Tag Archives: caipiroska

Pineapple Vodka, With Extra Toppings…

The final of my 3 Vodka infusions; this sweet and tropical infusion will be perfect for those with a sweet tooth and a penchant for the tang of a fresh pineapple (like me).

It is a relatively versatile infusion that works best in tropical cocktails but also finds its place in the more ‘traditional’ recipes. Think along the lines of a Tropical Martini or Tangy Screwdriver…

Check out the infusion recipe below and then enjoy the tropical combination of your new Pineapple Vodka and a cocktail whose origin story was set in Brazil; The Very Tropical Caipiroska.

Pineapple Infused Vodka

Recipe:

1 whole (medium) pineapple, sliced/diced

70cl (700ml) Vodka

50 grams Sugar

Method:

  • Add all of the ingredients to a sterilised & tight sealing bottle.
  • Leave to sit for up to 48hrs.
  • Strain into the original vodka bottle and seal it.
  • Keep in a cool dry place away from sunlight, or in the fridge/freezer if you want it served chilled…

This infusion is extremely fresh and does not hide its tropical pineapple flavour! This vodka is a wonderful inclusion in any cocktail you want to perk up with a tropical hit. Try it in your next vodka base tropical drink or as an addition to your next Pina Colada!

Cocktail: Very Tropical Caipiroska

pineapple caipiroska 1

Recipe:

50ml Pineapple Infused Vodka

1 Lime

2 teaspoons Sugar*

Garnish: Pineapple leaf & speared fruit.

Method:

  • Add the sugar into a rocks glass.
  • Cut the lime into quarters and then squeeze and drop each piece into the glass skin up.
  • Very gently muddle the lime and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved, fill the glass with crushed ice.
  • Add in your infused vodka, cover with a napkin and swizzle.
  • Top up with more crushed ice and then garnish.
  • Serve with a straw…

*the type of sugar determines the amount of muddling. Whilst using a sugar cube looks good, it also requires a lot more work. Use some granulated sugar, or better yet go for caster sugar!

This cocktail is based on the classic Caipirinha from Brazil and was huge during the last world cup [Brazil 2014]. During the 4 weeks that Fifa’s biggest tournament ran, there were more variations on the Caipirinha than one could shake a proverbial stick at. Whilst the Caipiroska was already well-liked before the WC, it did benefit a great deal from the exposure of its parent during the football tournament…

Caipirinha ingredients
A Caipirinha is a simple 3 ingredient drink: Cachaca, Lime & Sugar…

With citrus flavours galore and vast amounts of other tropical flavours a-plenty, the Caipi family of cocktails have gone from strength to strength. There are so many different varieties of this drink that it was only a matter of time before infused spirits/liqueurs made their way into the recipes!

This pineapple vodka based version is fruitier and lighter than a normal Caipiroska (the infusion process takes some of the alcohol burn away.

Fervent Shaker Top Tip: This cocktail is fantastic short and iced. But if you’re after something a little longer (and lighter) then why not make this in a tall Collins glass? You’ll have to prepare it in a rocks glass before adding it to the larger glass. You should pour the ingredients (once muddled) into a Collins glass, add the ice, then the alcohol. Before adding more crushed ice, add in some fruit juice – in this instance a splash of Pineapple & Mango would be fantastic! – Then top up with the ice.

3 course meal New Zealand Special: A preview…

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The place i want to call home…

So, it’s been a while. I’ve been working, not drinking a lot and generally not had a lot of time to write. It sucks. But now i have 2 weeks off, and plenty of time to write my heart out.

Starting with this preview of my upcoming 3 course cocktail: New Zealand special.

Now i have a special day in out in london planned next tuesday (25th) during which i’ll be trying out 3 or 4 different cocktail bars located near/around the London Bridge area of London. This will be posted in the form of both cocktails, event reviews and of course the write up of the Cointreau Fizz Garden event i’m going to in the evening.

Until then i intend to finish the preview below and of course supply plenty of other great posts. So read on, enjoy and look forward!

I have a deep held love for New Zealand, it started when i was about 14 and saw a documentary about it. Then when i was 18 my best friend moved out there, and ever since i’ve been obsessed with the wonderful country, culture, scenery and all. Hopefully one day i can visit, and if i’m really lucky i may even get to call it home. But those are dreams. This is fact and here come the great cocktails, all with a New Zealand theme… FACT.

