Magnificent Bastard

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ask the MB: Mojitos

The Caipirinha
The Caipirinha
Q: What's wrong with a mojito now and then?
—Pete


A: Here are a few guidelines we try to keep in mind while mixing drinks:

1) If it's so sweet it makes your teeth ache, it's not a proper cocktail.
2) If it's got enough fresh produce in it to qualify as a salad, it's not a proper cocktail.
3) If it looks like it would feel right at home on the drinks menu at Chili's or The Cheesecake Factory, it's not a proper cocktail.

Sorry, Papa, mojitos score a perfect 3 for 3 on this list — we cannot drink mojitos.

A better summer cocktail? The caipirinha, aka the national cocktail of Brazil. (Here's how you pronounce it.)

Where mojitos use rum, derived from molasses, caipirinhas use cachaça, a Brazilian liquor distilled from sugarcane juice. It's sweet but light, and thus more appropriate for summer. Even more importantly, the absence of mint leaves in a caipirinha means you can drink them without worrying that your smile is doing an Alexander Ovechkin impression.

Make sure you use a quality cachaça. As usual, price is a reliable guide. We recommend Leblon, because of its consistent quality and dedication to creating videos like this.

OK, where were we? Right. Caipirinhas.

Try the MB version of the classic recipe below. Depending on the amount of juice in the limes, you may need to adjust the amount of limes and sugar used. Once you have it balanced, feel free to adjust the flavor with a few dashes of bitters. We've been using Fee Brothers' Grapefruit Bitters.

Caipirinha
1/2 lime cut into wedges
2 raw sugar cubes
2 oz Leblon cachaça

In the bottom of a boston shaker, muddle the lime wedges and sugar. Top with the cachaça and several ice cubes, cover and shake aggressively. Pour entire contents into a rocks glass.

POURCAST

BETA

Negroni

The classic Negroni is simply equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. You can do better.

  • 5 parts Plymouth gin
  • 2 parts Campari
  • 1 part Pimm's No. 1 Cup
  • 1 part sweet vermouth
  • 1 part dry vermouth
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters

Quick shake or stir and pour into chilled Martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.


In-Depth Negroni Coverage:

Magnificent Bartender: Negroni

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