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pineapple weed liqueur

Pineapple Weed Liqueur: a Toast to Summer

What can I say about this silky, golden liqueur? That it tastes like summer? That it’s easily made from a common weed that grows from the Arctic Circle to Baja California? That mixed with prossecco it’s the perfect summer aperitif, and poured straight over a single ice cube it’s delicious enough to be dessert? All of these things are true about pineapple weed liqueur.

Pineapple weed (aka Matricaria discoidea) is a weed to celebrate. And what better way to celebrate than by turning it into an adult beverage?

 

Here’s What You’ll Need to Make Pineapple Weed Liqueur:

4 cups of pineapple weed (divided in half)
2 cups of vodka
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cups sugar

 

Here’s What You’ll Do to Make Pineapple Weed Liqueur:

In a glass jar, combine two cups of pineapple weed and two cups of vodka. Cover the jar, shake it, then put it somewhere out of direct sun, but not so far away that you don’t remember to shake it once a day. After two or three days, open the jar and take a whiff. When the vodka smells distinctly of pineapple, strain the liquid and save it in a jar with a tight fitting lid.

Once you’ve started soaking the pineapple weed in vodka, combine the second two cups of pineapple weed with the sugar in a plastic container with a lid, and shake it around to cover the pineapple weed. Let it sit overnight.

The next day, transfer the sugar and pineapple weed to a saucepan, and add the water. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and cover it. Let the syrup sit overnight. Strain the syrup and pour into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

When both parts of the liqueur are ready, combine them in equal amounts and stir them together. Pour your liqueur into glass jars or pretty presentation bottles. If you have a little syrup left over, use it on ice cream. If you have a little vodka left over, use it in your next cocktail.

The first time you taste this floral, fruity liqueur, try it in a small glass with a single cube of ice. The enticing scent of pineapple weed reaches your nose before the taste hits your tongue, increasing your anticipation. Once you get to know the flavor of pineapple weed liqueur, you may be inspired to play around with it in a cocktail or two. Personally, I can’t bear to dilute it with anything. It’s perfect just the way it is.

17 comments

  1. This looks awesome! I haven’t had any alcohol in 3 years due to either being pregnant or breastfeeding, but once my youngest is through, I think I’ll celebrate with an herbal cocktail. How cool!

    • Ellen says:

      Some people call pineapple weed wild chamomile, but that’s one of the problems with common names…they change from place to place. I don’t know if we’re talking about the same plant or two different, but related plants. The plant I know as chamomile is Matricaria chamomilla, and the plant I know as pineapple weed is M. discoidea. Same genus, different species. The flowers of M. chamomilla have substantial white petals, while the flowers of M. discoidea have no petals. They are visually very distinct. I’m told pineapple weed may have a soporific effect similar to that of chamomille, but I’ve never done a comparison of the two teas.

    • Ellen says:

      The alcohol and sugar act as preservatives, so this liqueur doesn’t require refrigeration. However, I like it best cold so I keep mine in the fridge. That way I don’t have to use ice, which would dilute the flavor.

      • Hannah says:

        Thank you! I got so inspired that I made this pineapple weed liqueur, as well as rose petal liqueur, apple mint liqueur, and bee balm liqueur… it’s hard to stop… and they’re all so tasty!

  2. Dawn Davis says:

    Oh my, I made this after getting excited about eating these weeds I see EVERYWHERE, and I was excited about the recipe, but I couldn’t have anticipated what I got. I just finished it and am nursing my drink now. It’s so smooth and sweet and lovely. Thank you so much for this recipe. I might try making other liqueur from now on, too!

    I posted some photos on my twitter @playerprophet if you’d like to take a look. I was rushing to get this done before running off to a cottage with some friends for the week. Maybe there will be more pictures to look forward to after I force everyone to try it!

  3. Maria Gulley says:

    I found some pineapple weed just now, but at this point it’s got a lot of stems and developing seeds and fewer flowers and leaves. Is it still worth a try? Should I maybe use more of the plant?

    • Ellen says:

      The flowers are the most flavorful part of the plant, but the leaves may have some flavor, too. I’d crush a flower and crush a few leaves and see how much fragrance you get from each. If they both smell good, give them a try! And please let me know how it goes.

      • Maria Gulley says:

        After I commented, I started to become deeply suspicious that I didn’t actually have pineapple weed, but rather some other strongly scented plant growing where I had found pineapple weed earlier in the year. I determined that it was actually Artemesia annua (aka sweet wormwood or sweet annie), which is also edible, so I decided to make a liqueur anyway. It was absolutely DELICIOUS, if you’re a fan of strongly herbal flavors. It mixes well with gin, or just some more vodka and a bit of lime. I finished it off last night, and now I have to find more next year.

  4. Mary Jane St.Onge says:

    Marie Gully………..double bonus…I have a lot of sweet annie will be making one pineapple weed, one sweet annie, and one combined….

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