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Just Bought A Bottle Of Cachaca

Any more ideas aside from the classics-fruits or limes,sugar,ice and cachaca capirnias-
Once drank it sraight with a side of ribs at a Anaconda's on St. Mark's-sadly it is no longer there-but sticks in the mind til this day--recipes and suggestions please

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  1. There are various recipes on the cachaca brands' websites. At the very least, I know that Cachaca 51 and Agua Luca both have recipes on their sites. If you have another brand, maybe they have a website as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alcachofa

      I bought Cachaca 51 and will check out the website-thanks

    2. My Brazilian girl friend said she and her female friends were huge fans of cachaca blended with strawberries and coconut milk. I've never tried it myself.

      2 Replies
      1. re: coolbean98

        Do you mean coconut milk as in the canned variety, or coconut water out of a fresh coconut, or something else? That sounds delicious. Could you ask her if anything else is added (i.e. sugar)?

        1. re: operagirl

          Oh sorry, not coconut milk but condensed milk! It's called a batida de fresa, but batidas can also be made with other fruits like passion fruit or banana. I have since tried them and they're delish, albeit girly. :)

          http://www.maria-brazil.org/batidas.htm

      2. While there are many ways to make a caipirinha I find that some things should be universal: A very fresh lime, a muddler, superfine sugar and the best cachaca that you can find. Personally I use 1/2 a lime with the core removed, 2 barspoons of superfine sugar, muddle it together, add ice, fill with cachaca, stir or shake. While it sounds sooo simple it's amazing how many bars will use lime juice, simple syrup, club soda or sprite, and even [gasp] Malibu.... Variations: grapes, strawberries, raspberries, fresh pineapple, and (if you can find it) fresh passion fruit pulp (a personal favorite). As for the cachaca, try as many as you can, indeed there are over 5000 brands of cachaca produced in Brazil and just around 30 brands here. Trust your taste buds.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cachaca_Dave

          The brazilian boys at work tell me that calinas is the best cachaca availiable here that they've seen. I don't know how it compares to 51, but they won't touch 51. They also tell me that they cut up about half a pineapple and dump it into a jar filled with cachaca for about a day and drink that. The language barrier prevented me from finding out if there was ice, shaking, etc. Sounds good though.

          Cachaca reminds me of real rhum agricole, which you can't really get outside of NY. The Ti Punch, to be precise.

          1. re: Cachaca_Dave

            As for the superfine sugar, I find that using coarser, plain old granulated sugar makes for a more authentic experience. In Brazil, caipirinhas are usually consumed with a straw, and with coarser sugar you get nice crunchy sweet granules when you sip from the bottom of the glass. Not to mention the flavor of the drink mellows as the ice and sugar dissolve. The straw is also especially necessary for drinking maracujá (that's passion fruit in English) caipirinhas, because you can suck up the seeds! Wow, I miss those.

            1. re: operagirl

              Yes, when I was in Brazil, I had several caipirinhas that were made with raw sugar, large granules of light brown, unrefined sugar and they aere excellent. In a heavy short glass packed with ice and sipped through a straw, you get those good crunchy sugar granules with a slight molasses flavor. Awesome! I miss Brazil.

          2. Hello Dave. This is Snowy is dead from egullet.
            I'm just north of Boston, in Salem. My comparison to agricole is based on only having had 51 cachaca and one single ti punch Mr. Hamilton bought me at flatiron. The aloe vera type flavor I found similar, but, then again, the ti punch was a potent drink. I'd love to try a better cachaca if I can find one.

            1. 51 is about $19/liter in New York but in Brazil it's the super cheap stuff; I've seen it for the equivalent of $2/bottle. Which means it's perfect for caipirinhas, since it makes no sense to waste the really good stuff by mixing it with lime juice and sugar.

              In Brazil it's fun to ask the waiter what types of caipirinhas they're serving -- there are often choices beyond lime. In Recife in November I found it was common to find tangerine caipirinhas. And in many places I've really loved the passion fruit version.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Puddle

                LOL the problem with the really cheap booze is that it doesn't matter how much lime or sugar you put into it, the drink still tastes bad. When liquor is good, the lime and sugar come together with the cachaca and the total adds up to more than the ingredients. On the opposited end of the spectrum, bad cachaca in a caipirinha really rises to the top of the drink and will still have the same fiery taste that you find when you drink it neat.

                I love just sitting at a sidewalk cafe (in Sao Paulo) and trying the different cachacas in different caipirinhas, it's an awesome way to spend an afternoon..... Of course not all cachaca is ment to be mixed into a caipirinha, the really aged (2+ years) pot distilled stuff is best served neat. So while I would avoid "wasting" the aged stuff in a caipirinha, with good cachaca on the market there in no reason to use cheap cachaca in your caipirinhas.

