Like most of the world, we’re experiencing world cup fever, and this past weekend was our first chance to actually entertain around it! While we’ve been sneakily watching the matches here and there while at our desks (thanks WatchESPN!), we finally had two solid days where we could get together with friends, hook up a TV outside, and bask in the sunshine and soccer (sorry, we mean football). And since you know we love any excuse to drink wine, we couldn’t help but make Blackberry Cabernet Caipirinhas.
In recent years, Brazil has begun to export some stellar wine to the US, catching up to fellow South American countries Argentina and Chile, and is now the third largest wine producer in the region. Currently Cabernet Sauvignon represents the most planted grape varietal in the country, but other well-known French grapes such as Merlot and Chardonnay are also gaining ground and being used to make great wines.
However, while wine is quickly becoming a solid local product in Brazil, it will probably never eclipse the first love of most Brazilians when it comes to alcohol: the sugarcane spirit Cachaca. This rum-like spirit is used to make a variety of drinks in the country, but the most famous is the Caipirinha. The Caipirinha is a refreshing lime and sugar flavored drink that tastes similar to a mojito. And because we know we can’t make a Brazilian drink without at least a nod to this famous tipple, we decided to use the Caipirinha as the base and incorporate the country’s most-produced wine, Cabernet Sauvignon. Searching around the web, we found several variations on a recipe for a Blackberry Caipirinha that incorporated Cabernet. Using these recipes as guides, we created a delicious punch, perfect for a party.
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Here are the ingredients you need (if you want, you can half this):
6 limes (you’ll squeeze 4 of these and slice the other 2 into circles)
2 large oranges sliced into circles (we used Navel)
24 ounces of Cachaca
8 ounces Cabernet Sauvignon
16 ounces of fresh orange juice
8 ounces of simple syrup
4 ounces of lime juice (from the 4 limes you juiced)
2 cartons of blackberries (48)
Combine all of the liquid ingredients, the slices from 1 orange, the slices from 1 lime and 24 blackberries into a pitcher and stir. Let the mixture sit for an hour and then pour into glasses filled with ice. Garnish with a few blackberries, a lime and orange wheel.
You can also make this drink to go, as we did, and then assemble it at your destination. Just combine all of the above ingredients into a 64-ounce Mason jar and pack up the garnishes in plastic bags.
When we arrived at our destination, England vs. Italy was on the television, and our friends were ready for a drink. We opened up the Mason jar and poured the punch over ice. It was delicious. You could taste the classic Caipirinha flavors of sugarcane and lime, but then there in the background was that delicious Cabernet, almost saying hey I’m here now too.
We just may have to drink these all summer, even after the World Cup is finished. It doesn’t hurt that the drink looks stunning in the glass. Cheers!