Barbecued pineapple mojito royale


First published in 2015
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This cocktail uses barbecued fruit as a base to add char-grilled flavour and smokiness to this sweet, tangy mix. More information on this technique can be found in my guide to smoked and barbecued cocktails which includes more recipes and smoking tips.

Of all the fruit I tried on the barbecue, pineapple was the most successful. Its high sugars and sturdy fibres mean it stands up very well to the heat and stress of the barbecue and beautiful, clean sear lines emerge.

The flavours of a classic mojito royale – lime, mint, rum and sparkling wine – form the base of this delicious cocktail. The addition of grilled pineapple lends an aromatic smokiness and a fruity, caramelised sweetness.

Pineapple also shares flavour compounds with traditional sparkling wine, which is made using the slower, more complex méthode champenoise. Both cava and champagne must be made with this method, so they are the best choice for this drink.

If you don’t have ready access to outdoor space or a barbecue, you can still make this recipe using a cast iron griddle pan. Heat the pan over low heat for 10-15 minutes until evenly hot and brush with a little oil before adding the sliced fruit.

There may be some charred flecks from the citrus in the drink, even after straining - this will serve to emphasise the barbecued element! To further enhance the smokiness, consider using a smoked cocktail glass as well.

This cocktail is very tangy and concentrated, like a true margarita. To lighten it a little, add a splash of natural tonic water before garnishing.




  • 2 slices of pineapple, 1.5cm peeled and trimmed
  • 6 sprigs of mint, leaves only (30-40 leaves)
  • 80ml of rum, light
  • 50ml of sugar syrup, unrefined
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • Champagne, or cava, to top up
  • ice, to chill glasses and shake cocktail
Lightly oil the grill and barbecue the pineapple over medium heat until the first side is seared with blackened grill marks (about 3 minutes), then flip and cook the other side (about 2 minutes). Set aside
Chill the glasses by filling with ice while you make the cocktails
Cut the pineapple into cubes. Add to the cocktail shaker with the rum and sugar syrup. Reserve two mint leaves for garnish. Slap the rest of the leaves between your hands to release the aromatic oils and add to the shaker. Squeeze the lime juice into the shaker, then add the squeezed lime wedges
Using a cocktail muddler, crush and mix the fruit and herbs until they are thoroughly pressed and mixed. Fill the shaker about three-quarters with ice. Put on the lid and shake until the shaker is very cold and frosted
Remove the ice from the glasses and pour the liquid through a fine meshed strainer into the chilled glasses. As there is a lot of debris in the mixture, particularly the charred parts of the pineapple, it’s important to use a fine mesh strainer when adding the liquid to the glass. Some charred flecks might still make it into the glass, but this will just emphasise the barbecued element more!
Top up with champagne or cava and float the reserved mint leaves on the surface – serve immediately
First published in 2015
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