Whether you’re a soccer (football for the rest of the world) fan or not, cachaça (ka-sha-sa) drinks are something we can all cheer for. As Brazil hosts the World Cup 2014 this month and the Olympics in 2016, the country’s national spirit – distilled from pure sugarcane juice – is finally getting its day in the sun! For those up coming soccer soirees during the FIFA World Cup 2014 from June 12 – July 13, here are three of the most popular cachaca drinks in Brazil and three modern cachaca drink recipes:
Caipirinha – Brazil’s national drink is much, much easier to make than to say. Ready for a lesson in Portuguese? Say it with me, caipirinha = kye-pur-een-yah.
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, plus 3 lime wedges and 1 lime wheel
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 ounce simple syrup (My favorite is Sonoma Syrup Co. classic)
2 ounces LeBlon Cachaca
Fill a rocks glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime juice and lime wedges with the sugar and simple syrup. Add the cachaça and 1 cup of ice and shake vigorously. Strain the mixture into the rocks glass and garnish the caipirinha with the lime wheel. Recipes by Daniel Boulud, Food & Wine.
Meia de Seda
This drink, translated ‘pantyhose’ in English, is for those with a major sweet tooth. I’d probably add a dose of heavy cream to cut the sweetness for a Brazilian-style White Russian.
1/3 cachaca or gin
1/3 cacao liqueur (made with the fruit, not cocoa)
1 spoon of sugar
Pour ingredients over ice in rocks glass, stir and sprinkle cinnamon atop.
Although fans worldwide will be celebrating with caipirinhas, São Pauloans are crazy for batidas. A heavenly mix of fresh fruit, condensed milk and cachaça, it’s essentially a boozy smoothie.
2 oz Avuá (pronounced ahv-wah) Prata Cachaça
1 oz Sweetened condensed coconut milk
1 oz Almond milk
.5 oz Giffard Sirop de Fraises (Strawberry liqueur)
.5 oz Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao
Handful of fresh strawberries
2 dashes Miracle Mile Orange Bitters
Place ingredients in a mixing tin, muddle fresh strawberries, add ice and shake until tin is frosty. Strain into a chilled highball glass. Garnish with orange wedge or sugar cane. Serves one. Recipe by Dan Sabo, bar manager at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
4 lime wedges (from 1/2 lime)
7 green grapes
2 teaspoons raw sugar, such as turbinado or Demerara
1/4 cup Ypioca Silver Cachaca
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) semisweet white wine (Gewürztraminer or Reisling
8 to 10 ice cubes
1 (4-to 5-inch) wooden skewer
In cocktail shaker, stir together lime wedges, 5 grapes, and sugar. Using wooden muddler or spoon, pound and press until fruit is crushed and juices are released. Add cachaca, wine, and ice, and shake vigorously for 25 seconds. Pour into old-fashioned glass. Thread remaining 2 grapes onto skewer, place in drink, and serve immediately. Recipe by bartender Naren Young, Bobo Restaurant in New York. Source: Epicurious.com.
1.5 oz Avua Prata Cachaca
1.25 oz Junmai Saki
.5 oz Campari
.5 oz Brown Sugar
Ginger Ale (My favorite brand is Fever Tree or Bundaberg Ginger Beer)
Pour ingredients in a shaker, muddle kumquats and limes. Add ice, shaken and serve in a tall glass. Top with ginger ale. Recipe by Heriberto, lead Bartender at Hakkasan Beverly Hills.
4 oz Novo Fogo Silver Cachaça
½ cup frozen raspberries
6 oz açaí juice
6 oz unsweetened coconut milk
1.5 tbsp sugar
Pour all ingredients with 3 cups of ice in blender. Rough it up until it looks like a smoothie. Serve in cocktail or rocks glasses, garnished with lime slice. Serves 4. Recipe by Novo Fogo cachaca.
For more about cachaca, keep reading about the history and the launch of America’s newest cachaca import from Brazil HERE.
As they say in Brazil… Saúde!