Cocktails We Love is a new column on Boozist highlighting the best cocktails in Chicago as well as ones you can make in your own kitchen. Have a suggestion? Send it our way!
The caipirinha is the most well known Brazilian cocktail, but it’s not the only drink on the menu. Cachaça, a Brazilian spirit similar to rum, is far from a one trick pony.
Aside: What is the one trick that most ponies know? And where do they learn said trick?
Forgive my obscure headline. I can’t think of Brazil without thinking of the obscure cult classic movie, Only the Strong. In it a former green beret teaches Brazilian martial arts to high school kids in Miami for some reason. The song “Paranauê” plays repeatedly, but to a wee young Boozist it just sounded like Bananaway. Anyway, the only real connection is that Cachaça 51 and Capoeira both start with the letter ‘C’ and come from Brazil.
Don’t feel bad if you’re not familiar with cachaça. Former Mr. Britney Spears, Kevin Federline, set Brazilian-American relations back at least a millennium when he released the song PopoZão back at the dawn of 2006. It’s no wonder we wanted to distance ourselves from their party scene. Thankfully our ears and souls have recovered because cachaça is delicious.
Unlike many rums, cachaça comes from the fermentation and distillation of fresh sugar cane juice as opposed to molasses. Some say that makes it better. Others don’t agree. Personally, I don’t really care because it’s delicious. Isn’t that what really matters at the end of the day?
The folks at Cachaça 51 sent me a bottle to toy with along with a few cocktail recipes, so I can’t take credit for that which you’re about to drink. I did test a half dozen different drinks using Cachaça 51 before settling on a winner though. I know, rough job. I do it because I love you. And because I like boozing. But mostly because I love you.
A few things to note here. Fresh squeezed pineapple and lemon juice can’t be beaten. It’s going to taste like cool, refreshing garbage if you make your drink with a can of Dole pineapple juice and a bottle of Rose’s lime juice. Also, don’t be afraid of the sage-infused simple syrup. If Kevin McCallister didn’t get scared, neither should you. It’s as easy to make as the name simple syrup implies.
Pull out your shaker, preferably penguin-shaped, and pretend you’re on vacation.
- 2 oz Cachaça 51
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz sage-infused simple syrup
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- Pour Cachaça 51, juices and sage syrup into a shaker.
- Shake it like a early '00s hip hop song
- Pour into a collins glass filled with fresh ice.
- Top with seltzer. Use a pineapple leaf as garnish.
- To make sage-infused simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar, water, and sage (2 leaves per 1 oz). Bring to a boil then let simmer for two minutes. Allow to cool entirely, remove sage, add to drink. Remember to tuck your pinky in... you're not that fancy.