Pineapple Express Cocktail Recipe

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Pineapple Express Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:14

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Pineapple Express is a modern cocktail, inspired by the tropical flavors of the Hawaiian Islands. It's a favorite among those who enjoy fruity, refreshing drinks. The cocktail's name is a nod to the warm, moist air that often flows over Hawaii, known as the Pineapple Express.

  • Created in the early 21st century
  • Popular in beach bars and tropical-themed parties
  • Ideal for those who enjoy sweet, fruity cocktails

How Pineapple Express Tastes?

The Pineapple Express is a sweet, tangy, and slightly creamy cocktail. It has a strong pineapple flavor, balanced with the smoothness of coconut cream and the sharpness of lime. The rum adds a warm, boozy kick.

Interesting facts about Pineapple Express

  • The Pineapple Express is often served in a pineapple or a hurricane glass.
  • Despite its tropical origins, it's enjoyed all year round.
  • The cocktail's name is also a popular strain of cannabis, but the two are unrelated.


White Rum

The 2 oz of white rum serve as the backbone of this cocktail, providing a smooth, clean canvas upon which the other flavors can shine. Too little, and you'll miss the kick; too much, and you'll overwhelm the delicate pineapple and coconut harmony. Swap it for a dark rum, and you'll find a more pronounced molasses flavor — a different kind of express!

Emma Rose

Pineapple Juice

4 oz of pineapple juice give the cocktail its name and tropical flair. This quantity ensures the pineapple isn't shy, but also doesn't overpower its partners. Leave it out, and well, it's no longer a Pineapple Express, is it? If you're feeling adventurous, mango juice could sneak in for a more exotic trip.

Alex Green

Coconut Cream

A lush 1 oz of coconut cream adds that creamy texture and sweet, nutty profile. Without it, you'll lose the 'pina colada vibe'. Be cautious though, too much might turn your express into a coconut slow train. Craving a lighter ride? Swap it for coconut water, and your cocktail will be less creamy but more refreshing!

Mary Mitkina

Lime Juice

Just 0.5 oz of lime juice is needed to cut through the sweetness and bring balance with a citrusy zing. Skip it, and the sweetness may become one-note. In a pinch, lemon juice could be your substitute conductor, leading you to a slightly different destination but still on the tropical line.

Emma Rose

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are crucial — they chill the journey, making the drink refreshing and mixing the flavors just right. No ice, and you'll have a lukewarm trip that nobody wants to take. For a fun twist, try frozen pineapple chunks as an alternative to conventional ice!

Alex Green

Pineapple Slice and Maraschino Cherry

Finally, the garnish: a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry are more than just pretty; they signal what's in the drink and add a touch of elegance. Forget them, and your cocktail could be mistaken for a plain Jane. Think of the cherry as the red light on the train — it lets you know when to stop (drinking, that is).

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Pineapple Express Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add white rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream, and lime juice.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  4. Strain into a chilled hurricane glass or hollowed-out pineapple.
  5. Garnish with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh pineapple juice for the best flavor.
  • Shake the cocktail until your hands feel cold. This ensures it's well-chilled.
  • If serving in a pineapple, cut the bottom to make it stable.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The fruity and tropical flavors of the Pineapple Express cocktail complement grilled shrimp or fish wonderfully, elevating the natural sweetness of the seafood.
  • Spicy Appetizers: Pair this sweet cocktail with spicy appetizers, such as jalapeño poppers or buffalo wings, to create a balance between the heat and the refreshing tropical drink.
  • Teriyaki Chicken Skewers: The tangy and savory flavors of teriyaki-glazed chicken work harmoniously with the pineapple and coconut notes of the drink.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Brew Coffee: For a non-alcoholic pairing, serve this cocktail alongside cold brew coffee at a brunch for a delightful contrast of flavors.
  • Sparkling Water: A crisp sparkling water between sips can cleanse the palate and enhance the cocktail's sweetness.

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What you could change in Pineapple Express

  • White Rum can be substituted with Dark Rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Coconut Cream can be substituted with Coconut Milk for a lighter texture.
  • Lime Juice can be substituted with Lemon Juice for a different citrus note.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Pineapple Express

  • Substitute white rum with a chili-infused rum for a spicy kick.
  • Follow the original recipe.
  • The chili's heat complements the sweetness of the pineapple and coconut, giving a warm ride on the Pineapple Express.
  • Perfect for those who like their journeys spicy and their drinks with a fiery attitude!

Pineapple Express 'Noir'

  • Replace white rum with aged dark rum.
  • Add a splash of coffee liqueur (0.25 oz) to the mix.
  • This twist takes the tropical express on a detour through more complex flavor territories, bringing depth with the dark rum's caramel notes and a hint of coffee.
  • It's like a tropical vacation with a mysterious companion.

Virgin Pineapple Express

  • Skip the rum entirely for a non-alcoholic version.
  • Double the lime juice to add more zing.
  • This twist provides a family-friendly option that doesn't sacrifice the tropical bliss.
  • It's the Pineapple Express train, now boarding all passengers regardless of age!

In case you forgot basics how to make Pineapple Express

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Pineapple Express

Can I use any type of white rum?

Using different brands of white rum can subtly change the flavor of the cocktail. Select a rum that suits your preference.

What is the origin of the name 'Pineapple Express'?

The name 'Pineapple Express' is inspired from a weather phenomenon of the same name where a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and precipitation occurs.

Can I use canned pineapple juice?

Yes, you can use canned pineapple juice, but freshly squeezed pineapple juice is always recommended for the best flavor.

How do I ensure that the cocktail is not too sweet or too sour?

The balance of sweet and sour largely comes from the accurate measurement of ingredients. However, taste can vary from person to person. Feel free to adjust the quantities to suit your palate.

Can this cocktail be made in batches for parties or events?

Yes, the Pineapple Express cocktail can be prepared in large batches. Just make sure to scale up the ingredients proportionally.

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