Those of you who know me recognize that business school has taken its toll on this blog at precisely the time--with World Cup and the Olympics approaching--when it makes the least amount of sense. The rest of you are probably wondering where the hell I've been.
So I made it a point to spend a good chunk of my annual family trip to Brazil exploring the hobby that inspired me to start this blog *gulp* almost five years ago.
First, there's the passion-fruit (maracuja) caipirinha. It's impossible to get fresh passion-fruit in the U.S. without paying a small fortune. In Brazil, it grows like a weed. When I arrive in Brazil and go to a restaurant, this is the first thing I try to order. (Seeds and all.)
Next... The cachaça appreciation society that my in-laws are a part of (Confraria de Copo Furado) is working on a kind of monograph about the history of cachaça, how it's made, and the proper way to taste it. We're not yet sure what final form it will take, but we're in the process of pulling in a number of inputs and translating from the original Portuguese.
Here I am hard at work with my father-in-law Kede.
I also read a few peer-reviewed journal articles about cachaça and, specifically, the effect of wood choice in barrels. Much of the chemistry (and, in one case, the Portuguese) was quite beyond me. That said, one study indicated that barrels using native Brazilian woods offer more anti-oxidants than plain ol' oak. Good thing, according to the study, since the meat-rich Brazilian diet would tend to introduce more free radicals.
You know... 'Cause I drink it for the anti-oxidants.
Looking at the in-laws' collection, I noticed a special edition bottle of Leblon made for the Confraria. Here's Leblon's Phillippe Mille showing it off.
As to cachaça... Kede is big on Harmonie Schnaps cachaça these days. Don't let the word "Schnaps" throw you; this isn't the cloyingly sweet crud you used to sneak sips of between algebra and geo-history in 10th grade. No, this is a high-quality white cachaça.
And, as you can see, a fair amount of damage to my in-laws' stash occured.
This fine specimen figured quite prominently in my brigadeiros da caipirinha:
All toward my life-goal of becoming a special guest on the Food Network, whenever they plan on focusing on Brazilian booze.