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.”
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
Yield: one cocktail
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ¼ blood orange cut into two (no peel)
- 4 sugar cubes
- 1½ ounces cachaça
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle limes, lime juice, blood orange and sugar cubes together.
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.