7 Drinks to Kick Off the Olympics
Celebrate with caipirinhas and Rio-style ginger beer floats.
Sweet, tart and strong, the caipirinha is mixed with the Brazilian spirit cachaça. Cachaça 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.
Brazil is famous for the capirinha, but less well known for the classic caipiroska cocktail that combines vodka, lime juice and sugar. Passion fruit puree in this version makes for a deliciously fruity sweet-tart drink.
Star chef Eric Ripert's Brazilian twist on a typical American root beer float features orange juice, passion fruit and mango sorbet.
"In a perfect world I would like to drink it on some crazy night in Rio de Janeiro," says mixologist Elad Zvi of this citrusy cocktail made with Brazilian cachaca.
5. Batida Rosa
When a Brazilian soccer team stopped into El Vaquero for caipirinhas one night, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler came up with this drink to tempt them away from his declining supply of limes.
Essensia Orange Muscat from Quadry Winery in Madera, California gives this take on the caipirinha a west coast vibe.
7. Pab's Buck
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.