The cocktail is best made with a milder young Brazilian cachaça, one that's aged for no more than six months.

Photo: © Lucas Allen
Total Time:
13 mins
1 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 [wild] night in Rio de Janeiro." 


Hibiscus Cordial

  • 4 ounces water

  • 2 tablespoons hibiscus tea (see note)

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 ounce 100 proof vodka

  • 1/2 teaspoon port

  • 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water

  • 1/4 teaspoon rose water

Essential cocktail

  • 2 ounces cachaça

  • 1 ounce Hibiscus Cordial

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 1 large egg white

  • Ice

  • 1 fresh hibiscus flower, for garnish (optional)


Make the Hibiscus Cordial

  1. In a small saucepan, boil water. Reduce the heat to medium and add hibiscus tea and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in vodka, port, orange blossom water, and rose water. Strain the cordial into a jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Makes about 8 ounces.

Make the Essential cocktail

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the cachaça, Hibiscus Cordial, lime juice and egg white and shake vigorously. Fill the shaker with ice and shake again. Strain into a chilled rocks glass (with ice or without) and garnish the drink with the hibiscus flower.


Hibiscus tea is made from dried hibiscus flowers, which are available at Latin markets and health food stores.

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