On the Sauce: Strike Gold

This is about as low maintenance — and soul-warming — as it gets.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Strike Gold
Chris Fasick

Well, it's finally cold outside. You've probably busted out your favorite comfy clothes, and maybe even thrown on a knit cap. But me? I can enjoy — at last — what seems out of place (at least to me) during the other 50 weeks of the year: a hot cup of coffee.

I'm just gonna say it, though — this shit sucks; the north can keep its garbage weather. But I guess for a couple of weeks, or however long this is supposed to last, I can deal, especially when colder temps allow for the preparation of a soul-warming cocktail.

If you're not into drinks that're served hot, I understand. I was in the same boat, as evidenced by my I'm-averse-to-hot-coffee confession above. However, there is something comforting about the way the following combination of spices marries with warm pineapple juice as you sink into your couch under a throw blanket. The best part is that a mini slow cooker is mixing our cocktail this week.

Drawing inspiration from my beverage of choice for the 2016 cold front, the aptly named Strike Gold incorporates many of the same flavors as that mulled wine — cinnamon and allspice, for example — but in different measurements. The recipe's spices also pair effortlessly with rum, of course (you've heard of Captain Morgan, haven't you?).

Please don't let the longer-than-usual list of ingredients deter you, either. Little packets of each spice, under the Badia brand, can usually be found at the grocery store for around $1, and once you drop 'em into the slow cooker, you're set for the night. This is about as low maintenance as it gets, whether you're Netflix and chillin' on a cool night, or in need of a cocktail for that upcoming holiday party.

That being said, for gatherings of five to 10 people, I'd double the batch size and use a larger cooker. As is, however, it's perfect for two to four people.

click to enlarge On the Sauce: Strike Gold
Chris Fasick

Strike Gold

Makes 1 batch

4 cups pineapple juice

1 1/2 cups aged rum

25-35 allspice berries

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole nutmeg

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 mango chunks

In a slow cooker, add all ingredients and stir. Set cooker at the lowest setting, then let simmer for 1 to 2 hours — the longer the better. Serve in a coffee mug. (I like the loose spices as a garnish, but feel free to strain them out if desired.)

Connect with CL columnist Chris Fasick on Twitter, or email him at [email protected] if there's a cocktail or recipe you'd like featured.