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!
Contributed by Employees Only
- 1.5 oz Leblon Cachaça
- .5 oz Bénédictine
- .5 oz Jalapeño-infused Green Chartreuse*
- .5 oz Agave nectar
- 1 oz Lime juice
- Glass: Coupe
- Garnish: Thyme
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a thyme sprig.
*Jalapeño-Infused Green Chartreuse
- Half a jalapeño pepper, cut into thin wheels
- 8 oz Green Chartreuse
Add both ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and strain out the jalapeño. Let cool completely before using.
Contributed by Silvertone
- 2 oz Avuá Cachaça Prata or Amburana
- 1 oz Combier
- 1 oz Dry vermouth
- Glass: Rocks
- Garnish: Lime wedge or orange twist
Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a squeezed lime wedge (if using Avuá Cachaça Prata) or an orange twist (if using Amburana).
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