am lucky enough to spend most days tasting, pairing, and creating, alongside my cherished guests. I am also a contributor at the Kitchn, where I write about wine and gardening, tour cooks' kitchens, and interview innovative growers and makers. When I am not wearing those shoes, you can find me in my garden, preserving, painting, designing, and documenting my experiences along the way. I'm currently learning calligraphy and trying my best at home brewing. And I am seriously obsessed with my cats. And rosé.

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18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Todd Wagner | HonestlyYUM

    August 24, 2016

    Congrats on the first non-boozy post!! Woo-hoo! (I’ve been actually trying super hard to cut down on alcohol and sugar as well. Hard to do in the world of drink-making). This drink looks simply perfect. Shrubs are my fave (and I agree about cold-process shrubs). I’ve heard so many awesome things from Sarah about the Boss Babe retreat, and your pictures are confirming all of it! Cheers!!

    • Reply

      Jayme Henderson

      August 24, 2016

      Haha, thanks!! It is SO challenging to cut back, so I wish you the strength to persevere, as well! 😉 I have a wine-tasting and a brandy-tasting this afternoon at work, and I am not really looking forward to it. All I’m thinking about today is COFFEE, actually. Sarah and I were both up late last night, tweaking our posts and keeping each other company. She is my night-owl-in-crime, so to speak! Meeting Sarah and all of the other lovely ladies IRL was the highlight of my summer, for sure.

      Cheers to shrubs and all of the drinks I’ll be checking out later on this evening. Can’t wait to see what you came up with!

  2. Reply

    Todd Wagner | HonestlyYUM

    August 24, 2016

    YES!! Coffee is always the first thing on my mind. That’s so funny, I was chatting with Sarah last night too. I had to abandon her around midnight, so glad she had you. Feel free to chat me up anytime as well! Good luck with the spirit tasting later.

  3. Reply

    europetastetic

    August 24, 2016

    Love the cardamom in tea, never thought of making iced tea of it, thank’s for the tip.

  4. Reply

    Ileana

    August 24, 2016

    This drink looks great! Happy to have found your blog through the Drink the Summer party!

  5. Reply

    Chez @ Chez Moi

    August 25, 2016

    This looks and sounds truly delightful. I am storing it in my list of recipes to make in the Australian summer, when local pineapples are at their absolute peak of deliciousness. I’ve never made a shrub before and am glad to have heard about the cold-process method from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe!

  6. Reply

    AlannaTT

    August 29, 2016

    That retreat was THE BEST, especially that amazing dinner with wine pairings. This shrub looks killer with all those spices. YUM. I’ll be well-armed for our next fauxtail party!

  7. Reply

    robyn holland | sweetish.co

    September 8, 2016

    The whole evening sounds like a dream! And what beautiful ladies!! And flower crowns?! Gah, I’m dying over here. Love your beautiful words and photography…made me feel like I was there.

  8. Reply

    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

    September 8, 2016

    Oooo! I’m going to have to make this for Lucas – he doesn’t drink alcohol and has lately really been getting into the world of shrubs! Meeting YOU IRL was the highlight of my summer too and I only wish it could have lasted longer – I never wanted summer camp to end!

  9. Reply

    Sherrie Castellano (@withfoodandlove)

    September 16, 2016

    I love you with all my heart and soul. This experience left such an impression on my life, with memories I think about daily. All my love sister, all my love. xx

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