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It even looks like Italy upside down. What’s not to love?

Starter: It’s the Bloody Oysters Mary!

New Zealand, a place currently at the top end of my places-to-visit list and second only to the full state tour of the USA (for obvious cocktail/historical reasons), is the theme of this 3 Course Cocktail post. And the starter for this 3 course cocktail post is a twist on the Bloody Mary.

The classic recipe is simple enough: Vodka, Tomato Juice and then a combination of seasonings to the drinker’s choice. Traditionally a classic bloody mary will contain the vodka and tomato juice, but also salt, pepper, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, lemon juice and tobasco sauce (although how much of the latter depends on how hot you prefer the drink). There are many variations of this recipe; using different combinations of the above ingredients as well as using different sauces altogether, some recipes even include cooling agents such as cucumber or avocado to the drink!

Now this recipe is different from the traditional recipe but only in one ingredient: Oyster Sauce. Now being in the UK, and around 21,000 miles (give or take) from New Zealand, you may find it a little difficult to come across good quality New Zealand Bluff Oysters (if you don’t know about these I suggest you google a.s.a.p.). However a simple dash of oyster sauce, should supply the flavour hit required.

Main Course: It’s 42 Below and all I have is a Kiwi fruit?

So the idea of this main course is to supply something a little different, a tweak on a classic. The Caipirinha is a Brazilian drink, but has a great many variations. A very popular variation is the Caipiroska, a similar drink with the only difference being the use of Vodka as the base spirit (instead of Cachaca). This particular main course cocktail is a New Zealand themed Caipiroska. Using 42 Below Vodka and Kiwi fruit (puree, flesh and some fresh juice).

The variety of kiwi used in this cocktail is a UK commercial fruit (insert genus name here). For those of you reading this that are blessed with several different varieties to choose from, please feel free to try some different ones out, especially those that taste better than the commercial brand here in the UK!

Dessert: when 1 dessert is too few and choice is just right…

For this menu, I’ve decided to go for cocktails that are more dessert than cocktail. This doesn’t really change anything other than they are more ‘meal-like’ choices.

The three dessert course cocktails chosen for this menu are a combination of traditional cocktail recipes using Below 42 vodka, but served in a slightly contemporary fashion.

The first is a cocktail version of the classic Italian dessert: Tiramisu. Using Below 42 Vodka and combining it with coffee liqueur, bailey’s and a splash of amaretto this recipe supplies the creamy-coffee flavoured dessert but with an alcoholic hit.

The second is a student inspired Jelly-Shot like dessert: Lemon Drop Jelly Shots. Again using Below 42 Vodka and Organic, unwaxed lemons this rather special jelly (jell-o as you Americans call it) shots are something a little different. Taking a classic student staple and adding some class is not a regular move for me, but in this case it does add something special to the flavour of the lemon jelly. Using the zest of 1 whole organic lemon per batch the generic lemon jelly will take on the zesty-ness (im not sure that’s even a word) and give out an improved and rather robust lemon taste. Serve this with some candied citrus slices and a little vanilla ice cream and you have a rather simple, yet elegant dessert cocktail.

The third and by no means least is definitely the star of the lot: Cosmopolitan Sorbet.

This dessert cocktail combines on of the most famous cocktails in the world and that summer dessert favourite: sorbet. Using an extremely simple method (as well as fresh produce) you can create some rather fantastic cocktail-sorbets.

The recipe included is for a very fresh tasting classic cosmo, but the recipe I did at home (also included underneath the classic one) was a cherry cosmo. This was purely as I could not source cranberries (fresh or frozen!) at the time of making the cocktail! Hopefully you’ll enjoy the different way of serving this great cocktail!

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When you live near this sight, why would you be sad?

So there you go, a little bit of an upcoming blog that i’m sure will go down well with you all. The full post will of course contain various recipes, preparation methods and a few home shot pictures to boot. Until then, keep mixing! (responsibly of course)…

Vodka Summer Cocktails… Top 10

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Vodka – Historically a stereotypical part of the Russian diet, this ‘neutral’ grain alcohol can be mixed to create some of the best flavoured cocktails in the world…

Here over the next 10 drinks, you will see some of, what I think to be, the best vodka summer cocktails in the world…

10. Vodka Sea Breeze

2m Vodka

2m Cranberry Juice

2m Pineapple Juice

Lime wedge (garnish)

9. Voodoo

50ml Russian Vodka

50ml Mango Nectar

2 lime wedges

3 mint leaves

Top up soda water

Mint sprig (for garnish)

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8. Classic Caipiroska

50ml High grade vodka (Green Mark/42 Below)

½ lime (cut into wedges

2 tablespoons Muscovado sugar.

