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As most people who know me know, Caipirinhas are in my top 10 favorite things in the world. I love everything about them, the time and muscle that it takes to hand muddle lime and sugar, the tangy cachaça, even the way that the name sounds rolling off of my tongue. So when I found this recipe in an issue of Town & Country, I immediately ran out to buy ingredients.

This recipe originally came from El Bulli, the sorely missed wonder of haute cuisine created by gastronomical genius Ferran Adrià. Normally, I wouldn’t touch a recipe of his. Molecular gastronomy is chemistry, which is a subject I failed at. Literally, in college. But this drink is a whole different beast. Although grandiosely posh, this recipe is super simple and sure to impress even the snootiest of dinner guests.

 

Serves 10

Ingredients:

5 lengths of sugar cane

For Mojito

3/4 cup rhum agricole (such as Neisson Rhum Reserve Special)
15 fresh mint leaves

For Caipirinha

3/4 cup cachaca
To finish: demerara sugar
Citric acid crystals
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Grated lime zest
10 fresh mint leaves
crushed ice

Preparation

For sugar cane rods:

1. With serrated knife, cut sugar cane following its natural separations, which should not be less than 3 inches.
2. Peel the bark of the sugar cane.
3. Cut the tender inside of the sugar cane into rectangular rods 3 inches in length by 1/2 inch wide to produce 20 rods of sugar cane.

For sugar cane mojitos:
1. Place 10 sugar cane rods in a Ziploc bag, along with rhum agricole and mint leaves.
2. Seal the bag tightly and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

For sugar cane caipirinhas:

1. Place 10 sugar cane rods in a Ziploc bag, along with cachaca.
2. Seal the bag tightly and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

To finish cocktails:

1. Remove sugar cane rods from Ziploc bag.
2. With a knife, make a small vertical cut in one end of each of the mojito rods and insert a whole mint leaf into each, being careful to center the leaves.
3. Sprinkle demerara sugar and grated lime zest over all the rods.
4. Sprinkle two citric-acid crystals on each mojito rod.
5. Fill two glasses with crushed ice and place five mojito rods and five finished caipirinha rods in each.
6. Serve at once.

To enjoy: Chew and lick the cane to extract the cocktail. (The cane is not eaten).

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