Food-Drink

10 Cool Cachaça Cocktails to Try This Summer
With the sweltering summer months on the way, it’s time to shake up your cocktail game. READ: 10 Low-Calorie Summer Cocktails And for some much-needed inspiration, we recommend heading down south, to the land that gave us Gisele and the barely-there bikini. Cachaça may not instantly ring a bell, but if you’re familiar with the refreshing Cuban mojito, then you’re already on your way to loving Brazil’s official spirit. Pronounced ka-shah-sah, this distilled drink is similar to rum, except it’s made from sugar cane juice, as opposed to molasses, which typically used to produce rum. And while it’s best known for being the key ingredient behind the caipirinha cocktail, mixologists are currently discovering new, unique ways to make any drink an instant, yet tasty, heat-buster. “I find that the bright floral and herbal notes of cachaça lend themselves greatly to citrus and spice-based cocktails,” says Washington, DC-based bartender Glendon Hartley, who is preparing summertime sips featuring the liquor. “The balance of sugar and citrus within the spirit itself is like drinking a cocktail even when sipping it alone.” READ: 10 Delicious Punches for Any Summer Soiree Hartley also adds that the recent popularity of cachaça in bars across the country is due to patrons wanting to discover new drinks that aren't as predictable as rum and vodka. “Cachaça is aged in special wood barrels and the manufacturers sell it in small quantities,” says David Jordan, manager of Stratus Rooftop Lounge, atop Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, which is offering the banana-flavored Estrato Caipirinha as one of their new signature summer cocktails. “It used to be considered a peasant drink, but is quickly making a comeback in the market, holding its own against the finest rums and tequilas in many cases.” “Cachaça is made from sugarcane and has a relatively high alcohol content,” states Jordan. “If you’re a fan of distilled liquors, cachaça will not steer you wrong. Just one caipirinha, and you’re hooked for the rest of summer.” READ: 10 Refreshing Mojitos With a smooth, cooling flavor that perfectly complements an array of ingredients, including seasonal fruit, it’s difficult to resist.  For some inspiration, check out these tantalizing cachaça-based cocktails to try all summer long:
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Kumquat Caipirito

Ingredients 2 oz. cachaça 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar 6 mint leaves 3 whole kumquats halved mint soda water 1 mint sprig Preparation Muddle mint and kumquats until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients, shake, and pour into a highball glass with fresh ice and splash of soda water. Garnish with mint sprig.
(BLT Steak in New York City.)

Passion Caipirinha

Ingredients 3 lime slices 2 oz. cachaça 1 oz. passion fruit syrup 1 maraschino cherry Preparation Muddle lime slices. Add remaining ingredients. Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into rocks glass with fresh ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
(Head bartender Raphael Lester of Mira Sushi & Izakaya in New York City.)

Bahia

Ingredients 1 oz. cachaça 1 oz. Cocchi Americano aperitif 1 oz. mango reduction 1 whole lime 2 Tbsps. sugar Preparation In a shaker muddle the four lime wedges with two tablespoons of sugar. Add cachaça, aperitif, and mango reduction. Add ice cubes.
(La Isla Escondida at Mulberry Project in New York City.)

Blackberry Cabernet Cachaça Cocktail

Ingredients 6 oz. cachaça 2 oz. cabernet 1 oz. soda water 2 oz. simple syrup 2 lemons, hand-squeezed 1 lemon twist for garnish 6 blackberries Preparation Muddle 3 blackberries with lemon juice from 1 lemon. In a shaker add cachaça, cabernet, simple syrup, and stir. Mix muddle black berry and lemon juice mixture. Continue stirring. Top with soda water. Garnish with lemon twist and fresh blackberries before serving.
(Celebrity caterer and founder of Elegant Affairs, Andrea Correale.)

Raspadilla Caipirinha

Ingredients 4 raspberries 6 lime cubes ½ oz. elderflower liqueur ½ oz. evaporated cane syrup 2 oz. Pitu Cachaça Preparation Muddle all the ingredients without the spirit then shake it. Strain over a rocks glass. Top with crushed ice.
(Chef Ricardo Zarate from Mo-chica in Los Angeles.)

