Monday, August 26, 2013

Introducing the…Pisco-rinha? Pisco-rita?

"When in doubt, punt." - John Heisman

It was my fault, so hopefully I can claim some of the credit, too. We'd been jonesing for caipirinhas after watching a video of cachaça expert Dragos Axinte of Novo Fogo mix up one of Brazil's signature cocktails. Dave was particularly keen to try his method of slicing a lime so as to extract the maximum amount of juice during muddling.

We had the limes, the sugar and the fermented sugar cane spirit the Brazilians call cachaça. Or at least I thought that's what was in the tall, clear bottle in the liquor cabinet until I pulled it out and realized it was actually pisco, the brandy distilled from grapes in the winemaking regions of Peru and Chile. Rats!

Rather than giving up on having a cool, refreshing lime drink from the southern hemisphere, we thought, well, heck, why not just sub in the pisco for the cachaça and see what happens? If it's terrible, we can just shrug our shoulders and pour it down the sink with no one the wiser.

Fortunately, that was not the case, and we can now claim it as a house variation on a classic. That's not so bad, is it? And yes, we do have cachaça on the shopping list for our next trip to the liquor store.


1 heaping Tbsp. superfine sugar
1/2 lime
2 oz. pisco

Trim ends off lime so white rind is gone. Cut lengthwise and remove pith from center. Slice almost all the way through perpendicular to axis of lime, rind toward flesh, leaving flesh side intact. Slice diagonally a couple of times, again, not slicing through. Cut in half, perpendicular to axis and put in glass flesh side up.

Put sugar over lime. Muddle gently, squeezing out all the juice you can. Put into shaker. Fill with ice. Add the pisco. Shake. Pour with ice into the glass.

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