Editor’s Note, 10.27.13: Ruby Begonia’s, mentioned below, is now closed.
Mention Stoli Doli at random to any boozehound or recreational imbiber, and you’ll likely get either a blank stare or the nostalgia-tinged exclamation: “Those are so dangerous!”
Originally concocted by the Capital Grill restaurant chain, the Stoli Doli is, simply, Stolichnaya vodka infused with fresh pineapple. Chunks of the fruit are placed in a jar that is then filled with vodka, covered, and allowed to steep for several days before it is enjoyed.
Why are they so “dangerous”? Because as the pineapple juices permeate the vodka, the bite of the alcohol recedes into a smooth, pineapple-y sweetness that tricks your brain into thinking it’s a kiddie cocktail. You can’t have just one.
In town you can find these pale yellow pick-me-ups at Ruby Begonia’s (pictured at left) in Stillwater, where they’re served chilled in a martini glass (or over ice in a short glass) for $7.50 and — hats off to anyone who embarks on this great journey — in a 32-ounce mug for $22.50.
If the unkind economy is keeping you indoors, for less than the cost of a mammoth mug at Ruby’s, you can quench your own thirst and that of three lucky friends in the solace of your own home.
The recipe below, adapted from allrecipes.com, fills four martini glasses to the brim and costs around $4.70 per glass substituting trusty and cheap(er) Smirnoff ($14.29, including tax, at Haskell’s).
Worth noting is that the longer the mixture steeps, the less it will bite. (A peruse of comments on a scattering of foodie websites revealed one week to be the preferred infusion time.) After serving this recipe to a few guinea pigs after three days, one taste tester said it conjured the collegiate call-to-action, “It’s party time!,” while another, perhaps more vodka-friendly palate, declared, “It reminds me of sunshine and miniskirts.”
1 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1 750ml bottle of vodka
Place the pineapple chunks into a large glass container, and pour the vodka over them. Cover, and refrigerate for three to four days. Strain out pineapple, and serve vodka over ice.
*If you have a water filter (like Brita) on hand, you can get away with using a bottom-shelf vodka such as Cossack or Haskell’s brand and passing it through the filter four times. Smirnoff or Gordon’s are acceptable and much cheaper alternatives to Stolichnaya.