Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rum Cocktails

Brazilian Buck

Brazilian Buck cocktail in a highball glass, garnished with lime wedges and ginger peel, served with a black straw
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Novo Fogo

Cachaça is Brazil’s national spirit, similar to rum but distilled from 100 percent sugar cane juice as opposed to molasses. It varies in style and flavor, with notes that range from dry and grassy to fruity and funky with mild sweetness. Most people know cachaça because of the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, which is a popular showcase for the spirit. But cachaça is available in more forms than the clear, unaged version found in Caipirinhas. Darker expressions are aged in barrels for anywhere from one to seven years, taking on rich, nuanced flavors that add complexity to drinks.

Dragos Axinte, the founder and CEO of cachaça brand Novo Fogo, describes the pride that his country takes in its indigenous spirit. “Brazil has embraced cachaça so much that the rest of the world is taking notice,” he says. “Cachaça, though not yet as popular in the U.S. as it has the potential to be, is one of the most consumed spirits in the world.”

The Brazilian Buck is a take on the classic Buck, a cocktail template that calls for a spirit, citrus and either ginger ale or ginger beer. It features Novo Fogo’s Chameleon expression, which is aged in used bourbon barrels for one year, plus ginger beer, lime juice and aromatic bitters. The barrels impart subtle hints of vanilla and oak to the spirit, adding depth to the refreshing, citrusy character of the cocktail. Build the drink in a highball glass with ice, no shaking required.

This simple recipe is a helpful testing ground for learning to use cachaça in cocktails. Make it with unaged or longer-aged expressions to see how the base spirit affects the cocktail’s flavor, and you will obtain a better appreciation for wood’s impact on cachaça.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces Novo Fogo Chameleon cachaça 

  • 4 ounces ginger beer

  • 1 squeeze fresh lime juice

  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters

  • Garnish: lime wedge

  • Garnish: ginger peel

Steps

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the cachaça, ginger beer and lime juice and stir to combine.

  2. Garnish with a lime wedge and ginger peel.

  3. Serve with a straw.