Chef Lili Dagan knows the antidote to quarantine gloom is a tropical drink. Here’s her recipe for a bright and frothy cocktail we’re calling el Gajes del Oficio, or “the occupational hazard.”

Cocktail recipe: pineapple
Tropical, fresh, delightful

I live in Bushwick, right down the street from a place called Tulicingo Deli Grocery. I can always count on them to have super cheap and extremely ripe fruit. While out shopping the other day, I passed by a bin of pineapples so fragrant that I couldn’t help but buy one. As the weather starts to warm up, all I want to do is sit outside and sip on a tropical drink. I can’t go to a bar right now, but here’s what I came up with instead. 

This cocktail is sort of the lovechild of my three favorite patio drinks: a mezcal negroni, a piña colada, and an Aperol spritz. It’s a little labor intensive, but I promise it’s worth it (and hey, we have the time). Can’t find fresh pineapple? I suppose canned will do. 

Cocktail recipe: el Gajes del Oficio 

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 limes 
  • 1 oz Aperol 
  • 2 oz mezcal or Tequila 
  • 1 jalapeño 
  • Spiced salt, for the rim (we used Tajin)
  1. Peel, core, and dice your pineapple. Save the skins!
  2. Make some pineapple water. Transfer the reserved skins to a stockpot with a knob of fresh ginger and 4 cloves of smashed garlic. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for 40 minutes. Simmer for 40 minutes, then strain and let cool. 
  3. While the pineapple water cools, blend the pineapple and strain it through a fine mesh sieve. 
  4. To assemble, gather a cocktail shaker, a glass, some ice cubes, limes, a citrus juicer, Aperol, mezcal (tequila would work too),  and some spicy salt. 
  5. Salt the rim of your glass and prepare your garnishes (I used a wheel of lime, you could add a jalapeño wheel if you’re feeling spicy!) and plop a few ice cubes in there. 
  6. Add a few ice cubes into your shaker, 2 oz of pineapple juice, 2 oz of pineapple water, 2 oz of Mezcal, 1 oz of Aperol, juice of half a lime, 3 slices of jalapeño and then shake it.
  7. Strain into your prepared glass and garnish with a wheel of lime. Enjoy!