Even if you aren’t among the estimated 500,000 men and women trekking to Rio in August for the Olympics, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a taste of the South American experience. One easy way to do it? Buy a bottle of one of the region’s most popular local spirits.
According to Ivy Mix, 2015 American Bartender of the Year and co-owner of Brooklyn’s Leyenda, it’s a golden time for South American spirits in the States. “There are so many great drinks from the region that people here have never experienced. It’s really fun to try them out, learn about them, and see what you like,” she says. Take the Pineapple Caipirinha, for example:
4 (1- to 2-inch) pineapple chunks, rind removed
2–3 mint leaves
1⁄2 lime, cut into wedges
1 oz simple syrup
2 oz cachaça
Muddle the pineapple, mint, lime, and simple syrup in a shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Add the cachaça. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a rocks glass filled with ice (crushed or cubes). Optional: Garnish with a wedge of lime or pineapple or a sprig of mint.
Learn all about the spirit this summer cocktail is made from below. This primer will teach you everything you need to know.