4 recipes inspired by International Cachaça Day, which was June 12th

International Cachaça Day, a holiday created by the Sociedade Brasileira da Cachaca, celebrates Brazil’s favorite and most popular liquor, Cachaca. It is made from fermented and distilled sugarcane and best known for its presence in the drink Caipirinha.  For your own fiesta in honor of the holiday, see below for two drink recipes, which feature the award winning brand Cabana Cachaça, the only premium single-estate cachaça on the market. The cocktail recipes are for the Ultimate Caipirinha and the Cabana Samba.

Then beyond the beverages, master chefs Yara Castro Roberts and Leticia Moreinos Schwartz have shared recipes, which can help you host an authentic Brazilian-themed meal.  They suggest for Cachaça Day dinner, straight from their books The Brazilian Kitchen and The Brazilian Table, two recipes. One is for a savory Shrimp Juquitaya and the other, sweet Caipirinha Bonbons. See below for all 4 recipes:

The Ultimate Caipirinha
Serves 1
2oz Cabana Cachaça
1 lime (quartered)
1tbsp sugar
splash of club soda

In a shaker, muddle lime and granulated sugar.  Add Cabana Cachaça and ice.  Shake and pour all contents into a rocks glass.  Garnish with a lime and enjoy!

Cabana Samba
Serves 1
2 oz Cabana Cachaça

Shrimp Juquitaya
Serves 6

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 teaspoons urucum or achiote
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon malagueta pepper, seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and washed (leave the tail on)
3 pounds pumpkin
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup orange juice
6 pieces orange peel
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
3 cups watercress, picked, washed, and dried, for decoration
Salt and pepper to taste
6 teaspoons urucum or achiote, for garnish

In a mortar, grind together salt, urucum or achiote, cayenne, and malagueta pepper. Add the olive oil and lime juice and mix, making a paste.

Rub the shrimp with the paste and let marinate for 1 hour.

Cut a circle 11⁄2 inch wide from the largest part of the pumpkin. In a braiser pan, boil enough salted water to cover the pumpkin ring, and cook the pumpkin ring for 8 minutes. Drain the pumpkin. Clean the inner part of the circle, removing any fiber that has remained from the cooking process.

Cut the rest of the pumpkin into large chunks. Bring water, salt, orange juice, and orange peel to a boil in a large saucepan and cook the pumpkin pieces until they become soft. Drain and save 1 cup of the liquid. Peel the pumpkin and, using a potato masher, mash the pumpkin to make a purée. Fold in the butter, add some of the cooking liquid, and beat with a spoon until it becomes smooth. Keep warm.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil and sear the shrimp on both sides for 3–4 minutes. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons lime juice and deglaze the pan, shaking a couple of times. Keep it warm and reserve.

Place the pumpkin circle in the middle of an attractive plate. Fill the interior of the circle with the purée and arrange the grilled shrimp around the circle.

Toss the watercress with 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper and arrange it around the pumpkin circle.

Sprinkle achiote or urucum around the plate and serve at once.

Caipirinha Bonbons
Make about 50 bonbons
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon corn syrup
¹⁄3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
zest of 1 lime
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cachaça
2 polycarbonate bonbon molds
(with 25 cavities each)

Melt two-thirds of the bittersweet chocolate for the mold. Using a ladle, divide the chocolate throughout the entire mold, filling each cavity completely. Tap the sides and bottom of the mold to remove any air bubbles trapped inside. Invert the mold back over the bowl of melted chocolate, letting all the excess chocolate drip out. Tap the sides again to help remove more excess chocolate. The amount of chocolate left in each cavity is critical to determine the finesse of the bonbon. Each cavity should be lined with chocolate but not filled.

Using a chef’s knife, scrape the top of the mold to remove excess chocolate and turn it over so that the open cavities are facing the parchment paper. Allow the chocolate to set, 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mold over, with the cavities facing up, and let sit for another 20 minutes—the chocolate has to be set and dried before filling.

Meanwhile, make the ganache. Place the white chocolate and corn syrup in a bowl.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, lime zest and lime juice to a boil over medium heat. Immediately strain through a small sieve over the white chocolate. Let sit for a few seconds, then whisk the ganache gently.

Make sure the ganache is room temperature before you add the butter—you don’t want the butter to melt in the ganache. Add the cachaça and whisk.

Pour the ganache into a pastry bag or ziplock bag. Cut a very small opening and carefully fill each cavity of the mold almost to the top, leaving enough space for a thin layer of chocolate to close the molds. Place the mold in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Remove the mold from the refrigerator 10 minutes before adding the final chocolate layer.

Repeat the process of tempering the remaining one third of bittersweet chocolate, then ladle it equally over the filled mold, making sure each cavity is full. Lightly tap the mold to remove any air bubbles.

Lay the mold flat on the counter, cavities facing up. Holding it tightly with one hand, scrape the mold with the other hand in one swoop to remove any excess chocolate. Don’t do this more than once, or the bottoms of the chocolates won’t be smooth. If excess chocolate drips down the sides of the mold, just clean it off with a metal spatula back into the bowl.

Let the mold sit, cavities facing up, until the chocolate sets, 10 to 20 minutes. If necessary, chill the mold in the refrigerator for a few minutes more.

Invert the mold, cavity facing down, and gently tap against the countertop. The bonbons should easily fall out. Keep them in an airtight plastic container.


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