As an extra pineapple ripened on top of the fridge, I turned to twitter for suggestions on what to do with it. A talented bartender friend (Maggie Meskey aka @baconbra) suggested making pineapple flavored Cachaca (the Brazilian sugarcane liquor). She also sent me a (somewhat involved) cocktail recipe, which I swore I'd make the following weekend when I had more time. I couldn't wait to try out the Cachaca, though, so I decided to make a batch of Caipirinhas, the Brazilian national cocktail. By the end of the weekend, my jar of pineapple-flavored Cachaca was nearly gone, and I'd added a new drink to my list of go-to, at-home cocktails. —China Millman
Clean and cut the pineapple into 1-inch chunks. Put the pineapple into a large, non-reactive container (about 2 quarts) with a lid. You can also use two containers, just divide the pineapple approximately evenly.
Pour as much of the Cachaca as will fit over the pineapple. Cover and store in a cool, dark place for 5 days.
Strain the Cachaca into a clean bowl. Discard the pineapple. Store it in the fridge in a non-reactive container with a lid. It will keep for a couple of months.
Place two double rocks or cocktail glasses in the freezer.
Cut the lime into quarters and put them in the bottom of a shaker or a cocktail pitcher. Add the brown sugar, than muddle well, to break up the lime and dissolve the sugar.
Add the Cachaca and plenty of crushed ice (I use a vintage ice-O-mat ice crusher, but you can also put ice in a plastic bag, wrap it in a clean dish towel and wack at it with a rolling pin). Stir until the mixture is very cold. Pour into rocks or cocktail glasses. Close your eyes and imagine you are on a beach in Brazil.
After 18 years as a vegetarian, I made up for lost time by following up college with culinary school. I landed a dream job as restaurant critic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I held the post for five years, but as much as I love restaurants, my heart is in home cooking -- which makes Food52 one of the best things that ever happened to me (even before my husband started working there). Now I live in Brooklyn, work at Mouth.com and spend most of my spare time chasing around our toddler Mirabelle and figuring out what to make for dinner.