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Sometimes a drink can transport you to an exotic world and make you forget about today’s troubles. That’s the caipirinha sanguina. Created by Nicole Quist, beverage director at Bartaco, with locations in West Hartford, Stamford and Westport, the drink is the restaurant’s spin on Brazil’s national cocktail. Made using fresh blood orange, lime and sugar muddled and shaken with Cachaça 51, “it’s complemented by the tart and sweet brightness of the blood orange,” Quist says. Cachaça is like rum, but it’s distilled from fresh-pressed, unprocessed cane juice for a clean, subtly herbaceous flavor. “A blood orange in Spanish is often called ‘naranja sanguine.’ The word can also mean ‘blood thirsty’ which is a perfect way to describe this cocktail.”

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Nicole Quist, beverage director at Bartaco

Bartaco is known for its upscale Mexican street food with a coastal vibe and relaxed environment. “Our menu embraces bold and bright flavors, and our cocktails feature in-the-moment, fresh-squeezed juices,” Quist says. She recommends pairing the caipirinha sanguina with fish tacos and chips with guacamole and salsa. “Our caipirinha is like a kiss of citrus for your fish.”

The cocktail is easy to make at home. “It involves measured ingredients and wakes the senses — great for a home cook to have fun with,” Quist says. “To stand up to the bold flavors and high acid in our tacos, a little sweetness balances both the cocktail and the meal. Crushing just those few sugar cubes balances the fresh citrus of both lime and blood orange, and mellows the cachaça. To me, that’s Bartaco — a vacation in a glass.” — Pamela Brown

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Caipirinha sanguina

Yield: one cocktail

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ¼ blood orange cut into two (no peel)
  • 4 sugar cubes
  • 1½ ounces cachaça

DIRECTIONS 

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle limes, lime juice, blood orange and sugar cubes together.

Muddler,On,White,Background

A muddler is used like a pestle to mash (muddle) fruit, herbs and spices in the bottom of a shaker tin or glass to release their flavor. For this cocktail, you’re breaking up the sugar cubes and using the coarse sugar to press the lime and blood orange flesh and release the juices and oils.

Bartender’s tip: “When muddling, focus on the lime flesh and sugar cubes for a brighter, crisper caipirinha. We’re trying to muddle the fruit, not the bitter skin and pith which is why we cut the lime wedges in half and remove the blood orange skin and pith entirely,” Quist says. “Juicing as close as possible to in-the-moment by hand and having great ice are two keys for making drinks. We’re shaking to wake up, chill and marry the individual ingredients with minimal dilution for rocks drinks.”

2. Add the cachaça, then fill with seven fresh ice cubes.

3. Shake well.

4. Dump all contents into a clean rocks glass.

5. Top with a small amount of fresh ice if desired, and garnish with half of a paper straw.

Pamela Brown is a former English professor, a freelance writer, a marketing/PR specialist for the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, and author of Faithful Love, her first novel that inspired a love of writing. Pamela resides in Connecticut with her daughter, Alexis, who makes her life an adventure. 

This article appears in the April 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.