Beat the heat with Cachaca

2 Aug

I’ve found nothing cuts through the scorching heat of 90 degree plus days like a caipirinha. This naturally led to further cachaca experiments with most of the inspiration (and recipes themselves) from #cocktailvirgin as well as a nice seasonal variation, and experimentation with different brands (Boca Loca at #clydecommon,Leblon, and Cachacha 51″brazils best-selling cachaca”), resulting in Leblon emerging as the clear favorite. Something about it’s grassy, earthy funkiness contributed flavors that made all of the drinks sing. Cachaca is a distilled liquor made with fermented sugar cane that is currently classified as a rum (rhum agricole) though is seeking it’s own designation a a separate spirit class (more info can be found here). I make my caipirinha as follows:

3 oz cachaca (Leblon)
1 tsp cane sugar
Half lime

Cut the lime cross-hatched so that the half remains intact but scored. Place 1 tsp cane sugar in lowball. Add lime with pulp side on sugar, skin facing up. Gently muddle, in a circular motion until sugar is mostly dissolved. The muddling helps to bring out the aromatic and pleasantly bitter essential oils in the lime peel in a preferred manner than simply juicing the lime. Cracked ice is preferred due to 3 oz of spirit tasting a bit strong (other recipes may call for less) and in need of proper dilution (the cracked ice accelerates this process), with Leblon as an exception as it is quite drinkable neat.
For those who like simple tinkering, strawberries (though any seasonal berries are well suited) can be added to the muddling mix for a berry variation.

The cocktailvirgin variations can be found here Maison Leblon and Grand Elixir.They are both exceptional. There are a number of other excellent recipes using cachaca that I will soon post, and I hope that we start seeing this spirit offered at more locations as well as receiving it’s proper designation.


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