Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Hot Mulled Cachaça – Quentão Recipe

We recently did some sampling at Whole Foods supermarket in Kensington, London (the range of stuff there never ceases to amaze me, along with how good looking some of the shoppers are), where as well as doing caipirinhas we had a big pot of hot mulled Abelha Gold 3 year old on the stove. This proved to be a real winner on a cold winters day, with people coming back for more and more.

Mulled cachaça is popular in Brasil, where it’s called a Quentão (big hot thing) and served in the colder months. As with any old folk tradition there’s no one ‘right’ recipe – there exist regional variations, and like feijoada (traditonal Brasilian black bean pork stew) only your own granny makes the best one.

Here’s what we did:

  • 1 bottle Abelha Organic Cachaça Gold (3 year old)
  • Zest half an orange into the pot (make sure the oils from the skin spray onto the liquid)
  • Juice of an orange (can use more to taste)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Teaspoon of cloves
  • a piece of finely chopped fresh ginger.
  • about 8 teaspoons of fine light brown sugar

There different things you can do like caramelise the sugar first for a richer flavour, but we were hungover and I wanted a drink as quickly as possible. So we went for the time honoured method of putting everything in the pot and heating it. You only really need to mull it for a short amount of time (10-15 mins max) as because it’s strong alcohol it picks up flavours very quickly from the ingredients.

If you’re making more, don’t leave old cloves in there – if you mull them for too long, they start to give a bitter flavour.

Serve in little cups. Remember that even though it’s very drinkable it’s still a very strong spirit, about 3 times the potency of mulled wine. Enjoy!


Abelha recipes from around the web

Thought I’d take a moment to show some of the amazing things that cocktail bloggers have been up to with Abelha. First up is Jay from Oh Gosh, with this take on an Old Fashioned using lemongrass syrup and Abelha Gold:

Nova Abelha

* 2 shots / 60 ml / 2 oz Abelha Gold
* ⅓ shot / 10 ml / ⅓ oz lemon grass syrup
* ¼ shot / 7.5 ml / ¼ oz Falernum
* 2 dashes TBT Lemon bitters

Stir all ingredients thoroughly with ice. Strain in to an ice-filled old-fashioned and garnish with a lemon zest twist.
The cachaça and lemon grass syrup play together nicely rounding out the spirit and creating an interesting lightly aromatic drink. The falernum adds a touch of brightness to the drink and the lemon bitters round the flavours out nicely. Depending on your syrup and falernum you will need to watch the sweetness, but if the balance is right this is quite an enjoyable sipper.

Tiare from A Mountain of Crushed Ice in Sweden said:

…really nice and smooth – with a hint of honey, sugarcane and grass. A hint of the typical earthy flavour is there as well to remind you that this is cachaca. I can safely say this is the best I have tasted as far as cachacas go…

Bahia Rose (Rosa da Bahia)

* 2 oz Abelha Cachaca Silver
* 1 oz Aperol
* 1 oz fresh ruby grapefruit
* 0.5 oz fresh lime
* 0.5 oz simple syrup.

Shake and pour in saucer type of glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a grapefruit rose and add two straws.

Last but not least – I have got to get up to Edinburgh before too long, as there seem to be are a plethora of excellent bars and bartenders there. Jon from The Old Town Alchemy Co – great name for a cocktail blog, was also impressed by Abelha and came up with this simple yet delicious (I can say this now I have tried it) take on a daquiri using a little maraschino.

…I was completely blown away by the Silver. On the nose it has those familiar vegetal notes that come with cachacas and rhums agricole, but it also has a pleasant honey scent with a touch of citrus to it. The mouth feel is great – a slightly viscous texture, with a strong finish but without chemical burn of column-still spirit.


50ml Abelha Silver Cachaca
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
10ml sugar cane syrup
1 barspoon Maraschino
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into a chilled martini/coupette glass. Twist a lime zest over the top and discard. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Cheers guys!


Our new Signature Serve

All the mixologists in London, you can stop working on Abelha drinks now… I found this link on my Google Alerts via Phil at Cachacagora

What’s the strangest drink you’ve ever been served?

In South America, there are large and sleepy bees and the kids wrap cotton threads around them while they’re asleep so they end up on a leash. I was served a drink that consisted of cachaca and champagne poured over honeycomb. One end of the string was tied around the honeycomb; on the other end was a live garnish. As the honeycomb slowly dissolves, the string releases and the bee flies away.

Max Warner, Chivas Regal, Brand Ambassador, interviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald

I have got to try this. Apparently you can stun bees by putting them in the freezer for 5 minutes, at which point they are drowsy enough to tie a thread around. Here’s a video of someone flying a bee on a string.

However, until summer comes and bees appear, we have only Pedro Souza dos Santos, the Abelha Office Dog. On the plus side, he has a lead already, on the downside, he would eat the honeycomb.

The Abelha Office Dog, with Lead. Not a suitable cocktail garnish.


MxMo XXXIV: Spice

Mixology Monday is a monthly online drink-related discussion. This month, it’s hosted by Craig at Tiki Drinks & Indigo Firmaments and the theme is ‘spice’.


