Category Archives: Cachaça Cocktails

October 13: Building The White House

white-house-etchingOn this day in 1793, construction of the Presidential Mansion in Washington, D. C. began with the laying of the building’s cornerstone. During the first two years of his presidency, George Washington occupied two mansions in New York City. Later, in July of 1790 it was decided that Philadelphia would serve as the temporary capital city while the Federal City (later named Washington, D. C.) on the Potomac was being constructed, so Washington moved into a mansion there.

Washington’s successor, John Adams, also lived in the Philadelphia mansion during his first term. By mid-1800, the Presidential Mansion was ready for occupation, and Adams moved in in November of that year. A popular legend says that the Presidential Mansion gained the White House name when repairs were made to the building after the British burned it in 1814. According to this story, the charred sandstone walls were repainted a crisp white to hide any fire damage. However, the name had been used before the British attacked the Mansion. In 1811, Francis James Jackson, the former British minister to the United States, wrote that his successor would “act as a sort of political conductor to attract the lightning that may issue from the clouds round the Capitol and the White House at Washington.” Over the next century, the name “Executive Mansion” became the popular way to describe the building, but in 1901, Teddy Roosevelt made the White House name official when he ordered stationary engraved with the words “White House–Washington.”

Now, I was able to find a White House cocktail, but it’s extremely boring (1/2 ounce tequila, 1 ounce orange curacao, garnished with a lime and served in a cocktail glass), so I decided to go in a different direction and celebrate the laying of the White House’s cornerstone with a Cornerstone cocktail. It’s a cachaça based cocktail that is not dissimilar in taste to a Manhattan.

Cornerstone

  • 2 ounces Cachaça
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with an orange zest.

Tomorrow: Teddy Roosevelt delivers a 90 minute speech.

July 22: George Clinton

ClintonLast week we paid tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, one of the original pop showmen. Today, we honor one of the people who followed Hawkins’ lead and took rock spectacle to a new level. I speak of course, of George Clinton, the leader of the amazing funk music collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic, who was born on this day in 1941.

Over the last five decades, the P-Funk collective has included dozens of musicians and over ten different bands. Clinton was primarily involved with the two bands that gave the collective its name: the slinky R&B driven funk band Parliament and the Hendrix influenced funk-rock group Funkadelic. With these bands, Clinton, along with his number two; bassist Bootsy Collins, created not just a tight funk sound which continues to influence pop music in the present day, but also a complex Afrofuturist musical mythology and elaborate live shows featuring outrageous costumes an appearances by the P-Funk spacecraft known simply as the Mothership.

No one knows where the Mothership might land next to bring The Funk to the people of Earth, but while we wait for it to return we might as well sip on a Parliament Cocktail. Created at Vancouver’s The Diamond bar is a strong drink with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Parliament Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces  Cachaça
  • 1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 3/4 ounces lime juice
  • 2/3 ounces runny honey

Shake everything with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain in to a chilled cocktail glass and add a spritz of grapefruit oil.

Tomorrow: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and liquor.

June 12: International Cachaça Day

Brazil FlagThe World Cup begins in Brazil today, so it’s only fitting that we look at the national spirit of Brazil, cachaça. How important is cachaça to Brazil? Well, on June 12, 1744 the Portuguese colonial authorities in Brazil outlawed all production and distribution of cachaça.

What is cachaça? Brazil’s national spirit bears some resemblance to rum, although cachaça is made from pure sugar cane juice, while rum is typically made from molasses. The use of straight sugar cane makes this spirit a little sweeter than its Caribbean cousin.

Suffice to say, when the authorities’ attempt to ban cachaça did not sit well with the native Brazilians, who revolted to save their national spirit! In tribute to these brave patriots, in the mid-1990s, Brazilian government organization Sociedade Brasileira da Cachaça declared that every year the day that cachaça nearly died would be celebrated as International Cachaça Day.

Not only does Brazil have a national liquor, they also have a national cocktail, the Caipirinha. The Caipirinha (Portugese slang for a hillbilly) was originally a folk remedy of alcohol, lemon, garlic and honey that was used in São Paulo to treat patients during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. Eventually, it seems someone had the bright idea to make the drink a little sweeter by subbing in lime and sugar for the lemon, garlic and honey; and thus this delicious drink was born.

Caipirinha

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cachaça
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Place lime wedges and sugar into an old fashioned glass and muddle them together. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the cachaça. Give the drink a few quick stirs and enjoy.

