Methinks that the Hobson's Choice blog has the right idea:
Tradition aside, the Caipirinha presents a wonderful base of operation for experimentation. Much like the mojito, there are dozens of Caipirinha variants out there. Bartenders are changing out the citrus with blood oranges and grapefruit. They are swapping out the sugar with agave and honey. They are adding berries and pineapple, jalapeño and pomegranate.
Don't we know it? Longtime followers of this blog know that we've shared takes on the caipirinha that have included plum, passionfruit, spicy syrup, kiwi, pepper-and-basil... even liquid nitrogen and calcium chloride.
Now, we can add a cinnamon basil caipirinha to the list:
The cinnamon basil plant has reddish stems, purple flowers, and small-to-medium sized dark green leaves. My plant is about 2 1/2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet wide. The leaves, believe it or not, have a strong cinnamon scent and flavor. One of my favorite things to do with the leaves is to warm them gently in a neutral oil (like grapeseed) and then strain them for a clean, herbal cinnamon oil that is perfect for cooking fruit.
Here's the recipe:
Cinnamon Basil Caipirinha
- 2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
- 1 lime, sliced into 8 quarters
- 1 oz. cinnamon simple syrup (see note below)
- 10 cinnamon basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1 flowering stem from cinnamon basil plant for garnish
Place the sugar/simple syrup and the lime pieces into a cocktail shaker. Muddle the lime to extract the juice and essential oils. Fill the shaker with ice. Add the cachaça and the basil chiffonade. Shake vigorously for 5 seconds. Pour the entire contents of the shaker into an empty old fashioned glass. Garnish with basil flower. Enjoy.
For the cinnamon simple syrup:
Fill a glass pitcher with filtered water and five cinnamon sticks. Place the pitcher in the back of your refrigerator and allow the cinnamon to infuse for at least one week. When ready, mix one part sugar to one part cinnamon water in a small sauce pan until they come together and the sugar is totally dissolved. Once cool, the syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks.
Be sure to click through for some great pics.