A classic caipirinha is made with cachaca (distilled from sugar cane), sugar and lime juice. MissGinsu's version doesn't stray far -- she adds fresh blackberries, which dye the drink a deep purple. It's bright and a ilttle austere. The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of sugar, but you may want to add more to taste if your blackberries are tart. Add any extra sugar after the drink is shaken, and shake it again to dissolve the added sugar. If you can't find cachaca, you can use white rum.
I was cooking at my husband's family's summer house, where the kitchen has lots old Le Creuset but not a cocktail shaker (unheard of in a WASP household, but ...). Turns out a glass Ball jar works just fine.
To the "shaker," I added sugar and then 7 plump blackberries from a local farmstand.
Next, a few lime wedges.
Let the muddling begin!
To the blackberry-lime mash, I added some ice cubes -- you can barely see it here, but they were steaming in the glass.
In went 2 ounces of cachaca.
Then I shook, shook, shook. The photo looks like a shampoo commercial; unintentional.
You can balance the lime on the rim, but I liked it bobbing around with the ice cubes.
This drink was controversial among the summer house group. Some took one whiff and refused to taste it. Others cautiously sipped. But three of us -- my brother-in-law, Scott; our photographer, Sarah; and me -- found it thrilling, like a clear, boozy gazpacho in a glass. It's concentrated and assertive, and with each taste you get lashings of vodka, lime, cilantro, tomato and ginger. I'd love to serve it in tiny, chilled glasses with spicy cheese straws, or with crudo. Scott recommended carnitas, and I'd happily go there, too.
I loved the shape of these tomatoes.
First, I made what's essentially a salsa, with tomatoes...
red onion and cilantro.
Then I seasoned it with salt and let it sit for a couple of hours.
Then I drained it, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon.
Then it was time to mix it in my Ball jar shaker. Vodka first.
Then the tomato juice. One ounce equals 2 tablespoons, so if you don't have a shot glass -- I didn't -- you can wing it with measuring spoons.
In went half a tablespoon of lime juice, as well as vermouth, bitters and ginger liqueur.
After it's shaken, the drink is frothy and pale pink, which suggests a tame drink. This is misleading.
Time to drink your vegetables!