Olympic Themed Drinks
Passion Fruit Caipiroskas
Brazil is famous for the caipirinha, but less well known for the classic caipiroska cocktail that combines vodka, lime juice and sugar. Michelle Bernstein doesn't love the taste of alcohol so she throws passion fruit puree into the mix, creating a deliciously fruity sweet-tart drink.
"The Essential is a great balance between citrusy and creamy, with a beautiful aroma of flowers and sugarcane," says Elad Zvi. "In a perfect world, I would like to drink it on some crazy night in Rio de Janeiro." The cocktail is best made with a milder young Brazilian cachaca, one that's aged for no more than six months.
Daniel Boulud's Caipirinha
Sweet, tart and strong, the caipirinha is mixed with the Brazilian spirit cachaca. Cachaca is similar to rum but made from sugarcane rather than molasses. "It's more sophisticated than rum because it's more pure," says Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, patriotically.
"I've wanted to use pisco in a drink for a while," says Jil Hales, Barndiva's co-owner, referring to the aged Peruvian grape brandy. "Like cachaca, it's a spirit whose time has come."
PDT/Crif Frozen Piña Colada
Jeff Bell at Manhattan's PDT (one of the best bars in the world) freezes coconut water and a mix of fruit juices, then blends them with rum to make a terrific, superfresh version of the classic cocktail.
Pok Pok's sweet-tart take on Brazil's caipirinha adds pomegranate juice to the usual mix of muddled limes, sugar and cachaca (the Latin sugarcane spirit). "Sugarcane grows in Thailand, too," says chef Andy Ricker, explaining why he serves the cocktail at his Thai restaurant. "Wherever you go, you're sure to find someone making moonshine out of sugarcane or rice."
When a Brazilian soccer team stopped in to El Vaquero for caipirinhas one night, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler came up with this drink to tempt them away from his declining supply of limes.
The slave trade left a strong African imprint on Brazilian cuisine, which is why Marcus Samuelsson chose to serve this classic Brazilian cocktail at his African-themed party. In his version, however, he muddles cranberries along with the usual lime and replaces the Brazilian spirit cachaca (made from sugarcane juice) with Scandinavian aquavit (an infused spirit).
Rio-Style Ginger Beer Floats
Eric Ripert's sweet, fizzy drink, made with orange juice, passion fruit and mango sorbet, is his Brazilian take on a typical American root beer float.
Duggan McDonnell riffs on the caipirinha by embellishing the classic combination of Cachaca, sugar and lime with Essensia Orange Muscat from Quady Winery in Madera, California.
Rhum agricole has a grassy flavor that's delicious in this cocktail from San Francisco's rum-loving Smuggler's Cove.
For this fruity rum cocktail, Miami bartender Julio Cabrera re-creates the flavors of jugo de papaya con anis, a popular weight-loss drink in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. His version here has no purported slimming effects.
Passion Fruit Batida
This creamy four-ingredient cocktail will be a new favorite.
This sweet-tart strawberry cocktail is Francois Vera's homage to his grandfather Pablo Vera, who owned a bar in Sao Paulo. "He had many regulars who would order the Pablo's Special, a simple blend of berries, sugar, lime and a spirit of their choice," Vera says. "I was only 12 years old at that time, and yes, I had the opportunity to try it once or twice."
In cookbook author and hunter Georgia Pellegrini's take on a Michelada--the Mexican cocktail made with beer, lime and spices--she swaps spicy homemade jalapeno-infused vodka for the beer. She says, "Good things are meant to evolve."
Coconut water is the breakout beverage of the decade, but people were actually mixing it into cocktails back in the 1800s. Here, Nick Detrich ?riffs on that tradition.
This recipe is easy to multiply for crowds. To ensure that a large batch stays chilled without becoming watery, serve it in a punch bowl set in a larger bowl of crushed ice.
Blackberry & Cabernet Caipirinha
For this punch-like take on the caipirinha, Cantina uses a Cabernet blended with a good amount of spicy Syrah.
When watermelon is in abundance, this is a great way to use it. Bobby Flay purees seedless watermelon chunks, then strains the juice through a sieve and mixes it with silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint and fresh lime juice.