Friday, June 1, 2012



51! 100! 43! Spike!

Because clearly I have to follow a pink-flower-tequila drink with a cream-based one.

The Brandy Alexander seems like a form ripe for variations. With the relative newness of cachaça in American markets (hurrah for its recognition as a non-rum spirit!) and the consideration by some that it's a "brandy" rather than a "rum", I figured "why not see if we can push the boundaries of what it can do?" Granted, cachaça seems to be rather particular about its dance partners - they damn well better keep up with the bold, uninhibited spirit. Citrus and big red fruit, all the way.

With that in mind, how do you bridge wild petrol-noted cachaça into demure cream, in a formula more known for its polar opposite spirit, the high refined cognac?** My answer, based entirely on the ingredients I had available at the time of origination: orange.

The results? It's Costa Rican dark chocolate and rainbow sparklers.

**[easy there, Peanut Gallery! I know the Alexander was originally gin-based! And while I'm being parenthetical, I know there are all manner of cachaça varieties, high and low - you could fill up an entire liquor store with a bottle each of every cachaça in existence and you'd still have bottles left over. Given the 3 brands you'll find in the PA state stores? I'm a sucker for the more "street" 51, I'll say that much.]

1 1/2 oz Cachaça 51 Pirassununga
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/2 oz Licor 43
1 oz cream or half-and-half

Samba shake, strain, chilled glass (and if you can find a glass that mixes crazy with restrained, good on ya!). Garnish with fresh grated allspice.

  • Strong Grand Marnier catches 51's she-devil eye, holds orange hands with 43, whose vanilla note glides into cream. Instead of nutmeg accenting the creamy-dreamy Alexander, allspice honors Alexio's chthonian depths (pace Camille Paglia).
  • Too sweet and fluffy for your tastes? Looking for something a tad more Cocktailian? May I recommend, by way of extras, a barspoon of Averna and/or a dash or two Aphrodite Bitters?

For the future: I really want to make a cherry version of this sometime. Will have to play around between Cherry Heering and Maraschino when I (finally) add the latter to my collection. Or another recommendation maybe?