Victoria Park in December, just outside my house in London

In England, spice in December means the Christmas traditionals of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. As soon as winter hits and it starts to get dark at around 4pm, there is nothing else to do apart from stay in, make a big pot of mulled wine, and endeavour to keep it warm, spicy and topped up at all costs, until the daylight comes back in February. This winter though, I’ve been playing around a lot with cachaça.*

While everybody thinks of cachaça as a summer drink, I’ve been making some cachaça infusions based on traditional English Christmas flavours. The first was a pear and spice one:

Christmas Spice Pear Infused Cachaça
1 70cl bottle Abelha Cachaça Silver (unaged)
1 pear (conference)
half a cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
10 clove seeds
half a teaspoon grated nutmeg
Skin and cut the pear, let all ingredients sit for 4 weeks in a jar or bottle at room temperature, shaking it every couple of days.

This came out really nicely and the sugar cane notes of the cachaça work really well with the ginger. It feels they make a warm blanket in your mouth which then gets covered in lovely spices.

I was talking to Jay at Oh Gosh! about old fashioned style serves, and he hinted me towards grapefruit bitters. They work really well with cachaça; I think it’s because they’re a little bit lime-esque, which is cachaça’s natural citrus partner. So here is a Christmas take on a cachaça Old Fashioned.

spiced pear cachaca old fashioned

Spiced Pear Cachaça Old Fashioned
25ml Pear and Spice infused cachaça
25ml Aged cachaça (e.g. Abelha Cachaça Gold – aged 3 years)
2 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 spoon of fine white sugar
a bit of orange peel

Put sugar and bitters in a tumbler, add ice and cachaça gradually, bit by bit, stirring all the time. Squeeze the oils out of the orange peel, (flame them if you wish), then stick a couple of clove seeds into the orange peel and use it as a garnish.

The freshness of the orange zest on the nose provides a nice little contrast to all the warm flavours of the spices. With the spice infused cachaça, the Angostura Bitters aren’t necessary, but the grapefruit ones do just enough to avoid sweetness overload. The litmus test – I was sharing it with my friend whilst we were bantering the evening away, and we both had real difficulty passing the drink back to each other. While I was drinking it, the dog put his head on my lap, and I felt utterly fulfilled inside. I would have happily died at that point and become re-incarnated as a pair of warm slippers or a smoking jacket.

the dog

Do you guys have minced pies in the US/around the world?

Photo by WallyG

Mince Pies - they’re little sweet short pastry pies filled with ‘mincemeat’ which in this case actually means a mix of raisins, apples, sultanas and fruit peel, normally steeped in brandy. In the UK, you have to eat them at Christmas, or else you get accused of being in Al-Qaeda and The Queen can shoot you. They’re something of an obsession to the British, and the best crowd pleasing infusion we made was a “Mince Pie Infused Cachaca”. It’s brilliant for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the words “pie-infused” before any spirit just don’t sound right. Also, in the UK, pie is a funny word. It’s a synonym for fat, as in “You’re looking a bit pie since you started going out with Tom?”, “Yeah, I’ve got love chub.” We also have a football chant of “Who ate all the pies?“, which is a standard thing for a mob to politely shout at someone who is circumferentially challenged.

abelha cachaca infusions minatures

The other reason is that it’s simply delicious. All the citrus peels in the mince are fantastic with the cachaça, but I think ‘mince meat’ would be an excellent infusion for a bourbon (not a scotch though) or rum too. Vodka would work too I guess, but I think the sweetness in spirits like bourbon, cachaça or rum really lift apart the flavours of all those annoying little granny fruits in the mince meat.

I made 2 versions, one using Delia Smith’s recipe, and one using a jar of pre-bought Tesco’s (Tesco is a large, aka, monopoly grocery chain in the UK) mincemeat. In both cases 300g of mince meat to one 70cl bottle of Abelha Cachaça Silver seemed right. I left these for about three and a half weeks, and they came out delicious.

Tesco Mincemeat

It’s a great thing to serve to people in a shot glass as they come in from the cold. If you wanted to make a cocktail with it, I would suggest the following, based on the fact that we normally eat mince pies with cream, but custard would be good too:

Brasilian Mince Pie with Custard
50ml Mince Pie infused spirit (bourbon, rum, cachaça etc)
20ml Fresh Apple juice
Half an egg yolk
Half a spoon of fine sugar
10ml single cream
Shake with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass, dust with fresh nutmeg and serve.

This one could use a little work. I have suddenly got to the end of the post and am thinking that no-one has a clue what mince pies are, but there you go. Holla if you love mince pies!!


* Disclosure: Me (Anthony) and my friend Hal have recently started our own independent brand of cachaça which we are importing to the UK. It’s an artisanal, copper pot still, small-batch cachaça, which also happens to be organic, and produced ethically. It’s called Abelha Cachaça, and this is our blog. But anyway I hope that noone minds that we we taking part in Mixology Monday as a brand and that you enjoy the reading about the drinks. I made them in my kitchen and I promise they are delicious.