Tuesday night was the finale of Cuca Fresca's Shake Your Way to Brazil cocktail contest, which I've been following with great interest. As fortune would have it, the contest took place just a couple of miles away from Cachaçagora's world headquarters, over at Chicago's Encore Liquid Lounge.
My trusty Flipcam and I were in attendance, at least for a little while. Video below, with the five finalist recipes, plus the grand prize winner, after the jump.
Update (2009-12-06; 1345): Check out this piece in The Examiner. Money quote for Cuca Fresca: "Sean Ludford, another of the Shake Off’s judges who has judged over fifty cocktail competitions, also said 'this was the most impressive line-up of cocktails that I have ever seen in a comparable competition.'"
WINNER: "The Punch from Ipanema" by Rico Wisner (DC)
- 1.25 oz Cuca Fresca Premium Cachaça
- 0.75 oz passion fruit juice
- 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz hibiscus Rooibos tea simple syrup
- 0.25 Domaine de Canton
Combine all ingredients, shake well with ice and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lime slice.
Ginger Dream by Francois Vera (Los Angeles)
- 3 orange wedges
- 1 lime
- 5 mint leaves
- 0.75 oz Domaine de Canton
- 2 oz Cuca Fresca Pura Gold
Muddle the orange wedges, lime and mint leaves together. Add ice, Domaine de Canton and the Cuca Fresca Pura Gold. Shake and pour, without straining, into a tall glass. Top with Bundaberg Ginger Beer. Garnish with an orange slice and mint.
"The Confederado" by Tom Chadwick (NY)
- 1.5 oz Cuca Fresca Pura Gold
- 0.5 oz Lairds Bonded Applejack
- 1 tsp. Poire Williams Pear Brandy
- 1 tsp. Rich Demerara Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Stir all ingredients. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Cuca Negra by Gabriel Orta & Elad Zvi (Miami)
- 1.5 oz Cuca Fresca
- 3 to 4 fresh blackberries
- .75 oz honey infused with rosemary
- .75 oz lemon juice
- dash allspice bitters
- egg whites
Muddle the blackberries and cachaça together then add the remaining ingredients. Shake well and strain into a cold Coupe glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Ultimate Seduction by Richard Tandoc (Union, NJ)
- 1.5 oz Cuca Fresca Premium Cachaça
- 1 oz Dry Sake
- 3 oz Strawberry Puree
- 1 oz Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup
- 4 Basil Leaves
Muddle 4 Basil Leaves with 1oz of Infused Rosemary Simple Syrup. Add some ice and the remaining ingredients. Shake well, strain into a chilled martini glass. Finish by garnishing with a rosemary sprig.