Squeeze then muddle the lime and sugar (use Agave Nectar for a smoother drink), then top up with crushed ice and pour over vodka. Stir and serve before the drink has time to dilute.

Top Tip: Use any citrus fruit you prefer here. I recommend any orange citrus fruit (oranges, mandarins, satsumas, tangerines & clems are all perfect choices as they offer slightly different flavours).

7.Mint & Cucumber Vodka Fizz

50ml Vodka

12.5ml Cointreau

1 teaspoon Sugar syrup

12 mint leaves

½ cucumber, sliced

25ml fresh squeezed lime juice

Cucumber Spear & Mint sprig (for garnish).

Muddle the cucumber slices and mint with the sugar syrup and top up with the alcohol and lime. Shake well and strain over crushed ice. Top up with Soda Water/Ginger ale and garnish with the cucumber spear and mint sprig.

Top tip: for added flavour (and a Mexican feel) use Agave Nectar and Agave Sec instead of Sugar Syrup and Cointreau respectively…

6. Lemon Drop

1 measure Vodka

½ measure Lemon Juice

1tsp Sugar syrup (1 tsp for every 1 measure of vodka)

Lemon twist for garnish

Shake, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. This is a sour drink so is best kept as more of a desert cocktail… You have been warned!

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A sour but satisfying cocktail…

5. Acapulco Zombie

20ml Vodka

20ml Tequila

20ml Gold Rum

40ml Orange juice

40ml Grapefruit Juice

1 small dash Crème de Menthe

Serving over ice in a tall glass, build this cocktail working your way down the list… Drop the crème de menthe in last and allow it to rest on top (after stirring the other ingredients first).

4. Cucumber Cooler

50ml Russian Vodka

15ml Sugar Syrup

12” Thin slice (long-side) cucumber

1 small slice (wheel – for garnish)

1/8 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.

Muddle the cucumber and thyme in a shaker; add the sugar syrup and vodka. Shake gently and pour over ice in a small goblet. Garnish with the cucumber wheel and a splash of soda water.

 

3. Cucumber & Ginger Fizz (up to 8 servings)

135ml Vodka

80ml ginger liqueur

top up Ginger Ale/Beer

2 limes (wedges – you should be able to get 8 per lime)

2 cucumbers (1 roughly chopped; 1 thinly sliced length-ways)

This is a two stage recipe and does require some prior preparation…

Stage one: Skin one of the cucumbers and dice loosely. Put the cucumber and all of the vodka into a glass container and refridgerate for 1-3 hours. When you’re happy with the strength of the ‘infusion’ stain and sieve the vodka into a separate container and refridgerate for a further 2 days, discard the cucumber.

Stage two: Peel the other cucumber length-ways and put 3 slices in each of the 8 glasses. Add to this 3 tablespoons (45ml) of the vodka to each glass and squeeze two of the lime wedges into the mixture (drop in the lime wedges for garnish also). Top up with crushed ice and add 10ml of the ginger liqueur (10ml per glass). Stir gently before topping up with Ginger Ale/Beer.

Serve with a straw and a cocktail stirrer.

2. Wallbanger 43

50ml High grade vodka

20ml Licor 43

75ml freshly squeezed Orange Juice

1. Classic Screwdriver

50ml Green Mark Vodka

100ml freshly squeezed Orange Juice

Orange Wedge (for garnish).

So there you go, 10 of the best vodka cocktails you can drink this summer. The screwdriver is my number one by a country mile, and that is not flattering (done right it genuinely is that good!).

I hope you enjoy them all as much as I do! Next up… Top 10 Gin Summer Cocktails…

Caipirinha Please… No, Wait. A Caipiroska

Continuing my theme of the day: how interchangeable certain alcohols are in certain cocktails; I feel compelled to discuss, briefly at least, the family of Caipirinha cocktails:

Across the Caribbean and now most of the world the preferred distillate of sugar cane is Rum. White, golden, dark, spiced even the newer infused rums, it doesn’t matter what type of rum, what matters is that it is RUM.

