Every year, we promise ourselves that we’re going to experience carnaval in Rio, when the entire country essentially shuts down to partake in the annual blowout that precedes the beginning of Lent.
But tomorrow is Fat Tuesday, and once again we’ll be celebrating Mardi Gras at home. While we won’t be able to watch the city’s colorful samba parades, we will be able to enjoy cocktails made with Brazil’s national spirit: cachaça.
The sugar cane-based liquor is famously featured in the country’s delicious Caipirinha, but it can be used in a variety of concotions. And to make your Fat Tuesday appropriately spirited, we finagled a couple excellent recipes from top watering holes calling for the alcohol.
At acclaimed New York bar Employees Only, the Lazy Lover shows off cachaça’s sophisticated side, mixing it with the complex liqueur Bénédictine, as well as Green Chartreuse that’s been infused with jalapeño pepper.
Looking for something less spicy? Try the Pan Am, a riff on the classic rum-based El Presidente, which is served at Boston hotspot Silvertone. Cachaça shines paired with dry vermouth and orange liqueur.
So put on some samba, fix these drinks and viva o carnaval!