This column is part of a new series called Cocktail of the Week in which we highlight a cocktail we love that week. (Simple, eh?)
Bartender Peter Lloyd-Jones loves caipirinhas, so when it came time to assemble the winter menu at 1886, it wasn't surprising that he did some tinkering and came up with a riff on the same. “I'm a big fan of two things,” says Lloyd-Jones. “Number one, I love three-ingredient cocktails, as less is definitely more in my case. And, I love lime.” The caipirinha fits that bill beautifully, as does Lloyd-Jones's São Paolo Fix.
The 1886 bartender came to the idea during a trip to Brazil. “At a dingy bar in São Paulo I had three rounds, all caipirinhas, and on the third round it came out red,” says Lloyd-Jones as he tells the story. “I came to realize that when bars in Brazil run out of lime, whatever the closest fruit is will do until 'Carlos comes back with more limes…'”
Lloyd-Jones keeps with the traditional cachaca and lime juice, but in place of the sugar, has substituted St. Dalfour French blackberry jam. These magical three ingredients are served over cracked ice, then hit with a misting of the powerhouse “navy strength” (the traditional strength required by the British Royal Navy) Smith & Cross rum, whose intense concentration melds the flavors.
The Fix – sugar, lemon, water and spirit originally with a distinctive fruit garnish – is as old-school as it gets in the cocktail world. In the words of David Wondrich from his book Imbibe!, “The glass of Punch went forth in the new land and multiplied, begetting a whole host of other drinks.” The drinks to which he refers are the “short” drinks, of which the Fix is one.
Lloyd-Jones's Sao Paolo may not fit the mold exactly, but why quibble where jam and the elegant simplicity of three ingredients are involved?
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book “Gin: A Global History.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.