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The Caipirinha, packs a punch, but it’s full of South American flavour.

This may be the case across almost all the world, but down in South America, Brazil especially, this is far from the case. Cachaca is the distillate of choice. Cachaca is a sugar distillate not too dissimilar to rum, but it arguably lacks the same smoothness of some rum products. Regardless of its texture, it has been used in one of the 20th century’s most popular cocktails. Served across the beaches of South America, be it Brazil, Argentina and even Uruguay, Caipirinha’s are a source of great joy for locals and tourists alike.

The standard recipe for a Caipirinha takes half a lime (cut into wedges) and muddles it with brown sugar, then after topping up with crushed ice, 2 measures (around 50ml) of Cachaca is added. A quick stir later and you’re sipping on a very strong, but refreshingly crisp cocktail.

This cocktail is traditionally served with crushed ice in a rocks glass.

Classic (American/UK) Caipirinha Recipe

50ml Cachaca

½ lime (cut into wedges)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Top up ice.

Top tip: very gently muddle the lime with the sugar until the sugar has all but dissolved. Then add the cachaca and give it a swizzle stir. Serve with 2 straws.

This recipe is so easy to tweak to your tastes its perfect for chilled evenings watching the football with your pals, or catching up with your girlfriends after a busy day shopping. Either way this versatile drink can be tweaked several ways:

Short Cachaca Mojito

45ml Cachaca

½ lime (cut into wedges)

2 teaspoons sugar syrup

2-5 mint leaves

Top up crushed ice.

Splash of soda water

This version of the Caipirinha is simply a short version of a Mojito using cachaca instead of rum. Using the same method for the standard Caipirinha, only when muddling the lime and sugar you muddle the mint leaves too.

The splash of soda water adds the familiar mojito fizz, without diluting the drink.

Margarita Caipirinha

40ml cachaca

10ml triple sec

¼ orange (cut into chunks)

2 teaspoons sugar syrup

Top up crushed ice.

This cocktail uses the margarita as inspiration, mixing triple sec, cachaca and lime to create the feel of a margarita but served in a traditional South American way.

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Try using all your favourite fruits in Caipirinha’s you try at home, this one is made with Passion fruit. Just add a little bit of your fruit to the muddling phase…

The interchangeable alcohol idea:

A famous north American/European cocktail known as the Caipiroska is a simple twist on the standard Caipirinha cocktail. The Caipiroska uses high quality vodka, lime and sugar to the same ends as a Caipirinha. The idea is that this is a refreshing drink using an alcohol that North Americans and Europeans are used to (vodka).

Classic Caipiroska Recipe

50ml high grade vodka (i.e. Green Mark)

½ lime (cut into wedges)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Top Tip: If you have it available, use agave nectar. This sugar syrup like product is fantastically sweet and works brilliantly with this cocktail (as well as mojito’s but that’s a discussion for a future post).

If you find this drink a little too strong for your tastes, then try having it in a taller Collins glass and top up with soda water…

One last note about the Caipiroska; the citrus noted above is lime, but because vodka is such a neutral spirit, there is no reason why you cannot use the same quantities of any citrus fruit; some good examples and quantities are as follows:

Orange – ¼ orange (cut into chunks)

Lemon – ½ small lemon (cut into wedges/chunks)

Grapefruit – ¼ small Grapefruit (cut into chunks)

After note: now it has come to my attention (through a source) that the above recipe is purely an Americanised version of the cocktail. I have it on good authority (see the comment below) that the original recipe from Brazil actually uses lemons. Although they are actually green lemons! It’s quite easy to see that from an american point of view if it’s green it must be a lime… Well this is not true. Brazilians use what are simply green lemons. So if you want a Brazilian Caipirinha (and you don’t mind swapping out the green colour for yellow) replace the lime chunks with lemon. For an extra special twist, shave a large full circumference slice of lemon peel and fit it around the glass (after muddling the chunks & sugar), then add the ice and Cachaca … Whichever recipe you choose I’m sure you’ll enjoy the drink all the same. sure lemons will change the flavour slightly, but it’ll still be a refreshing summer drink!

Drink up I’ve just ordered you another one!

Thanks to http://thingsthatfizz.wordpress.com/ for the advice below!