Cachaça (ka-sha-suh) isn’t a spirit often used in cocktails—at least not in the Northern Hemisphere. Now is the time to start mixing it with, well, everything because the World Cup is about to kick off in the spirit’s home country, Brazil. As we’ve discovered over many a cachaça-based drink, the sugar cane liquor is incredibly versatile.
While you’re watching your favorite team play—or even if the World Cup is about as interesting to you as a backhand to the face—mix up one of these creative drinks to get to know your cachaça.
Weigh in below: What’s your favorite way to use cachaça?
There’s a reason this simple cachaça, lime and sugar concoction is Brazil’s national cocktail. The sweet-and-sour mixture is perfect for sipping in hot, balmy weather and there’s no better way to celebrate summer and this year’s World Cup than by enjoying the traditional recipe.
The fruity Iz Bananaz cocktail is a little eccentric, but it shows that cachaça can be paired with more than just limes. This drink is made with a base of Avuá Cachaça Amburana, which is aged in amburana wood casks for at least two years, Amaro Montenegro, Giffard Banane du Brésil Liqueur, lemon juice and aromatic bitters. It might sound a little bananas, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Like it spicy? Cachaça and chiles are happy bedfellows. Throw in some lime, salt and agave nectar to get Hot in Rio. Apologies in advance if it doesn’t actually transport you to the Brazilian metropolis.
As we said before, cachaça is super versatile. Like vodka or gin, rum or whiskey, all you need is a simple mixer. With that in mind, try the Samba Breeze—all you’ve got to do is add a couple of measures of orange juice and an ounce of cranberry juice. It’s way refreshing and an all-around great drink for summer.
Cachaça really isn’t all that different from rum, which is used to make all kinds of classic tropical concoctions. So it’s no surprise that the spirit works so well in the tiki-inspired Batida Rosa. It’s packed with fruit flavor and may just inspire you to strap on your soccer cleats in solidarity with Team USA.
What do you get when you mix cachaça, guava puree, rose syrup, lime and lots of ice? The Guava Rose, a floral, fruity impossibly refreshing adult slushie.
In probably the most surprising cachaça cocktail of all, the Brazilian Sangria takes the popular wine drink to another dimension—with the help of a little absinthe and Spanish brandy, of course. Add your favorite fruits, orange liqueur and a measure of red wine to the mix and you’ll never look at Sangria with squinted eyes of suspicion again.