It’s sad that the US was eliminated from the World Cup… but that means that more people will be going out to eat again! Even though we can’t root for our own team, we can root for soccer in general, and with the sport on everyone’s minds right now, it’s a perfect time to highlight quarter-final-friendly World Cup cocktails on your menus and table tents. Here is one drink to get you started. If you think of others, please let us know about them by commenting.
The caipirinha is Brazil’s national drink, so you can bet that a lot of Americans are drowning their sorrows in glasses of the stuff right now. It’s pronounced “ki-pe-REEN-ya”, and it’s made with distilled sugarcane juice, called cachaca (pronounced “kah-SHAH-sah”). Cachaca is a clear spirit, much like white rum, but it’s processing maintains the sweetness of the sugarcane, while also blending in more earthy flavors that provide a unique balance. Some people liken it to a sugarcane brandy.
Caipirinhas are like daiquiris, in that they start with a sugar-based spirit with limes, and that you can add whatever fruit suits your fancy, but the caipirinha differs from the daiquiri in that it’s a little rougher; it’s made with brown sugar, as opposed to simple syrup.
Try mixing up the following recipe to ease the sorrows of your tables with World Cup fans who were rooting for the US, and add fruit or other garnishes that matches the flag colors for the new team of each person at the table. (If you don’t have cachaca on hand and can’t order it before the games are over, just replace it with white rum.)
1 t. coarse brown sugar
3-4 lime wedges
2 oz. cachaca (or white rum)
Fruit and other garnishes with country flag colors (see below)
Muddle the sugar and lime together in a rocks glass. Muddle it well, so that the lime juice dissolves the sugar. Add the cachaca and ice, and stir. Add whatever fruit or syrups you need to add for team flag colors so that your diners can display their (non-US) team pride. Feel free to also add a small printed flag on a toothpick.
Flag Colors for Garnish
The remaining countries in the World Cup, with their flag colors, are as follows. Add the garnishes you have on hand to create the perfect color palette for each country’s flag.
- France: dark blue, white, red
- Germany: black, red, yellow
- Brazil: green, yellow, white, dark blue
- Columbia: yellow, dark blue, red
- Argentina: light blue, white, yellow
- Belgium: black, yellow, red
- Netherlands: red, white, dark blue
- Costa Rica: dark blue, white, red
Fruits for Garnishes
Here are some colorful fruits you can use to garnish your World Cup caipirinhas.
- Green: Lime wheels/twists/spirals/wedges/zest, Kiwi, Mint, Rosemary, Bay leaf
- Yellow: Lemon wheels/twists/spirals/wedges/zest, Banana, Pineapple wedges
- Orange: Orange boats/wheels/twists/spirals/wedges/zest
- Red: Marachino cherries, Rasberries, Strawberries
- Black: Coffee beans, Licorice candy
- White: Coconut, Inside-out orange peel
- Any color: Rimmers in white/brown/black/red/green/etc., Food-coloring-soaked oranges and lemons to make them any color
- Blue: Blueberries, Concord grapes, Curaçao
Remember to have your servers point out your caipirinhas to your guests, and have them ask which team they’re rooting for. You should also post table tents, a note on a specials board, and a menu insert. To help your bartenders, you can provide a small printed list of each country’s flag behind the bar.
The last thing you should make sure your guests know is how to say “Cheers” in each language. Here’s your cheat sheet.
- France: A votre santé!
- Germany: Prost! / Zum Wohl!
- Brazil: Saúde!
- Columbia: Salud!
- Argentina: Salud!
- Belgium: Sante!
- Netherlands: Gezondheid!
- Costa Rica: Pura Vida!
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