With the 2016 Olympics set to take over Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21, Brazil will soon become the first South American country to host the summer games. To celebrate, New York's best cocktail bars are shaking up cocktails made with cachaça, the country's beloved sugarcane liquor and the principal ingredient in its national cocktail, the caipirinha. From riffs on the classic to original concoctions, here are five excellent ways to drink cachaça in NYC this summer. Saúde!
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Prata Punch at Maison Premiere
In this sparkling wine refresher, bartender Anthony Bohlinger employs rum and Avuá Prata cachaça—a soft, un-aged version of the spirit whispered with cinnamon, citrus and a grassy funk—to fortify a mix of lemon, strawberry purée and violet syrup, all topped off with bubbly.
Striptease at the Dead Rabbit
As the name implies, Jillian Vose's cachaça-and-rum creation makes for a smooth and sultry sip, served in a Nick and Nora glass with splashes of rich Noilly Ambre vermouth, herbaceous Becherovka and Yellow Chartreuse.
Oak Bronze at Jimmy at the James
Head to the glamorous roof at the James New York hotel for a dip in the pool and a taste of this bronze-medal–inspired tipple tempering butterscotch-hinted Avuá Oak cachaça with banana liquor, banana-lime puree and subtle chocolate bitters.
Shadow Boxer at Leyenda
This spirits-forward favorite by booze maven Ivy Mix is reminiscent of a Brazilian negroni, layering Yaguara blended cachaça with the bitterness of Campari, Dolin dry and an apricot eau de vie.
Samba d'Ouro at Bottle & Bine
Drinks man Moses Laboy nods to the diverse peoples of Brazil with this multi-flavored cocktail lacing Novo Fogo Chameleon cachaça with sweet cherry heering, lime and a splash of Domaine de Canton, a fragrant ginger liqueur. The top is crowned with Fever Tree seltzer and garnished with a watermelon ball.