Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | November 21, 2008

TDN: Cachaca

Last night’s Thursday Drink Night festivities were sponsored for the first time ever. The hosts were the good people from Leblon Cachaca. I hadn’t planned on being home for TDN, so I didn’t pick up a bottle in advance of the evening and my local liquor store didn’t carry it, so I had to make do with a bottle of Pitu. I’d never mixed cocktails with cachaca, other than a Caipirinha. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it, but given how happy I was with the different recipes I was coming up with, how great some of the other submissions sounded, and how pleased other cocktalians in the Mixoloseum were with Leblon, I think I’ll try to pick up a bottle the next chance I get.

I came up with four different recipes with cachaca for the night. A couple seemed to be well received and I’d say I enjoyed all of them (with a drink called Torrente probably coming in as my favorite).

First up was the Fashionable Cactus, which is basically an Oaxaca Old Fashioned with cachaca instead of tequila.

Fashionable Cactus

1.5 oz Cachaca
.5 oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Single Village)
1 tsp Agave nectar
2 dashes orange bitters

Shake and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

Torrente

Torrente

Next was the Torrente. A number of the recipes already submitted to TDN had a cherry liqueur of some kind or another in them and people were observing how well it works with the cachaca. I thought I’d contribute something with maraschino in it and used the basic idea of a Martinez as a jumping off point.

Torrente

1 oz Cachaca
.75 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
.5 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes orange bitters

Shake and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

It was pointed out that the cachaca is up against a lot of other strong flavors in the Torrente. I might try it with 1 1/4 ounces of cachaca, but I actually think it worked well for me with this recipe. YMMV.

Burying Luck

Burying Luck

As I mentioned above, a lot of the recipes had cherry liqueurs in them. Other common ingredients were Aperol, Chartreuse, and Domaine de Canton. I wanted to go in a different direction with my third drink and went with a very northern, fall type drink I called Burying Luck.

Burying Luck

1.5 oz Calvados
1 oz fresh apple cider
.75 oz Cachaca
.25 oz cinnamon syrup

Shake and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

In my last drink of the night, I tried again to do a substitution of cachaca for gin and modified the recipe for the Yellow Ribbon. Here is the White Ribbon:

White Ribbon

1.5 oz Cachaca
1 oz Lillet Blanc
.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur

Shake and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

When I made the White Ribbon last night, I left out grapefruit bitters, which is in the Yellow Ribbon. Next time I make it, I’ll try it with bitters. The Lillet & St. Germain are pretty sweet and probably could be serve to be toned down with bitters. It’s also worth nothing that there is no white ribbon in this cocktail. I don’t know what I could use to justify the name, since the yellow ribbon in the Yellow Ribbon is a big lemon peel, which is also in this drink. It was late and probably not the best naming convention, but suggestions are welcome (for the garnish).

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