30 minutes, plus chilling time
Adapted from Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa.
1/2 ripe pineapple
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 cinnamon stick
1 bottle (720 ml or 24 ounces) premium (daiginjo or ginjo) sake
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Cut the rind off the pineapple, then cut the fruit crosswise into 4 pieces.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the water, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and cinnamon stick over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the pineapple and simmer for about 3 minutes.
3. Remove the pineapple from the saucepan and let cool. Puree the pineapple in a food processor. Strain the puree and the contents of the saucepan through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the strained pineapple mixture to the saucepan over medium heat and boil until reduced by about two-thirds, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the cooled pineapple mixture and the sake. Add the lemon juice. Pour into a glass container and refrigerate. Serve well chilled.