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Pineapple is a terrible thing to waste. It's a universal sign of hospitality for god's sake!
Since this is a column geared toward resourceful hospitality whilst mixing drinks at home — I sometimes think of it as Home Ec for the over-21 crowd — this week features a thrifty little Trepky Trick for the summer months. Apron not included.

In a jar or Tupperware container:

1 Pineapple Core, 1/2” Sliced
1 Cup Spirits (enough to cover pineapple)
Spices to taste

Slap a sticky note with the date on it, and put it on a dark shelf. After three days (“Siri, remind me to check my pineapple gin in three days”), strain into a funnel perched on an out-of-service liquor bottle (or, if it's Saturday, a large glass of ice). 

I like fresh pineapple. A lot. We go through our share of pineapples at my house in the summer, but it bothers me to toss out that big, juicy old core simply because it’s unpleasant to eat, so I use it to infuse liquor. The trick here is to pull it back out sooner than you might with other fruit. Liquor continues to acquire more flavor over time, and I find that after 3-5 days, you get liquor that tastes like pineapple core instead of just pineapple.

I often add other stuff; this week I used gold rum with a 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract and a dash of cayenne pepper powder. Deal your own however you’d like — it’s a cheap and fairly quick way to make something unique.

Drink it with soda, in a fizz or sour, or just over ice. (This would be an appropriate use for vodka, I think.) Sky’s the limit. Have fun.

Of course, you’re not running out to the liquor store to utilize 48¢ worth of pineapple core, so none of this works unless you keep a large bottle of something affordable around the house. I think of it as the “utility bottle” — good for liquor and soda, flask drinks, infusing, etc. Perhaps that’s the most economical advice of all: Keep a good stock of liquor around.
Drink Well. 

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