Pouring Cachaça in the World Cup

To celebrate the World Cup this month, we will be pouring $10 caipirinhas at the club for the duration of the tournament. The caipirinha is Brazil’s national drink, and while we never exactly forgot about it, we want to shift focus to it–at least until the World Cup is claimed.

The caipirinha is known from SF to Rio and beyond–it was even popular where I worked in Minneapolis. Every bartender worth their salt knows it; and it has been named by the IBA (the International Bartenders Asscoiation) as one of the official cocktails. At one time it had cache and panache, as popular as any thing around, yet as cocktails grew more popular and the obsession with whisky grew (yes, I am guilty of the love of the brown spirit), the Caipirinha went by the wayside.

That’s a shame, because it’s beautifully simple. The only trick is figuring out this SAT question:

_______ : CAIPIRINHA

The answer is “cachaça.” You have to find a great cachaça. It’s a sugarcane-derived spirit, and we’re fond of Avua. It is available at Wingtip (10% Off during the World Cup) in an unoaked bottling that we prefer for our caipirinhas ($35 $31.50), as well as a bottling that was aged in Brazilian amburhana wood ($45 $40.50), which has a distinct flavor that tastes superb on its own, but that I actually like to mess with in some sherry cocktails. (Ask me more about that when you visit the bar!)

Besides the cachaça, all you really need is a handful of limes and a muddler. Just shake up a few slices of muddled lime with a bar spoon of sugar, 2 oz of Cachaça, and a heap of ice. Dump the lot into a double rocks glass and you’ve got one hell of a drink, both refreshing and complex. It’ll keep you watching soccer long after the US has been eliminated.

The World Cup kicks off this Thursday with a 12:30PM (PST) match between Brazil and Croatia. It runs through July 13. For a complete schedule, in Eastern Standard Time, check ESPN here

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Brian MacGregor

Wingtip Bar Director Brian MacGregor has tended bar in San Francisco for over nine years, learning his trade from such local legends as Jeff Hollinger, Jonny Raglin, and Thad Volger. Although he credits his cocktail crafting skills to these fine practitioners, he learned the art of hospitality at a very young age from his father, a career bartender in his childhood home of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Brian has, for three years, creating award-winning drinks and building an extensive collection of rare and fine spirits at some San Francisco’s most acclaimed bars and restaurants such as Jardiniere, Jasper’s Corner Tap and Kitchen, and Absinthe Brasserie and Bar. Currently, Brian resides in San Francisco with his wife, Carey, a bartender herself, their two cats and their greyhound, Pooka.

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