Pineapple Cilantro Serrano Cocktail

pineapple cocktail infused with cilantro and serrano

Thanks to yesterday’s big news, I’m in quite a celebratory mood today. What better way to celebrate my Saveur nomination than with a cold pineapple cocktail! Clinks all around, friends, I still can’t believe it.

This little number is not for the faint of heart; it’s bold, spicy, sweet and herbal all at once. The sweetness of the pineapple juice and cooling effect of cilantro diffuse the spiciness of the serrano so it doesn’t overwhelm the palate. This cocktail is a treat, so sip slowly and savor it like it costs ten dollars.

cilantro and pineapple garnish

I originally intended to get fancy and make some more serrano-infused tequila for this post. Serranos are so high up the Scoville scale that serrano-infused tequila only requires twenty to thirty minutes worth of seeping time. However, I’m always one for instant gratification (especially when I’m thirsty), and I figured out that you can simply muddle a small slice of serrano pepper instead. Cheers to that!

pineapple cilantro serrano cocktail

Pineapple Cilantro Serrano Cocktail
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Cocktail
Serves: 1
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • ½ small lime, juiced
  • 1 small, round slice of serrano pepper (1/8th to ¼th-inch thick)
  • 1½ ounces silver tequila
  • 3 ounces quality pineapple juice
  • agave nectar (optional), to taste
  1. In a cocktail shaker or glass, muddle the cilantro, lime juice and slice of serrano.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and pour in the tequila, pineapple juice and a light drizzle of agave nectar (optional). Shake well, and strain the mixture over ice in a cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish minimally with a lime round, or get fancy with a slice of pineapple and sprig on cilantro on a cocktail pick.
  • Feel free to skip the serrano if you're sensitive to spice.
  • I didn't feel the need to add any agave nectar to my drink, but I'll let your taste buds decide if you need it.
  • I tried muddling up fresh chunks of pineapple, but they didn't yield enough juice to merit the effort or the wasted pulp. I much prefer R.W. Knudsen's organic pineapple juice to the canned stuff.
  • If you feel lost in the tequila aisle, I like Milagro's 100% agave tequila, which comes in a cool bottle. Milagro spoiled me by sending me a few bottles to try, but I only mention it here because it is damn good stuff!


  1. says

    Just saw that news this morning, congratulations Kate! How very exciting and much deserved for you :) I’d gladly join you in one of these awesomely spicy cocktails to celebrate ;)

    • says

      How far is Kansas City from where you live? You’re always welcome to come visit once I move up there! I’ll make you all the drinks you want. :)

  2. says

    Congratulations on your Saveur nomination – very exciting! Love this cocktail recipe…have added it to my favourites list. :-)

    Best wishes,
    Madame Bonbon
    Melbourne, Australia

  3. says

    Mixing up some chunky guacamole with fresh baked chips today for an afternoon snack – this drink will complement it perfectly! Thank you. Congrats on the Saveur nomination!

  4. Susan says

    Would love to make a pitcher of these but unsure about how to adjust the proportions (especially the serrano)…what do you think??

    • says

      That is a good question, Susan. Each drink is about 4.5 ounces, so you might calculate how many drinks could fit in your pitcher and multiply the amounts given above times that number. I would go easy on the serrano—if your pitcher holds enough for 5 glasses, I’d use maybe a total of a .5 inch nub of serrano. You definitely want to strain out the serrano; the longer it sits in the liquid, the hotter the drink gets. I think I would muddle the cilantro, lime and serrano, and then strain that into the pitcher. Add tequila and pineapple juice, stir well and pour into glasses filled with ice. That should work!

  5. says

    Huge Congrats to you on the Saveur nomination! How exciting! And your cocktail does look like a tasty way to celebrate. I love to combination of sweet and spicy – always good:)

  6. says

    Just wanted to say ‘congrats!’ on your nomination. How exciting and well-deserved!
    And this cocktail looks fantastic. I love sassy summer drinks.

  7. Sandy says

    Made these for a Sunday afternoon cocktail. I was skeptical about pineapple and cilantro, but they were awesome! Will definitely make again.

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