Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Hanalei Sun

light-yellow Hanalei Sun cocktail in a coupe with a pineapple garnish, served on a round tray

Julie Reiner

You’ve probably seen large vats of liquid sitting on bar tops, containing mixtures of spirits, fruit and spices. Or maybe you’ve noticed DIY ingredients on bar menus that pair liquor with interesting additions. These infusions are great ways to produce flavors that you can’t find commercially, and they allow creative bartenders (including home bartenders) to conjure intricate drinks with the results or to simply sip on the tasty mixtures.

The Hanalei Sun comes from legendary New York bar owner Julie Reiner. She pairs fresh pineapple with vodka or white rum (dealer’s choice) to make a fruit-forward spirit that brings extra flavor to the cocktail party.

All you need to do is let pineapple chunks and your preferred spirit hang out together for a few days in a sealed container. Once it’s ready, shake the liquid with ice, strain it into a glass and voila—you’re done.

The Hanalei Sun takes some effort up front—well, it’s more waiting than effort—but when the infusion is finished, you’ll have a full bottle of pineapple-infused liquor ready for drinking. Enjoy it straight, or try using it to spice up your cocktails. If you go the rum route, throw this in a Daiquiri. If you choose vodka, try a Vodka Gimlet.


  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into one-inch pieces

  • 1 750 mL bottle vodka or white rum

  • Garnish: pineapple wedge


  1. Place the pineapple pieces and the vodka or rum in a large nonreactive metal or glass container with a lid. Cover and let sit for one week in the refrigerator, stirring it once a day.

  2. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl, allowing the fruit to sit in the strainer for 30 minutes so as to get all the liquid. Discard the fruit and funnel the infusion back into the original bottle and label. The infusion will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator.

  3. To serve, pour 3 1/2 ounces of the pineapple infusion into a shaker and shake with ice until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.