A few weeks ago, I hosted a Summer BBQ with 10 of my closest friends in Boston. The BBQ was potluck style, and I was incredibly impressed with the array of delicious appetizers and desserts everyone prepared! While we’ve all begun experimenting with cooking, baking, and grilling, none of us were experienced with making cocktails. That is, with the exception of my friend Kevin Beardsley. Kevin just so happens to be the CEO of a new, fabulous spirit brand, was kind enough to provide the majority of alcohol for the BBQ and give us all a crash course on making Beija cachaça cocktails!
Kevin’s cultural experiences in San Paulo, Brazil in 2005, in combination with his natural entrepreneurial spirit, led to the creation Beija cachaça. In the United States, cachaça falls under the “rum” category of spirits; however it is a Brazilian spirit made from fresh sugarcane juice, while traditional rum is made from molasses. Cachaça isn’t typically consumed by itself but the flavor balances somewhere between rum and tequila and neither sickeningly sweet or artificial tasting. The flavor of the spirit is distinctive yet smooth, something I’ve found difficult to find in an alcohol. After speaking with Kevin about the manufacturing process, it doesn’t surprise me that Beija’s process is unique from other distilleries; the sugar cane is hand harvested, single pressed, and enters the distillery on the same day, ensuring the cane enters the distillation in the purest form.
Our Beija bar consisted of an array of ingredients to make traditional cachaça cocktails, along with others Beija has concocted on their own. We started with a caipirinha, which includes lime, refined sugar, ice, and of course, Beija. The steps when making a Beija caipirinha are 1.) muddle 2 tsp. of refined white sugar and lime 2.) add enough ice to fill a cocktail shaker, 3.) measure two ounces of Beija with a measuring shot class, 4.) SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE, and 5.) pour into a lowball glass and top it off with club soda.
We had SO much fun making our own cocktails. Blackberries and strawberries are two of my favorite fruits, which I learned are also delicious compliments to a traditional caipirinha. We also made a cocktail with honey and cucumber, using cucumber in replace of lime and honey in replace of sugar! Making cocktails is all about experimenting with different flavors and seeing what works best for you. Beija’s website also has a lot of great recipes for you to try out.
Beija began in Boston and is available at some of my favorite places, including Alibi, Eastern Standard, and MiniBar! Just recently, Beija has expanded in the New York City market, and is available at another one of my absolute favorite NYC hotspots, The Stanton Social. Additional businesses where Beija is available in New York City include Death + Company, Cipriani, and Flatiron Lounge.