Batida de Avocado

Ingredients 2 oz. Leblon Cachaça ¾ oz. freshly squeezed and strained lime juice ¾ oz. simple syrup 5 drops vanilla extract 1 Tbsp. fresh ripe avocado 1 lime wheel 1 sugarcane stick (optional) Preparation In a cocktail shaker, muddle the avocado to a puree, add the remaining ingredients, fill with ice, and shake vigorously until well chilled. Strain into an ice filled Collins or highball glass. Garnish with a sugarcane stick and lime wheel.
(Mixologist Esteban Ordonez of Burning Waters Cantina in New York.)

Strawberry Caipirinha

Ingredients 2 strawberries, cubed ¾ oz. lime juice 2 oz. cachaça ¾ oz. simple syrup Preparation Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Pour in a rocks glass and serve.
(Chef Ron Aleman of Sophie’s at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago.)

Avua de Vida

Ingredients 2 oz. cachaça 1 oz. simple syrup ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice 6 raspberries 6 blackberries 1 mint sprig Preparation Muddle 4 blackberries and 4 raspberries with simple syrup in cocktail shaker. Fill shaker ¾ of the way with ice. Add cachaça and lemon juice. Shake strongly for 12-15 seconds or until the outside of the shaker feels very cold. Strain through fine strainer into rocks glass. Fill with ice. Garnish with remaining berries and mint sprig.
(Mixologist Jorge Velasco of Jacques 1534 in New York. Photo courtesy of Paul Gelsobello.)

Alta Smash

Ingredients 2 oz. Avua Cachaça 4 lemon wedges 6 mint leaves .75 oz. simple syrup Preparation Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with crushed ice and shake. Pour and serve.
(Mixologist Giovanni Love of Bar Naná in New York.)

Cachaça Punch

Ingredients 1 bottle Cabana Cachaça 1 bottle St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur array of fresh fruit splash of sour Preparation Fill punch bowl with dice seasonal fruit. Muddle gently and pour in cachaça and St. Germain. Fill with ice and top with a splash of sour. Garnish glass with a skewer of fresh fruit.
(David Wondrich, author of “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl.”)

10 Cool Cachaça Cocktails to Try This Summer

With the sweltering summer months on the way, it’s time to shake up your cocktail game. READ: 10 Low-Calorie Summer Cocktails And for some much-needed inspiration, we recommend heading down south, to the land that gave us Gisele and the barely-there bikini. Cachaça may not instantly ring a bell, but if you’re familiar with the refreshing Cuban mojito, then you’re already on your way to loving Brazil’s official spirit. Pronounced ka-shah-sah, this distilled drink is similar to rum, except it’s made from sugar cane juice, as opposed to molasses, which typically used to produce rum. And while it’s best known for being the key ingredient behind the caipirinha cocktail, mixologists are currently discovering new, unique ways to make any drink an instant, yet tasty, heat-buster. “I find that the bright floral and herbal notes of cachaça lend themselves greatly to citrus and spice-based cocktails,” says Washington, DC-based bartender Glendon Hartley, who is preparing summertime sips featuring the liquor. “The balance of sugar and citrus within the spirit itself is like drinking a cocktail even when sipping it alone.” READ: 10 Delicious Punches for Any Summer Soiree Hartley also adds that the recent popularity of cachaça in bars across the country is due to patrons wanting to discover new drinks that aren't as predictable as rum and vodka. “Cachaça is aged in special wood barrels and the manufacturers sell it in small quantities,” says David Jordan, manager of Stratus Rooftop Lounge, atop Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, which is offering the banana-flavored Estrato Caipirinha as one of their new signature summer cocktails. “It used to be considered a peasant drink, but is quickly making a comeback in the market, holding its own against the finest rums and tequilas in many cases.” “Cachaça is made from sugarcane and has a relatively high alcohol content,” states Jordan. “If you’re a fan of distilled liquors, cachaça will not steer you wrong. Just one caipirinha, and you’re hooked for the rest of summer.” READ: 10 Refreshing Mojitos With a smooth, cooling flavor that perfectly complements an array of ingredients, including seasonal fruit, it’s difficult to resist.  For some inspiration, check out these tantalizing cachaça-based cocktails to try all summer long:

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