Civil War-era Pineappleade

This recipe was cooked for the Historical Food Fortnightly, a yearly challenge that encourages writers to cook a historical food every two weeks.

For this challenge I decided to take on a lemonade twist with pineappleade. Pineapples were exotic fruits in the 1800s, mostly grown in Jamaica. They were used for such dishes as ice cream, pudding, pineapple chips, fritters, drinks and marmalade. They were considered a “dessert” fruit and was often paired with sugar. Pineapples, being imports, were not as common as home grown fruits. The first large quantity producing pineapple plantation in Florida was started in 1860 by Captain Benjamin Baker, who was probably accustomed to the enjoyment of them at sea.

I wanted to add a dessert type feel to the pineappleade so I dressed it up like fancier drinks of the time, particularly with a straw. In the 1850s and 1860s, drinkers had a few options for drinking straws: rye grass, glass tubes made for the purpose and even hollow noodles. I opted for a glass tube although I could not find any as long as typically pictured. Rye grass was most common although it gave the drink extra flavor.

The Challenge

Juicy Fruits: Do something with fruits. It doesn’t get more simple than that. Bonus points for use of heritage crops and ingredients.

Date and Region

United States 1850s-1860s



-8 Cups Water, boiling

-Powdered Sugar, to taste

-Oranges, Lemons optional.


Pare and core the pineapple. Mince it fine and place in a pitcher. Pour boiling water over the minced pineapple and mash occasionally with a wooden spoon, cover it until room temperature. Add powdered sugar to taste. Refrigerate or put on ice until cool. Pour into cups, add an ice cube, extra sugar if needed and a thin slice of pineapple.

Time to Complete

A few hours; most of the time was letting the pineappleade cool

Total Cost

About $4

How Successful Was It?

Pretty good. If I was to make it again I would probably add some orange and lemon. It would be a fantastic, chilling drink on a hot summer day.

How Accurate Is It?

The only thing I changed was the garnish style. The drink called for having a thin slice of pineapple stuck on the top of the drink but you couldn’t see it in the pictures so I opted for a more modern style.

-By Stephanie Ann Farra