Friday, February 12, 2010

lua bonita

1 oz Leblon Cachaça
1 oz Campari
1 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Last night after going to the St. Germain event at the Boston Shaker's store, Andrea and I hopped on the Red Line and got off at the Broadway stop to go to the Franklin Southie's Leblon Cachaça event. Bartender Joy Richard assembled a list of seven cachaça drinks; I was greatly impressed that none of the ones on the list was the Caipirinha (although I was told that they would gladly make one if requested). All too often, cachaça gets pigeonholed as the spirit to make Caipirinhas. The second best known cachaça drink, the Batida, was on there though and was flavored with a combination of mango puree and cream of coconut, and the other six were a combination of variations and original creations. Hopefully, efforts like this to expose people to cachaça's functionality in a variety of cocktail recipes will broaden the spirit's appeal in this country.
The first cachaça cocktail I chose was the Lua Bonita (Beautiful Moon) which substituted the gin in a Negroni for cachaça. The drink started with a distinctive cachaça grassiness and an orange oil nose. Sweet vermouth flavors were rich at the beginning of the sip, while the cachaça's funk and Campari's bitter notes were evident on the swallow. The funk and bitter notes played extremely well together and took the drink in a very different and intriguing direction from gin's effect in the classic Negroni. Moreover, these two elements served to partially dry out the drink's sweetness at the swallow. The Lua Bonita had a nice amount of acid crispness and when combined with the Campari and vermouth colors, one could probably be tricked into thinking for a moment that the glass contained a good proportion of cranberry juice.
My Lua Bonita immortalized in 2/17/2010's Globe article on restaurant/bar industry events.

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