The last couple Friday cocktails required a little prep and extra work. That’s all well and good if you got the time and energy, but sometimes we just want something quick and easy. Something maybe we can even whip up on the spot, when a darn good drink is in order. I think this week’s Black & Cab may be your ticket.

I saw this recipe in my latest GQ magazine, which B.T.W. is one of my favorite mags because of great articles like this – and which B.T.W. I read in digital form. The article talks about stocking your bar with a couple quality Peruvian and Brazilian spirits. It caught my attention right away because it was talking up the virtue of Campo De Encanto Pisco, which I had just heard a bartender at Peche talking up just last week. If you follow my tweets, you might have heard me say “I always learn something when I choose to sit at the bar of a nice restaurant”, that was ONE of the things.

I’m not making the Pisco drink today though, I still have to finish my bottle of Don Cesar before trying the De Encanto. Today, I’m going to make something with the OTHER spirit it recommended, Leblon Cachaca. If you haven’t tried Cachaca yet, my friend, what are you waiting for? It’s my favorite rum hands-down, and it may or may not have to do with enjoying its delights during an epic all-inclusive (yes, alcohol too) vacation 8 years ago (at a Barcelo resort on the Riviera Maya). The big group of 15 I was with would shout “More Caipirinha’s!” to the bartender’s from the swim-up bar. They muddled up lime with sugar and did it right. Every. Time.

Here in the states you’re lucky if the bartender hits the right button on his dial-o-drink nozzle to give you tonic or club soda. Ah, but I digress. Back to the drink.

Cachaca = Amazing. Distilled from sugar cane it has a fresh smoothness that other rums (made from molasses or by-products) do not. The Caipirinha, one of my fave cocktails, is made with muddled lime and sugar. This Black & Cab adds more depth by throwing in Cabernet, orange juice, and blackberries –  giving it Sangria-like appeal and Sangria-esque drinkability too. I tried the GQ recipe, but I wanted something more. I had to look no further than my fridge to add a touch of mint-infused simple syrup I used in last week’s Beet Vodka Mint Pom-Pop for the answer. I think that little touch turned a good drink into a great drink. Go get yourself a bottle of Cachaca and enjoy this one with friends!

Black & Cab (adapted from GQ)
makes 1 drink

  • 4 blackberries
  • 1 lime, cut into pieces
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 oz Cachaca
  • 1 oz Cabernet
  • 1 oz Orange Juice (fresh squeezed if you fancy)
  • 1 oz Mint-infused Simple Syrup (check here for that recipe)

Directions:

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime, blackberries, and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with ice, and shake that baby like a polaroid picture.

Pour it all, unstrained, into a tall glass and enjoy. If you want to impress your friends put a blackberry and piece of lime on a skewer. That’s how I do.

The great thing about this drink is that you can make a lot of them…and in advance. Use a whole bottle of wine, a whole pint or two of blackberries, and scale the rest of the ingredients accordingly. Sipping on a pitcher of this magic, with friends on an outdoor patio, guarantees good conversation.



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