You Only Need 2 Ingredients For A Tropical Whiskey Cocktail

You don't have to be in a tropical place to taste the flavors of vacation. Warm weather drinks range from Rum Runners to Piña Coladas and often rely on beach-inspired ingredients. Think lime, coconut, and fruit. One particular cocktail, however, channels the best of all things tropical but stands out for its simplicity. For a sip of summer, all you need are two ingredients: whiskey and pineapple juice. 

This duo works well as a cocktail because the flavors are complementary. "Pineapple has a sweetness that pairs well with the full body flavor of whiskey," Aidan Mehigan, founder of Natterjack Irish Whiskey, explained to Tasting Corner. Natterjack suggests making a pineapple and whiskey cocktail, as it results in a tasting profile that's sour without being too strong. 

Granted, pineapple juice has long accompanied different liquors across drink variations, though the juice is typically paired alongside a variety of additional ingredients. For instance, you can make a tiki cocktail with pineapple juice, dark rum, orange juice, and crème de cacao. Such recipes taste delicious, but, for the sake of keeping things easy, you can skip the extra additions. Pineapple juice and whiskey more than suffice — that is, so long as you use the right whiskey and juice, and the correct ratio of ingredients. 

Pair fresh pineapple juice and your favorite whiskey in a shot

Simplicity may be key to making a cocktail that tastes complex, but a drink is only as good as the quality — and balance — of its ingredients. "When making [the pineapple and whiskey drink] at home, you can start by keeping it simple and serving the pair as a shot," recommends Natterjack's Aidan Mehigan. "Using a quality whiskey will offer just enough bite to cut through the sweetness."

To take his advice for yourself, grab your favorite whiskey or scotch. For example, a peaty Islay whisky, such as Laphroaig's 10-year single malt scotch, pairs well with pineapple juice, resulting in a cocktail that's both smoky and sweet. If you'd rather forgo the smokiness, you can also use your favorite bourbon, or whatever whiskey you like to sip neat. The pineapple juice you use in your tropical cocktail also matters, with fresh juice always being ideal to maximize flavor.

Once you've made your selections, start with about 1 ounce of whiskey and 1 ounce of pineapple juice. You can, of course, scale up or down; the drink is equal parts of both ingredients, so the recipe is as easy to remember as it is to make. Simply mix the two together in a shot glass, and you'll have your new favorite tropical mixed drink. And if you're not a big fan of pineapple juice, consider experimenting with other drink bases that mix well with whiskey, such as coconut water and seltzer.