Serves a Crowd

The Pineapple Express

May 31, 2011
Author Notes

A few facts about this fizzy, sweet, float-like slush:
1) It was inspired by a Maui institution: the Tasaka Family “guri-guri,” a frozen sherbet-like confection.
2) All that is known for certain about the "guri-guri" is that it contains sweetened condensed milk. The rest of the recipe is a closely guarded family secret.
3) After one sip, my six-year-old declared, “It does not look like it will be, but this is delicious!,” shortly followed by, “Put this on the Food52!”
4) In an attempt to out-comment his big sister, my three-year-old son then said, “Momma, put it on…Twitter!”
5) Clearly, I have some issues.
6) Finally, my youngest brother -- who inspired my Dirty Chai Toddy -- coined the name "The Pineapple Express." Did I mention he just got back from a semester abroad that included time in Amsterdam? (Maybe your first instinct about the drink was right, after all.) Innuendo aside, I like the drink because once everything is frozen, it is a cinch to put together.

Note: For a description on cutting a pineapple, see my recipe for a Mai Tai Tart: - gingerroot —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

This was such a refreshing and tasty warm weather drink. I loved the combination of the pineapple, sweet milk, and seltzer. With just the right sweetness and pinapple zing, I am bound to make this many times this summer. And, if I happen to have a little dark rum sitting around, it may just end up in the mix, as well! —Victoria Ross

  • Serves 4 to 5 in highball or fountain glasses, more in shorter glasses
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 fragrant, ripe pineapple, cored, cut into small fan-shaped wedges, and frozen (about 5 cups of fruit)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Very cold sparkling mineral water or seltzer
  • Rosemary sprigs (optional, but recommended)
In This Recipe
  1. Combine sweetened condensed milk, milk, and vanilla in a shallow container. Freeze until consistency is slushy, at least three or four hours. As you would with a granita, rake the surface of mixture every hour or so with a fork. After 4 hours mine was still a bit gooey, like condensed milk dotted with ice crystals.
  2. When ready to make your drinks, blend the pineapple to desired consistency in a blender using the ice crush function. (I liked mine with a few little chunks of fruit.) This works best in batches, about a cup of fruit at a time. Transfer to a bowl as you go.
  3. Fill each glass about halfway with icy crushed pineapple. For highball glasses, this is about a cup of fruit. Add 3 tablespoons of the condensed milk mixture for highball or fountain glasses, or 2 tablespoons for shorter glasses. Top with cold sparkling mineral water or seltzer. Stir and taste (add more condensed milk mixture if you want it a little sweeter). Garnish with a rosemary sprig, if desired -- it imparts a lovely woodsy aroma as you sip. Enjoy!

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Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.