Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails

Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails

Adult beverages, nightcaps, drinkie-poos…whatever you call them, these Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails are quickly going to become a favorite. A  blend of yuzu juice, fresh pineapple, simple syrup, and vodka; SO refreshing and a perfect antidote to these endless dog days of summer. I had a special group of taste testers, my daughter and her friends (all 21 of course), and they gave them a very enthusiastic thumbs up! Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails are perfect for entertaining as the base can be made ahead of time, and the vodka added at serving. Cheers!

ingredients pineapple yuzu cocktails

Crafting the Perfect Pineapple Yuzu Cocktail

If you’ve never experienced anything flavored with yuzu, you are in for a treat. Primarily grown in Japan and Korea, yuzu is a citrus fruit that is prized for its intensely aromatic and sour juice. Since the fruit is not widely available in the states, I use bottled juice, which you can get at most Asian grocers and also online. Meyer lemons make a decent substitute, but they don’t have the same depth of flavor. You can also get creative and use some other kind of citrus fruit you see at the store.

I start making my Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails by whipping up a simple syrup for sweetness. You can substitute the sugar for other sweeteners if you prefer.

simple syrup

Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature before adding it to your juices. This simple syrup contains less sugar than what is typically used because the pineapple adds some sweetness and yuzu juice is not as tart as limes or lemons. If you feel that the cocktail is not sweet enough once you’ve made the batch, feel free to adjust the sweetness with additional syrup. In this case, I suggest a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Start with 1/4 cup sugar heated with 1/4 cup water and add a little at a time until you are happy!

Cutting up fresh pineapple may seem intimidating but it’s really not. And it’s so much cheaper then buying the ready to eat chunks in the grocery store. First let’s talk about how to choose the perfect one. Nothing in this world gets me as excited as perfect produce and if you’ve ever been to Japan you know that there’s a whole country of people who feel the same. It’s very difficult to find Japanese produce that’s not perfectly ripe and insta-worthy. However, you have to work a bit harder here in the states, so here are my tips for getting the best pineapple. First, look for a pineapple that’s a warm golden color meaning that it should have a yellow undertone mixed with the bright green. Avoid any dark brownish fruit. Next it should have bright green leaves. Don’t bother pulling on them as this is not really a good indication of anything. Finally it should be heavy for its size. I always look at the whole display and immediately pick the biggest, most yellow one in the group, then check other details.

If using a fresh pineapple, the next step is to break it down into chunks:

pineapple cut in half

cutting pineapple core

cutting chunks pineapple

You can of course use frozen pineapple chunks if you can’t get your hands on a fresh pineapple or buy the ready to eat pineapple in the produce section. You’ll need 2 cups of pineapple total.

there's booze in the blender

The pineapple yuzu juice base can be made up to two days ahead and kept chilled in the fridge. Entertaining a large crowd? This recipe can easily be scaled up. I just love the convenience of a batch cocktail.  When you are ready to serve, just add ice to your cocktail glasses, pour in the vodka, and top with the chilled base. Voila, instant party! To make my Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails extra festive I like to add a fun garnish.

Serve these with fun quick and easy finger foods like Salt Roasted Shrimp, my Kimchi Pancake, and Bacon Wrapped Mochi for a fun and easy summer gathering. I can’t wait to hear if your crew enjoys these Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails as much as mine do! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag us in your party pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.


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pineapple yuzu cocktails

Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: makes 4 drinks 1x


  • 2 cups pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup yuzu juice
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup vodka


  1. Combine the water with the sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set the syrup aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the pineapple chunks, syrup, and yuzu juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Store it in the fridge if not using it right away. The juice can be made ahead of time and stored for 2 days.
  3. Fill 4 glasses with ice and add 2 ounces of vodka to each glass.
  4. Fill the glasses with the pineapple yuzu mixture. Garnish and serve the Pineapple Yuzu Cocktails right away.

Keywords: yuzu, cocktails, asian cocktails, pineapple, vodka, drinks

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