Brazil’s national spirit par excellence, cachaça is one of the signature ingredients of one of the most popular cocktails, the caipirinha.
The history of this spirit has its roots in the Portuguese conquest of Brazil and its processing is now a trademark of the South American country’s master distillers. Let’s discover in detail its characteristics, which make every preparation fruity, enveloping and aromatic.
The characteristics of cachaça and its manufacturing process
Cachaça is one of the iconic products of Brazilian tradition. A distillate with an unmistakable and aromatic flavour, it is the main ingredient in the preparation of the caipirinha that traditionally appears on the menus of pubs throughout Italy and beyond.
It is an aromatic and fruity brandy that comes from the distillation of sugar cane juice must. The process begins with the harvesting of the sugar cane, which is then crushed to obtain the juice, which is then cooked and fermented with the addition of yeast.
Once the juice has become a must, it is distilled, which can be done through different processes depending on the experience of the master distillers. The finished product is a mix of unmistakable aromas and flavours: the aroma is sweet, fruity, enveloping and leaves pungent, rich notes on the palate.
It generally consists of spicy hues, caramelised fruit, cinnamon, candied fruit: all ingredients that evoke tropical flavours and aromas and turn cachaça into a taste experience to be savoured.
Obviously, the production of cachaça depends on the distillation method: it is generally slow and gradual, as it transfers more flavour nuances to the product.
Origini storiche della cachaça e il suo utilizzo nei cocktail
Although traditionally associated with the Brazilian tradition, cachaça actually originated on the island of Madeira in Portugal. It was only after the conquest of Brazil by the Portuguese that the new settlers imported sugar cane from Madeira, and a flourishing trade in the production of cachaça was born and developed on South American soil, which over the years has become Brazil’s signature spirit.
This traditional exotic spirit is often associated with rum, although there is a difference in the processing of the raw material. Both come from the distillation of fermented cane juice, however rum uses a waste product such as molasses, whereas cachaça comes from the fermented juice of the cane itself. The manufacturing process therefore changes, although both distillates retain an aromatic, fruity and unmistakable flavour.
Cachaça is the signature ingredient of capirinha, one of the most popular drinks, but it can also be used for other preparations. Smile Tree, a pub symbol of Turin’s movida, exploits its unmistakable characteristics in the Carioca cocktail: the distillate is combined with passion fruit puree and basil, lime juice and panela syrup, for an experience to be savoured.
The combination of particular ingredients with each other is one of the distinctive features of their business: enjoy their unique and original cocktails that you will hardly forget.
Autumn has arrived and, with it, so have the colours of the leaves in the streets, the first rains, the first cold and, of course, the typical tastes and flavours of this season, so loved and so hated.
Even the cocktail sector adapts to seasonal changes and there are numerous ideal drinks to enjoy in autumn, in the company of friends, in the warmth of a bar or in your living room: from the Cosmopolitan to the Manhattan, let’s find out together the perfect flavours for this particular time of year.
Cocktails matching autumn: from the Cosmopolitan to the Negroni
The arrival of a new season is synonymous with major changes, not only in the climate and temperatures, but also in the tastes and flavours of our traditions.
We start lighting up stoves and fireplaces and, on evenings at the bar or at home in the company of friends, we often prefer to be accompanied by a good cocktail that reminds us of autumn. There are numerous drinks that go particularly well with this season, its colours, its scents, its suggestions.
One of the ideal cocktails for autumn is the traditional Cosmopolitan.
Its pink colour is a joy to the eyes and matches the colours of autumn leaves, which are often characterised by bright and colourful hues. Its ingredients, on the other hand, are an experience for the palate: from vodka and cointreau to lime and blueberry syrup, they give a balanced taste that swings between sweet and sour.
Another traditional cocktail to pair with the autumn season is the Negroni, a timeless must that never gets old. Suitable for those who prefer decidedly strong flavours, it consists of gin, campari and red vermouth: a formula that satisfies our taste buds especially in autumn.
Its red colour also recalls autumn leaves and its taste goes well with strong flavours, such as hot and spicy, but also with a meat dish: the ideal accompaniment for our autumn dinners.
Traditionally, cocktails are accompanied by chopped fruit for savoring. Strawberries, lime, orange, pineapple, melon, passion fruit, but also herbs such as mint. In fact, the ingredients that make up our beloved drinks find their perfect match in fruit, creating a wonderful synergy of flavors. Let’s find out together which fruits are the most popular to accompany cocktails.
