Friday, June 1, 2007


It's June 1st, and in the New York City area it's already 90 freaking degrees; my continuing search for the Best Summer Brew might start a little early this year. Meanwhile, what alcoholic drink would be the best choice on a sweltering day? Should I just drink a Brooklyn Lager and pour a Bud Light down my pants? That's a tempting choice and the only practical use for an A-B product I can think of; to save money, make sure you do it during the 2-for-1 happy hour deals.

Firstly, I do know what NOT to drink. A few weeks ago, I went to an Aztec (read: expensive, trendy Mexican) restaurant in Philly, and was trying hard to avoid drinking anything containing the 465 types of tequila they had. Since I like beer and spicy food the bartender talked me into trying a
michelada. Just imagine a Bloody Mary on ice, with Mexican beer instead of vodka, and with limes and salt on the rim like a margarita. Oh, the horror. GQ even suggests the chelata for a hot day (basically the same drink minus the hot sauces), but I'm just not into this trend especially because it's too salty and fruity. After I braved my way through one of those spicy mistakes I switched to the caipirinha, which was a hell of a lot more enjoyable, as didn't burn my lips at all.

1⅔ fl. oz.
½ fresh lime, cut into 4 wedges
2 teaspoons sugar

Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cachaça.

(Wouldn't the Muddler make a good Batman villain? But I digress.)

Considered the national cocktail of Brazil, it tasted very much like a sweeter version of vodka with lime, not quite as fruity as other tropical drinks.
Cachaça is similar to rum except it's made from sugarcane juice, and not from molasses, a by-product of the sugar manufacturing process. I'm not a big rum fan, so this alternative was pretty enjoyable. Until other people find out that it's officially considered a "fancy drink" by the IBA*, I think it's safe to order one at your local Mexican restaurant that stocks cachaça, as it certainly goes well with guacamole and spicy food. If only I knew how to pronounce it correctly.

* The International Bartender's Association splits up cocktails into four categories: Before-Dinner Cocktail - Dry or Medium, After-Dinner Cocktail - Sweet, Long Drink - Collins Type, Fancy Drink - Long, medium, short. Who knew?

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