kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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A variation on a Brazilian fave

So last evening, I was browsing through my copy of Dale Degroff's The Craft of the Cocktail, looking for a recipe to inspire me. This book is filled with really helpful information about cocktails and liquors, and a wealth of recipes both classic and contemporary. Unfortunately, we were missing a single ingredient for so many of them.

I have these tasty dark cherries in merlot syrup from Robert Lambert that have been in my fridge for a month or so. They are somewhat tart, with some spice and deep berry flavor from the merlot, and I've just been dying to try them in some liquid creation.

I've always enjoyed a good Caipirihna, the cachaca-based drink from Brazil. Unfortunately, I don't have a bottle of it right now in my liquor cabinet. So last night I substituted rum, and it turned out quite nicely. Here is the recipe:

(Variation) on the Cherry Caipirinha
Make 1 drink

* 3 pitted dark cherries
* Half of a lime, cut into small wedges
* 1.5 teaspoons brown sugar
* 2 oz. light rum

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. Muddle the cherries, lime and brown sugar in a cocktail shaker. Add the rum and ice from the cocktail glass. Mix well, then pour entire contents back into the cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

The Robert Lambert cherries added a nice complexity to the drink, balanced by the tartness of the lime juice and the sweetness of the brown sugar. And the drink just looked pretty, too.

Since cachaca is a bit more "rough" and rustic than rum, I'm thinking next time I could substitute half rum and half vodka to give it more of a bite. Or, of course, I could also just buy a bottle of cachaca...

Happy Fourth of July!