A PEARFECT DRINK

In almost three years of blogging, I have shared one recipe for a drink. One.  Check the index, and you will see caipirinha, the Brazilian national drink, sitting all alone in that category.   This disturbing situation  changes today, with a nice drink Phil made for us this past weekend, inspired by a recent show from Giada de Laurentiis: the peartini.   We modified the recipe making it a lot less sweet, and a tad less alcoholic.

PEARTINI FOR TWO
(inspired by Giada de Laurentiis)

for simple syrup (you won’t use it all)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
for drink
4  shots of pear juice (homemade, of course!)
2 shots of Vodka (we like Stolichnaya)
2 shots of lime juice
1 shot of simple syrup
shaker full of ice
two gorgeous strawberries

Make the simple syrup by heating the water and the sugar in a small sauce pan, until completely dissolved. Allow it to cool to room temperature, and store in the fridge for future uses.

Place ice cubes in your shaker until half full. Add all other ingredients for the drink, shake well and pour on martini glasses.

Garnish with a strawberry sliced halfway, not all the way through (obviously).

Sip slowly, it will match perfectly your favorite type of sushi and sashimi.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

When juicing the pears, be careful because they oxidize very quickly.  Mix the juice with some lime juice to slow down the process, or the drink will have a bit of a brownish hint.  No harm in flavor, only in looks.

You may ask why the strawberry decoration when we could have added a slice of pear? Two reasons:

1. We passed all pears through our Juiceman Jr., and forgot to put aside a couple of slices for garnish.

2. Strawberries are a lot sexier. So, there! 😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Ming Tsai Under Pressure

TWO YEARS AGO: Paris, je t’aime!

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CAIPIRINHAS 101

THE WORLD CUP IS FINALLY HERE!

The World’s Most Adorable Dog….
printed with permission from Life of Jalo

I grew up watching all the games, and I still remember well when Brazil won (for the third time) in 1970, with a team that joined the one and only Pele’,  Rivelino, Tostao and Gerson, to name four of my favorites.  Most people in Brazil have their own routine  to watch the games and the whole country pretty much freezes when Brazil plays. Our family gathered at my parents’ home,  with my Mom sitting in her favorite chair, always wearing the same robe. It turns out that she wore it in the final game of 1970, when Brazil beat Italy in a nail-biter to capture the World Cup.   That outfit became, and remains to this day the “World Cup robe.”   It was carefully washed and stored away, only to appear every 4th year after that 1970 game.

Since I left the country watching the games hasn’t been the same, but  to bring the right spirit to the festivities I like to make “caipirinhas“, Brazil’s national drink.  It’s a blast of refreshing lime with “pinga” – a sugar cane distillate  not too hard to find in the US.
caipirinha1

CAIPIRINHA
(the authentic way, prepared one drink at a time)

1 thick-bottomed glass
1 large lime
1 Tbs granulated sugar
ice cubes (enough to fill the glass)
pinga (aka cachaca, aguardente de cana)

Wash the limes, cut both ends. Quarter the lime lengthwise, removing the central white pith which is bitter. Cut each quarter in half crosswise and place the lime pieces in the glass.

Add the granulated sugar, and working with a wooden pestle , crush the limes with the sugar.  Crushing the fruit with a wooden pestle is essential to the authenticity of this drink, but such tools are hard to find in the States.  If you don’t have one, maybe the handle of a heavy wooden spoon will suffice.   Once you’ve crushed the limes fill the glass with ice cubes or crushed ice. Pour pinga to the top, mix with a spoon and serve.

ENJOY!

pingas222


Comments: There are many types of pinga around.  Some are clear, some are aged,  turning yellow or  light brown.   Those are smoother, with less bite, and besides in capirinhas they may also be enjoyed by sipping.   In the US, the chances are that you will only find clear pinga, among which the most popular brands are “Ypioca”, “51”, and “Pitu”.

Recently in Food and Wine magazine the well-respected chef Daniel Bouloud shared his take on caipirinhas, and served them in wine glasses. My jaw dropped in disbelief when I saw the photos of this crime!  Mr. Boloud would certainly not approve of Champagne served in a teacup, and drinking  caipirinhas from wine glasses is just as bad.  So please, stick to these basic rules: prepare them in a large, strong glass, one drink at a time  using granulated sugar (no simple syrup, no agave nectar, no mint).

Brazilian-approved variations: You can use vodka in place of pinga, for a drink called “caipiroska“.  They’re delicious too, and probably a little easier next day ;-).   Some of my friends have been trying to convince me that “kiwi caipirinhas” are as good as the real thing, but I am a purist and I haven’t made them.  They do sound tasty, plus you get to eat the kiwi at the end.  Go lighter on the sugar if using kiwis, though.     And let me know if you try it, I might just relax my standards and go for it.  😉

Finally,  a few sound files to help you with Brazilian words…

Caipirinha click here  

Pinga… Cachaça… 

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