Until recently, the only way I had ever tried cachaça—the Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane—was in the occasional Caipirinha, the Brazilian national drink that combines the spirit, which tastes like something between rum and tequila, with lime and sugar. It’s an endlessly drinkable cocktail, one whose ubiquitousness led to me pegging cachaça as a one-trick pony. But the New York bar Milk & Honey has a strawberry cachaça shake on the menu that, with one sip, completely reversed my opinion. The drink is made with Avuà Amburana, an artisanal take on the spirit made from freshly harvested sugarcane grown on the master distiller Katia Espírito Santo’s farm, fermented with ambient wild yeast, and aged in indigenous Brazilian amburana wood casks. The Avuà Amburana carries a warm, woodsy flavor with notes of vanilla and allspice, which, when shaken with muddled strawberry and lime, adds delicious depth to a fruity, summery drink. Frothy and audaciously bright pink (a few dashes of Peychaud’s round out the concoction and boost the color), the drink needs nothing more than a lime wedge. With both strawberry season and the Brazilian World Cup about to be in full swing, I recommend grabbing a bottle immediately, inviting over a handful of friends, turning up the salsa music, and mixing up a bunch of strawberry shakes!
Friday Cocktail: Strawberry Cachaça Shake