                1. re: Cachaca_Dave

                  51 is not a bad cachaca, it's perfect for caipirinhas, so is Pitu

                  1. re: Toot

                    Sure lots of people are accustom to Pitu and 51, however they are modern expresions of cachaca, made using a column still to produce them rather than the traditional pot stills that were used traditionally. 51 is actually the single largest distilled brand in the world. Better cachaca makes better caipirinhas.

                    1. re: Cachaca_Dave

                      Like better vodka makes better screwdrivers, or better whiskey makes better whiskey sours. Sure it's better, at least in concept, but can you really taste the difference?

              2. I'm sort of disappointed with 51 cachaca-I bought it on sale

                1. I like cristal from colombia much better than 51

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: marlie202

                    51 is cheap crap. Pitu is also very bad. Cristal may be a great liquor but, if it's from Colombia, it's not cachaça. Ypioca (http://www.ypioca.com.br) and Sagatiba (http://www.sagatiba.com) are better, good enough for caipirinhas, and easy to find outside Brazil.. Sagatiba's site has an English version, with recipes that surprised me because they go far away from the traditional caipirinha (lime) or batidas (other fruit like pineapple, passion fruit, ecc.). As for the sugar, it MUST be from cane. Tradition asks for the very fine one, but I'm using an organic brand wich is coarser, and has a delicious sugarcane flavour.
                    beijinhos!

                    1. re: Farofa

                      Pitu is the worst. 51 is okay for a caipirinha. I finally found a better cachaca in my area, Leblon. I liked it a lot. I could even sip it neat unlike the others. Less of the tequila like edge that is found in regular cachaca. More like a rhum agricole

                  2. What bother’s me about some cachaça producer’s like 51and Pitu is that they distribute and export low quality licquor with the excuse “cachaça is like that” - which is not true. Being large companies, they dominate international market but end by giving a wrong idea of what is our national licquor. So, we must count on you, foreign drinkers, to help with the quality control ;-)!

                    So, if you found a cachaça brand that satisfies you, stick to it. I think the rule is the same for all licquor: a good enough cachaça could be drunk by itself (of course, by those used to strong licquors). If that’s not possible, rather use it to clean your windows (while you don’t have an alcohol powered car... I do!)

                    What’s special about cachaça is that it’s made only with the fresh garapa (sugar cane juice, which is also a traditional highly energetic refreshment, and is being researched as an athlete’s beverage). This gives cachaça it’s distinctive, peculiar, “green”, “chlorophyla” taste (there are also the aged cachaças, in which this taste is combined and transformed by many others), and makes it very different from other cane licquors like rhum. Btw, if you have to substitute cachaça in a recipe, rather use vodka than rhum, which can be too aromatic.

                    2 very traditional recipes

                    Coquinho:
                    Make 2 small holes on 1 dry coconut (not the green one). Discard the water and fill with cachaça. Fill the holes with pieces of cork and some wax. Let it rest for a week. Serve iced.

                    Quentão: served at winter nights, like St. Antonios (tonight) and St. John’s (midwinter folk festival)
                    1. Caramelize 1 cup sugar, add 2 cups water, 2 sticks cinnammon, 2 pieces of ginger root, sliced, 2 limes sliced and let boil until you have a thick syrup. Add 1 liter cachaça. Don’t let it boil (some people do, but I think it looses flavour). Serve hot.

                    I said before that "caipirinha" is used mostly for citrics, but this is disputed. a better definition is: "caipirinhas" use mashed fruit; "batidas" are blended, or use fruit juice.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Farofa

                      Cachaca is growing VERY fast in the U.S., but a lot of people don't really know the difference between brands. Problem is that some try brands like 51, Pitu and Leblon and are put off by the category as a result. Leblon in particular has spent a lot of money advertising itself as the "premium" cachaca, which just isn't true. First, it's not even aged and bottled in Brazil, but France. Agua Luca also has this problem as it's bottled in the U.S., but at least it's a better cachaca than Leblon. Leblon is very harsh with a nose that knocks you out. I've given all the cachacas I could find a chance and it rated the worst. With Pitu and 51 I believe they add sugar during the distillation process, which offsets some of the harshness, but makes for an even worse liquor for you. More sugar = more impurities = worse hangover! Beleza is ok as is Agua Luca. Mae de Ouro is pretty good if you're looking for a very traditional, authentic cachaca. I found it made a decent caipirinha, but wasn't very versatile beyond that one cocktail. Cabana Cachaca is very smooth. It's double distilled in pot stills according to its website and you can really tell. It still tastes like a cachaca, but it doesn't hit you over the head. I actually tried it with tonic (one of the suggested cocktails on its site) which was very good. I'm typically a Mount Gay and tonic drinker, but Cabana & Tonic gives it a run for its money. Sagatiba just arrived in NYC. In my opinion it goes a bit too far in terms of distillations and tastes more like a vodka than a cachaca. It is smooth though and easier to mix than the traditional brands. I haven't tried cuca fresca or boca loca yet, which i've read about, but haven't seen anywhere. The names make me cringe a bit though. Not as much as Frisco Fish though - read about that one. Whoever came up with the name needs to go back to marketing school. Try all of them, but my recommendation is to stick with the authentic cachacas which are truly Brazilian and not shipped elsewhere for aging and bottling.