Tomorrow: We go to Coney Island.

October 13: Construction Begins On The White House

white-house-etchingOn this day in 1793, construction of the Presidential Mansion in Washington, D. C. began with the laying of the building’s cornerstone. During the first two years of his presidency, George Washington occupied two mansions in New York City. Later, in July of 1790 it was decided that Philadelphia would serve as the temporary capital city while the Federal City (later named Washington, D. C.) on the Potomac was being constructed, so Washington moved into a mansion there.

Washington’s successor, John Adams, would also live in this mansion during his first term. By mid-1800, the Presidential Mansion would be ready for occupation, and Adams would move in in November of that year. A popular legend says that the Presidential Mansion gained the White House name when repairs were made to the building after the British burned it in 1814. According to this story, the charred sandstone walls were repainted a crisp white to hide any fire damage. However, the name had been used before the British attacked the Mansion. In 1911, Francis James Jackson, the former British minister to the United States, wrote that his successor would “act as a sort of political conductor to attract the lightning that may issue from the clouds round the Capitol and the White House at Washington.” Over the next century, the name “Executive Mansion” would be used to describe the building, but in 1901, Teddy Roosevelt made the White House name official when he ordered stationary engraved with the words “White House–Washington.”

Now, I was able to find a White House cocktail, but it’s extremely boring (1/2 ounce tequila, 1 ounce orange curacao, garnished with a lime and served in a cocktail glass), so I decided to go in a different direction and celebrate the laying of the White House’s cornerstone with a Cornerstone cocktail. It’s a cachaça based cocktail that is not dissimilar in taste to a Manhattan.

Cornerstone

  • 2 ounces Cachaça
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • 1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Stir in a mixing glass with ice and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with an orange zest.

Tomorrow: Teddy Roosevelt delivers a 90 minute speech.

July 22: The Father of Funk

ClintonLast week we paid tribute to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, one of the original pop showmen. Today, we honor one of the people who followed Hawkins’ lead and took rock spectacle to a new level. Born 72 years ago today, George Clinton is the leader of the amazing funk music collective known as Parliament-Funkadelic. Over the last 45 years, the P-Funk collective has included dozens of musicians and over ten different bands. Clinton was primarily involved with the two bands that gave the collective its name: the slinky R&B driven funk band Parliament and the Hendrix influenced funk-rock group Funkadelic.

With these bands, Clinton, along with his number two; bassist Bootsy Collins, would create not just a tight funk sound which continues to influence pop music in the present day, but also a complex Afrofuturist musical mythology and elaborate live shows featuring outrageous costumes an appearances by the P-Funk spacecraft known as the Mothership.

No one knows where the Mothership might land next to bring The Funk to the people of Earth, but while we wait for it to return we might as well sip on a Parliament Cocktail. Created at Vancouver’s The Diamond bar is a strong drink with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Parliament Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces  Cachaça
  • 1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 3/4 ounces lime juice
  • 2/3 ounces runny honey

Shake everything with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain in to a chilled cocktail glass and add a spritz of grapefruit oil.

Tomorrow: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream and liquor.

June 12: International Cachaça Day

Brazil FlagLet’s talk about cachaça. The national spirit of Brazil bears some resemblance to rum, although cachaça is made from pure sugar cane juice, while rum is typically made from molasses. The use of straight sugar cane makes this spirit a little sweeter than its Caribbean cousin. How important is cachaça to Brazil? Well, on June 12, 1744 the Portuguese colonial authorities in Brazil outlawed all production and distribution of cachaça. This did not sit well with the native Brazilians, who revolted to save their national spirit! In the mid-1990s, Brazilian government organization Sociedade Brasileira da Cachaça declared that every year the day that cachaça nearly died would be celebrated as International Cachaça Day.

Not only does Brazil have a national liquor, they also have a national cocktail, the Caipirinha. The Caipirinha (Portugese slang for a hillbilly) to a folk remedy of alcohol, lemon, garlic and honey that was used in São Paulo to treat patients during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. Eventually, it seems someone had the bright idea to make the drink a little sweeter by subbing in lime and sugar for the lemon, garlic and honey; and thus this delicious drink was born.

Caipirinha

  • 1 1/2 ounces Cachaça
  • 4 lime wedges
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Place lime wedges and sugar into an old fashioned glass and muddle them together. Fill the glass with ice and pour in the cachaça. Give the drink a few quick stirs and enjoy.

Tomorrow: We go for a ride.