Cocktail DIY (And Bonus Cocktails): Pineapple And Raspberry Syrups

Pineapple and raspberry syrups.

One of the main things we enjoy about cocktails is how many ways we get inspiration to try new drinks. This week, Mixology Monday came back to life with an “Equal Parts” theme and we submitted a fun (and a little goofy) cocktail that we enjoyed, the Long Island Planters Punch. But what makes Mixology Monday really fun is trying other people’s creations. And now we have over 25 drinks to try (click here to see the lineup, very cool). One of our favorites, so far, is Shake, Strain and Sip’s Undiscovered Country a Corpse Reviver variant using pisco and Swedish Punch (it was a good excuse to finally buy some pisco). Another favorite is Chemistry of the Cocktail’s Shrunken Skull, a tiki drink with grenadine, but also works with raspberry syrup. Hmm….so now we have some pisco and a desire to make raspberry syrup. Anything else we can do?  Well, yes- since we had pisco, we had to make pineapple syrup to mix up some Pisco Punch, a true classic. (Like we said, “inspiration”, not necessarily “organized thinking”).

Pisco Punch.

Mountain Clover Cocktail.

Unfamiliar with pisco and Pisco Punch? Pisco is brandy from Chile and Peru using local grapes from their wine industry. It is strong, a bit spicy and musky with hints or grappa (at least to our tastes). It is unique stuff and perhaps tough on its own, but very good in cocktails. And the most famous is the Pisco Punch, a simple combo of pisco, lemon juice and pineapple syrup. Cocktail historians have beaten the history of this drink to death (and beyond), but suffice it to say that in later 19th-Century San Francisco if you were blotto worse-for-wear, Pisco Punch had something to do with it. (Paul Clarke has a good, brief history piece here.) And there is a good reason the Pisco Punch was so popular, it’s really good. The musky notes of the pisco match with the sugar and funk of the pineapple and the lemon adds brightness and acidity. Pisco Punch is true cocktail alchemy, and it’s way-too-easy to throw these back…and a good reason to make pineapple syrup. And once you have pineapple syrup it works in other brandy drinks like the Brandy Fix or as a good substitute for simple syrup in Tiki drinks.

As for the Raspberry syrup, it used to be a very popular cocktail sweetener, particularly before Prohibition. Used in dozens of drinks like the Clover Club, the Pink Lady and the Davis Cocktail, raspberry syrup adds great color and bright sweetness that’s lighter in flavor than grenadine. But, for whatever reason, grenadine took the place of raspberry syrup in many recipes during the later half of the 20th century. Happily, the cocktail renaissance brought raspberry syrup back from obscurity and there are plenty of DIY recipes, or you can buy it in stores. We decided to make our own, it’s easy and we still have raspberries. And after playing around with some classics, we made a Clover Club variant called the Mountain Clover with dry gin, lime juice, raspberry syrup and St. Germain. The light, bright sweetness of the raspberry syrup plays well with the gin and lime and makes for a very balanced sip. It looks like a grenadine-based cocktail, but is something very different. Worth a try.

Making both these syrups is very easy. Both use fruit, sugar and water. The pineapple syrup uses a “cold” method and the raspberry a “hot” method, but the process is basically the same. Cut or mash-up the fruit, cover with a simple syrup, put it in a jar, let it sit a day or two, strain out the fruit (mash in a bit more of the juice) and bottle the syrup. (And keep the left over pineapple pieces to put on ice cream or toast, good stuff). Top with a bit of vodka or Everclear to extend the life of the syrup, if you like. Store in a tightly lidded jar in the fridge. And then prepare to make awesome cocktails.

Pisco Punch:


  • 2 oz. Pisco
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. Pineapple syrup (see below)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe’. No garnish. Serve.

Pineapple Syrup:

(Adapted from Ted Haigh)


(makes about 2 cups, can be doubled)

  • 2 Cups sugar (superfine is helpful, but not required)
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Large pineapple, cut into small cubes


  1. Combine the sugar and water in a large, lidded jar. Stir the water and sugar mixture and then add the pineapple chunks. Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours.
  2. After 24 hours, strain the pineapple from the sugar syrup and mash the pineapple chunks to extract some extra juice (reserve the pineapple chunks for other uses). Strain the syrup again with a fine sieve or cheesecloth to remove any fine bits, if you like. Store in the fridge.
  3. Optional: Add about 1 tablespoon of vodka or Everclear for each cup of syrup to extend shelf-life.


Mountain Clover Cocktail:


  • 2 oz. Dry gin
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Raspberry syrup (see blow)
  • 1/4 oz. St. Germain


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass or coupe’. No garnish. Serve.

Raspberry Syrup:


  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Pint raspberries, cleaned


  1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the raspberries in a medium-sized lidded jar or container. Pour the sugar syrup over berries, mash the berries lightly and seal the jar. Store in a cool, dry place for 24 hours.
  3. After 24 hours, strain the berries from the sugar syrup and mash the berries to extract some extra juice. Strain the syrup again with a fine sieve or cheesecloth to remove any fine bits, if you like. Store in the fridge.
  4. Optional: Add about 1 tablespoon of vodka or Everclear for each cup of syrup to extend shelf-life.

25 thoughts on “Cocktail DIY (And Bonus Cocktails): Pineapple And Raspberry Syrups

  1. Love these ideas for the syrups and cocktails – throw the pineapple scraps and berry leavings in a pitcher of water overnight, strain and you’ll have flavored water the next day…I’m jealous youi still have raspberries!

  2. An other teaser – love all that stuff you make for your drinks .. do you use it up ???? I suppose you can use if for desserts and dressing too. Love pineapple, when I was going through my cancer treatment they told me to eat fresh pineapple – good for the immune system, ate that much I had sore lips … *smile and still it didn’t help … my immune system went down on ZERO in the end, but maybe it would have happen earlier if I hadn’t eaten the pineapple … I will never know. *smile

    • We use most of what we make… most of the syrups also go into desserts or tea (and a lot of failed drinks…many cocktails we try aren’t so good and go down the drain).

      We do love our pineapple, but it can beat you up if you have too much. Sorry it didn’t help w/ your treatments, but at least it tastes good…

      • It could have been that .. I would have been worst off if I hadn’t eaten it. Still I love pineapples. Tough job to be cocktail designer. Who is the test rabbit ??????

  3. Pisco still eludes my shelves. We may need to change that. For some of your pineapple syrup, might I suggest tequila? Pineapple goes great with tequila!

  4. Thanks for the link! I find that making raspberry syrup is a great use for raspberries that are just a bit too tart for eating. Helps to keep the syrup balanced.

  5. Another great DIY post! I have to try making some of these syrups some time. I just wish I could get my hand on raspberries. Do you think dried raspberries would work?

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  7. Great post. Have eveer tried a cold maceration of the fruit with just sugar and allow the sugar to suck the juice from the syrup creating it’s own rich syrup? I personally have never tried it when making a “regular simple syrup” but when making a strawberry shrub I did and tha initial syrup was rich and delicious.

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