This sweet and tangy non-alcoholic punch gives a hint of heat due to the combination of salt and powdered habanero, which rims the glass. The chef Gregory Gourdet uses tamarind pulp to make a fruity tart syrup that balances the sweetness of tropical pureed pineapple. The drink has a thick consistency, but it’s refreshing when served with lots of crushed ice.
To make the salt rim, make your habanero spice powder using dried chiles (or buy the already ground) to enjoy a little spice with every sip. Place three dried, small stemmed habanero chiles into a spice grinder, then grind until they are finely crushed. (Avoid breathing in chile dust or touching delicate skin areas when working with.) The homemade habanero powder is kept in an airtight container at room temperature for two weeks.
- 1 1/2 cups hot water divided
- 1/4 cup tamarind pulp
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- Three tablespoons kosher salt
- 12 teaspoon habanero powder (such as The Spice Way, see Note)
- One small fresh pineapple was peeled, cored, peeled, and then roughly chopped (about 4 1/2 cups). The fronds are reserved to garnish
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 limes)
- Lime wedges
- Crushed ice for serving
- Combine 1 cup of hot drinking water with tamarind pulp in an oven-proof small bowl. Let it sit, stirring often to break large tamarind chunks, until soft and mixed, approximately 20 minutes.
- Pour the tamarind mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl, pressing down to get as much liquid out and pulp as possible. Removing solids in the filter to a small bowl. Add the half cup of hot water and stir until it dissolves. Pour the mixture through the strainer into a bowl containing tamarind water, pressing to remove as much pulp and liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
- Mix tamarind syrup and maple syrup in the bowl of a small container until they are combined. Cover and chill tamarind syrup until it is ready to use.
- Mix the powders of habanero and salt in a small bowl until well-mixed; cover with plastic wrap and place the habanero salt in a bowl.
- Blend pineapple until smooth, approximately 30 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine wire mesh strainer into a bowl of a large size, pressing it to remove as much pulp and liquid as possible. Discard any solids. Take 1 1/2 cups of pineapple puree. Reserve the remaining puree to use in another way.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups of pineapple puree with lime juice and the syrup you reserved in a large bowl. Rub the cut sides of lime wedges horizontally across one outside edge of each of the eight coupe glasses. Dip the wet sides of drinks into the salt of the habanero. Fill the glasses with crushed ice, then equally divide the mixture of pineapple and tamarind among the glasses. Sprinkle with fronds of pineapple.