                      1. re: erichazann

                        That's what he said, not bottled in Brazil. Competitions? What, against other well cachacas available in the US? That's a very small gategory. It's a foreign product, and not the real deal.

                        It's not being judged against the fine cachacas of Minas Gerais, they aren't available here. Leblon isn't the choice in Brazil for well, or fine cachacas. Unfortunately, the Leblon, Sagatiba, and Cabana investors have the $$$$ to flood the US market, give it away to bars for next to nothing. Not only do SF World Spirits Competition judges have little experience drinking real cachacas, unless they've traveled to Brazil, but the bartenders around LA have zero cachaca knowledge outside the maybe 4 brands available in bars.

                        erichazann, I hope you're not another rep popping up on here, it happens alot on the subject of cachaca.

                        1. re: streetgourmetla

                          His post wasn't comparing "the fine cachacas of Minas Gerais", but the American market brands, Agua Luca, Cabana, Boca Loca, Leblon, Beleza Pura, etc.. thus, the reference to the competition in which these brands are judged. -- yes, the other well cachacas available in the US.

                          Sorry, I don't recall what my original post said, and it is gone now. But Cachaca Fan makes it sound like Leblon is not a product of Brazil. (The bottle does say product of Brazil.) Also, some sources say it is now bottled in Brazil after being rested in the casks from France. (ICBW)

                          Not a rep and not at all trying to equate Leblon or any American market brand to a real fine cachaca. We can't just walk down to the corner liquor store and pick up some Germania. In this particular subthread, I believed we were only speaking of brands readily available on the American market.. and I was trying to point out Leblon does well against those other cachacas.

                          1. re: erichazann

                            Leblon has to be distilled in Brazil to be considered a cachaca. I find their transport to France for aging to be an interesting marketing ploy. Well, I find any shipping of spirits like that to be an expense that gets passed on to the consumer with little pay back. The sad thing is that many of the Brazilian woods impart more interesting flavors to the spirit.

                            Leblon and Cabana (might be R.I.P. from what I hear) are targeting the American market where the rougher flavors (i.e. what makes cachaca a wonderful spirit) are stripped away and marketed as "ultra-premium" for a twice-the-cost price point.

                    2. I went to the website of Sagatiba and they have a downloadable .pdf with a bunch of cocktail recipes that are not only limes and sugar. Good luck!

                      1. I've been making my own version of the caipirinha:

                        Fill low highball glass 1/3 full of Leblon cachaca.
                        Top with Odwalla Lime Quencher.

                        You can salt or sugar the rim, depending on your taste.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sondrac

                          You can do *so* much better than the Leblon! I think that stuff is the Bacardi of Cachacas.

                          http://scottesrum.com/tag/comparisons...
                          http://scottesrum.com/tag/comparisons...

                          1. re: Scottes

                            The Cachaca from Salinas in Brazil is the best. There's one called DiSalinas that I think is the best quality. I tried a Kiwirosca at a restaurant, and it was cachaca with kiwi and sugar. Yum! Gold cachacas also offer a unique taste. For that, I enjoy Meia Lua Gold. DiSalinas I've had in the U.S., Meia Lua in Brazil. I've also just mixed it with Coke, and it beats the same old rum and coke.

                            1. re: DebsView

                              I have Germania at home which is nice to drink straight, and about 4 other artesanal brands from Brazil.

                              I like Velho Barreiro, Ypioca, and 51 for caipirinhas.They all remind me of the lanchonette or neighborhood bar caipirinhas in Rio and Sao Paulo.

                              All cachacas available in the US are only suitable for caipirinhas or batidas, period(Ypioca, Pitu, Leblon, 51).My Paulista wife laughs incredulously when I tell her that the bottle of Ypioca costs almost $30 at the Wine House in Los Angeles.It's like the early days of Tequila in the U.S. when all we knew were Cuervo and Sauza.People drank these straight because they didn't know any better.Yuck!

                              1. re: streetgourmetla

                                I recently tried a new Cachaca on the market in the Boston area called "Beija." (http://www.beija.net). I was very impressed with it. It is very smooth, with no harshness or bite. It has an intriguing herbal flavor to it. I had it in several cocktails but actually preferred it just on the rocks. It costs around $30 a bottle.

                        2. I don't know why you would want to do much else with it besides make caipirinhas. The national drink of Brazil is a wonderful and beautiful cocktail, I love it!