How to pair fruit with cocktails: orange, pineapple and lime
Fruit is often a star ingredient in the preparation of cocktails. It allows the drink composition to be given a hint of acidity or sweetness, depending on the specific ingredients applied, and pieces of fruit can be enjoyed both inside our glass or chalice and outside it. The assortment of accompanying fruit is wide and varied, and also depends on the type of cocktail we have just ordered.
Next to the Spritz, for example, a nice slice of orange can never be missing. The composition of this beloved aperitif cocktail invokes sour notes and, for this reason, the best pairing is the citrus fruit par excellence of Italian tradition. If, on the other hand, we move to an alternative with sweeter and more enveloping tones, such as the Piña Colada, from citrus fruit we move to one of the most popular exotic fruits: pineapple. The composition of white rum, coconut milk and pineapple juice creates a synergy of unmistakable flavors and, for this, the best accompanying fruit is a nice slice of pineapple to enjoy along with the drink.
Lime, then, is another citrus fruit that is quite recurrent in cocktail preparation. Have you ever enjoyed a margarita? In this case, the lime is the main ingredient and releases its unmistakable acrid flavor: this is another reason why it fits perfectly.
Cocktails and fruit: pairings between tradition and originality
Not only orange, pineapple and lime: strawberries also pair perfectly with cocktails, releasing a hint of sweetness as well as color. Strawberry is an ingredient that can be paired with multiple compositions: with Daiquiri, for example, but also with Caipiroska. Then there are more versatile cocktails, such as the Sex on the beach, which can be surrounded by the color and flavor of numerous fruit varieties: from orange to blueberries, from white melon to passion fruit.
But not only fruit: herbs can also accompany the iconic cocktails of our tradition. Think, for example, of the Mojito, which, in addition to lime, is composed of mint leaves that give it an unmistakable flavor. With the appropriate combinations of ingredients, original and alternative solutions can be created thanks to the thousands of flavors and colors of our land, from fruit to herbs.
The cocktail, after all, is a multisensory experience that combines unmistakable scents and flavors. And that creates contrasts of different textures, from the drink we sip to the fruit that, piece by piece, we savor. At Smile Tree you can choose from numerous alternatives, made with extreme care and originality: discover our venue in the Quadrilatero Romano, a true oasis of fun and nightlife in Turin.
La vie en rose is a symbolic cocktail of its kind, being one of those choices that is never missing from menus but which, from bar to bar, is customised to the utmost. The philosophy of this drink is the same (enhancing the floral flavours of the ingredients through a peculiar colour tending to pink) but it is available in countless versions depending on the versatility of the bartenders. Among the variants of La vie en rose, the one proposed by Smile Tree is a must-try.
La vie en rose: the exaltation of floral tones, colours and flavours
There are cocktails that are unmistakable and that, thanks to the composition of fixed ingredients, create a specific blend of flavours that is difficult to customise. And then there are those drinks that, while remaining true to themselves and the philosophy for which they were created, can vary without ever really distorting themselves.
Take, for example, La vie en rose, one of the best known and most popular cocktails which, despite its single origin, is available in countless variations. The idea behind it is to create a product that enhances the floral flavours and aromas on the one hand, and the typical colours of the flower on the other. Thus, in addition to grappa or vermouth as the base of the drink, rosewater infusions or syrups can be used to recreate the beauty of a rose in a cocktail glass.
La vie en rose, named after the famous song by Edith Piaf, thus enhances the flavours and colours of nature, beauty and femininity. A product recreated in numerous variations according to the creativity and style of each bartender, who revisits the original recipe in his or her own way.
La vie en rose: try the variant proposed by Smile Tree
Smile Tree also offers a rather original variant of La vie en rose on its menu. Here too, there is no lack of colours, flavours and floral tones to decorate and embellish the cocktail, albeit with a recipe that calls for the mixing of three main ingredients. In addition to smoked vermouth fumigà (the real Turin vermouth proposed by Smile Tree), our La vie en rose also combines rose-infused Campari with port.
The combination of these ingredients restores to our palate the unmistakable flavour of vermouth combined with Campari, which, combined in an original way with the taste of roses, creates a unique product. Among the countless existing versions of La vie en rose, come and try ours and treat yourself to the privilege of an absolutely unmissable olfactory and gustatory experience.
In addition to La vie en rose, we specialise in the preparation of numerous other pre- and post-meal drinks, all rigorously revisited in the style of our barmen. Visit us in our bar in Piazza della Consolata in Turin, the centre of the Quadrilatero nightlife. Taste our products, accompanied by original supports and serving dishes and presented in our genuine and welcoming manner.