You may know cachaça as the base of the Caipirinha, that effortlessly thirst-quenching Brazilian answer to the gin and tonic. But the distilled sugar cane spirit, frequently lumped in with rum, is beginning to come into own. We're excited to share the most interesting bottles that have crossed our desk in a while.
'cachaca' on Serious Eats
Prohibition did more than inspire an HBO gangster drama about how Steve Buscemi is rich and sleeps with showgirls while people get shot. Making booze illegal changed the way America drank, banishing a lot of popular ingredients to obscurity. One of the cocktail casualties was Swedish Punsch, a liqueur made with citrus, spices, rum, and a southeastern Asian liquor made with sugar cane and red rice called Batavia Arrack.
Bottom Shelf research director Emily and I recently decided to re-sign our apartment lease, with mixed emotions. Our building is OK but we could do better for the money; there are all sorts of fancy amenities that don't interest us, such as underground parking and unintimidating neighbors. I'd rather trade in the meek empty-nesters—who, to their credit, never make noise and rarely steal my FedEx packages—for an extra bedroom or better dive bar proximity.
Cachaça—Is it rum, or is it not rum? Last week's encyclopedic guide to rum sparked some discussion in the comments about whether or not cachaça counts as rum. Before we tackle the question, I'll explore what cachaça is, how it's made and aged, and what it generally tastes like.
Mojitos are such a refreshing way to chase the sticky morning heat; but if you're like me, the last thing you want is a big mouthful of yard clippings every time you take a sip. And lot of mojitos are so cloying that they leave me even thirstier, rather than slaking a sticky throat the way a proper cocktail should. Clearly this wheel, while not needing reinvention, needed a little tuning.
Novo Fogo is located on the edge of Brazil's coastal rainforest and produces two styles of seriously delicious organic cachaça. Their Silver is dangerously balanced and crisp and unlike any other cachaça I've ever tried.
Pitcher drinks have a lot of appeal during the warmer months, but many recipes suffer from an excess of ingredients, or grow watery and insipid quickly. In today's Washington Post, Jason Wilson touches on a couple of points that can ensure pitcher-drink success. For example, the smaller the ice pieces, the more rapidly they'll dilute the drink generally speaking. Some dilution is desired, of course, but it's a fine line between "just right" and "too much."