This will be the last post till Friday when I return from a mini vacation in Springfield, Mass. If you have an opportunity to get your hands on the wonderful elixir, Cachaca, give it a kick - perfect for summer and in honor of FIFA World Cup Soccer - GO USA!!!
Cachaça, pronounced (ka-sha-suh), isn’t a spirit often used in cocktails - at least not in the Northern Hemisphere. Now is the time to start mixing it with, well, everything because the World Cup has kicked off in the spirit’s home country, Brazil. As you will discover, cachaça-based drinks are incredibly versatile because of the sugar cane liquor contained within.
While you’re watching your favorite team play - or even if the World Cup is about as interesting to you as watching golf - mix up one of these creative drinks to get to know your cachaça and the Southern Hemisphere cocktail culture.
There’s a reason that just cachaça, lime and sugar concoction is Brazil’s national cocktail. The sweet-and-sour mixture is perfect for sipping in hot, balmy weather and there’s no better way to celebrate summer and this year’s World Cup than by enjoying the traditional recipe.
Feel like you’re on a beach in Rio with the simple, classic Caipirinha recipe from Brazil.
- Half a lime, cut into wedges
- 2 tsp Sugar (or 1 oz simple syrup)
- 2 oz Cachaça
Garnish: Lime wheel (optional)
Glass: Double Old Fashioned
In a double Old Fashioned glass, muddle the sugar and lime. Fill with ice and add the cachaça. Stir briefly and garnish with a lime wheel if desired.
Like it spicy? Cachaça and chiles are like a marriage. Throw in some lime, salt and agave nectar to get Hot in Rio. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t actually transport you to the insatiable party-driven mecca.
This chile pepper, lime and cachaça cocktail captures the spirit of Brazilian Carnaval.
- .5 oz Agave nectar
- 3 Chile pepper slices
- 3 Lime wedges
- 2 oz Leblon Cachaça
- 1 oz Lime juice
- 1 pinch Salt
Garnish: Chile pepper slices or lime wedge
In a shaker, muddle the agave nectar, chile pepper slices and lime wedges. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with crushed ice. Shake, and pour (unstrained) into a rocks glass. Garnish with additional chile pepper slices or a lime wedge.
As we said before, cachaça is super versatile. Like vodka or gin, rum or whiskey, all you need is a simple mixer. With that in mind, try the Samba Breeze - all you’ve got to do is add a couple of measures of orange juice and an ounce of cranberry juice that resembles a classic Madras. It’s very refreshing and an all-around great drink for summer.
This simple cocktail is as refreshing as it sounds.
- 1.5 oz Leblon Cachaça
- 2 oz Orange juice
- 1 oz Cranberry juice
Garnish: Orange slice
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange slice.
Cachaça really isn’t all that different from rum (sugar cane-based), which is used to make all kinds of classic tropical concoctions. So it’s no surprise that the spirit works so well in the tiki-inspired Batida Rosa. It’s packed with fruit flavor and may just inspire you to strap on your soccer cleats in solidarity with Team USA.This simple, but delicious cachaça concoction is packed with fruit flavor.
- 2 oz Cachaça
- 1 oz Pineapple juice
- .5 oz Lemon juice
- .5 oz Grenadine
- 1 oz Club soda
Garnish: Orange peel
Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a wine glass filled with fresh ice. Top with the club soda and garnish with an orange peel.
The most surprising cachaça cocktail of all, the Brazilian Sangria, takes the popular wine drink to another dimension - with the help of a little absinthe and Spanish brandy. Add your favorite fruits, orange liqueur and a bit of red wine to the mix and you’ll never look at Sangria the same again.
- Fresh seasonal fruit (recommended: strawberry, lime, orange, kiwi and passion fruit)
- .25 oz Lucid Absinthe
- 1.25 oz Cachaça
- .5 oz Spanish brandy
- .5 oz Orange liqueur
- 1 oz Red wine
In a shaker, thoroughly muddle the fruit with the absinthe, cachaça, brandy and orange liqueur. Pour into a wine glass. Float the red wine on top and stir briefly.
Have a great week! and I'll be back on Friday educating the universe one cocktail at a time.