Gooooaaaaaaaaallllllllll! You can score the best recipes here for your World Cup 2014 celebrations. Just search "Around the World in 64 Matches" or visit our Food & Drink section for all recipes.
Are you watching the Brazil vs. Germany game right now? If not, why NOT? Stream it, turn it on, get it in front of you somehow! Germany is getting goals like there's no tomorrow! Got it on? Okay. Next question - are you imbibing a beautifully crafted Brazilian cocktail (or some seriously delicious German food)? Oh no? Well then, read ahead because this installment of Around the World in 64 Matches is all about the cachaça.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Whitney Brown-Cross, brand manager for the Brazillian cachaça (ka-cha-sah) brand Leblon to talk all things soccer, celebrating, and of course - caipirinhas.
First things first, we got to the bottom of what Leblon really was. Originally branded as a 'Brazilian Rum,' the liquor is made from distilled sugarcane juice pressed from only the heart of the sugarcane stalk. Thanks to Leblon's finagling with the US government, all cachaça is now recognized as it's own specific type of liquor in the US. This isn't the first time something like this has taken place. Whitney let me know that when tequila was first introduced to the US it was labeled as "Mexican Whiskey." Leblon is a relatively young company, only founded 8 years ago, but this means it's a brand with vibrancy and it's been building a fan base ever since.
Fun fact: Cachaça is third most consumed liquor in the world! Coming in behind Soju (Korea) and Vodka (Russia, and every college campus everywhere). So it's no surprise that it's catching on quickly in the US. I'm sure you've seen it popping up on menus, in liquor stores, and you've probably had a few caipirinhas (kai-pee-reen-has) yourself (the national cocktail of Brazil and the cocktail of choice when it comes to cachaça).
Being a Brazilian liquor company, with their sugar cane fields and distillery in Brazil, it's no wonder the brand is pumped for the World Cup. Not only are they excited to be a part of the World Cup 2014 history, Leblon is eager and excited to share the Brazillian lifestyle with us Americans. As one of the only top shelf cachaça bands worldwide, Leblon is hosting events around the city throughout the entire World Cup and they want you to join them. Click here to see a list of all the upcoming Leblon events in New York City.
In case you're watching from home (crying from home?), or you just want a tasty beverage to help pass the time, I ask you to consider the caipirinha.
The perfect summer beverage for those who like the twang of citrus while enjoying the clean, robust flavors of the cachaça. You think this is like your mojito you were sippin' on last weekend? Nope. This is less about the syrupy sweetness of rum, and more of a kick in the pants from the almost-tequlia-like-but-not-quite cachaça.
According to Leblon, the perfect caipirinha is all about balance. Follow the recipe below from their cookbook/lifestyle guide "How to Be Brazilian" and find out that perfect balance may mean a caipirinha in each hand.
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 ounces of Leblon Cachaça
- Cut lime into 8 sections
- Fill a rocks glass with 4 sections of lime, sugar, and muddle. (You can get a free muddler on the Leblon website here!)
- Fill glass with ice and top with Leblon.
- Find the nearest beach, large body of water, or rooftop. Wear your best summer duds. Practice purring the word "caiiipirinnnhaaa" in your best Brazilian accent. Sip. Repeat.
Photography by Lauren Durden