Columbus, Pineapple Wine & Pineapple Swipe - "It will, 'swipe your head off'."
After Columbus "discovered" the pineapple, he quickly realized that the natives seemed to prefer it as a drink. Columbus was struck by the ubiquity of these drinks which he referred to as 'wine', recording in his journal,
They make another wine out of a fruit which was found in the island of Guadeloupe, like a great pine cone. This plant is sown in extensive fields from the sprout which grows at the top of that very pine cone ... the plant lasts three or four years continually bearing fruit.
While pineapple and rum were natural companions in many parts of the world, this was not the case in Hawaii. Due to missionary influence, the rum industry never developed in Hawaii. Hawaiian canners' recipes did not contain boozy recipes and home brewing had to be clandestine. What did take place had to occur in the pineapple fields where 'pineapple swipe' was made. Making swipe involved selecting fine, ripe pineapples, cutting off the tops, chopping the fruit and adding sugar, replacing the crowns and letting the fruit ferment in the sun for a few days. The result would, as locals said, 'swipe your head off'.
Samuel Eliot Morison, Journals and Other Documents on the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus (New York, 1963), p. 346.
American Can Company, The Hawaiian Islands and the Story of Pineapple (New York, 1939), p. 37.
- Chief Pineapple