Easy As Cai – pirinha

The MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN COCKTAIL began its monthly “Mixology Mondays” series with a presentation last Monday night with renowned mixologist Dale DeGroff, author of the new book “The Essential Cocktail” The new series will bring accomplished bar chefs, spirits experts, and authors on the subject of drink to New Orleans once a month, in order to share their skills and expertise with aspiring mixologists, and industry professionals.

Chris McMillian, a popular local mixologist and one of the founders of the Museum, has put together an exciting program that will focus on different topics each month. The presentations are low cost ($20 a session), and offer a unique opportunity for bartenders and hospitality professionals to meet some of the most dynamic movers and shakers in the industry. The fee also includes admittance to the Museum of the American Cocktail’s unique exhibit that includes vintage cocktail shakers, Prohibition-era literature, music, bar tools, old photographs, and exciting cocktail memorabilia from the collections of Curator Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, and the Museum’s friends and founders.

Below are some of the great classic cocktails presented by Dale and Chris, samples were passed around and enjoyed by all. Our Special thanks to the spirits brands that made this seminar and our new exhibit possible!

Born in the Brazilian countryside; the word caipira means countryman, and the Caipirinha is a diminutive. Its base spirit is the sugar-cane-based, rum-like cachaca, which for many years was dismissed as a peasant product by the higher classes in Brazil. Adding Falernum is Dale’s own variation.

  • 1/2 lime, quartered
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar or 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Sagatiba Cachaca
  • 1/4 ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum

Fill a rocks glass with cracked ice. In a mixing glass, place the lime quarters and the sugar or syrup. Muddle to extract the lime juice and the oil in its skin. Add cachaca and the ice from the rocks glass, as well as the Falernum, and shake well. Pour the entire contents into the chilled rocks glass and serve. In the tradition of the Caipirinha, the muddled fruits-whether solely lime or also with additional fruits-are used as the garnish.

Dale developed this wonderful variation on the toddy, a sweet-tart drink that he serves cold.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Hendrick’s gin
  • 1/4 ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup (in a 2-to-1 ratio)
  • 3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce cold tea (Earl Gray or green)
  • 1 tsp high-quality black currant preserves (or try black currant frozen Perfect Puree of Napa Valley)
  • Flamed orange peel, for garnish
  • Spiral orange peel, for garnish

Assemble the gin, Falernum, honey syrup, lemon juice, tea, and preserves in a mixing glass with ice. Shake well. Strain through a tea strainer into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the flamed orange peel dropped into the liquid, and the spiral peel set on the rim of the glass.

Dale’s tribute to the Ritz Hotels of London, Paris and Madrid, a cocktail that’s designed to be a sophisticated evening cocktail.

  • 3/4-ounce Martel Cognac
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Perrier Jouet Champagne
  • Flamed orange peel for garnish

In a mixing glass, stir together the cognac, Cointreau, Maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a large cocktail glass and fill with Champagne. Garnish with the flamed orange peel.

created in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos when he opened his Imperial cabinet Bar in New Orleans.

  • 1 1/2 ounce Plymouth Gin
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 small egg white
  • 2 drops of Orange Flower Water
  • Soda

Shake all ingredients with ice except the soda and strain into a highball glass without ice. Top with club soda. No garnish. NOTE: Highball glasses are almost too big for this drink, in the 19th century there was an 8 ounce "Fizz or Delmonico glass" that was the perfect size for this drink, it was like a short highball and it prevented the inexperienced bartender from drowning the drink in soda.

(Photos by Brenda Maitland)

Thanks to our sponsors for this event: Pernod Ricard, Cointreau, Plymouth, Hendricks, and Sagatiba
and special thanks to Frank Zumbo at Marriott Pere Renaissance for his support

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One Response to Easy As Cai – pirinha

  1. Unknown says:

    I hope you can help me Years ago (32 years) when I was working for chemical company in Englewood N.J. a Puerto Rican work mate made a concoction as a good bye drink for me ( I had to come home to Sydney Australia) anyway the drink was made with milk, lots of rum, pineapple maybe coconut milk (WAS NOT A PINA COLADA) but was similar I of course lost touch & also the recipe Gladys said it came from Chilie? Anyway South American drink can you PLEASE HELP Kind regards Krystyna MICHNOWSKI

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