Restaurant News & Reviews

Toast the Rio Olympics with a Brazilian cocktail made with cachaça from Danville

A Danville company imports cachaça, the national spirit of Brazil. It’s used in the popular cocktail known as the caipirinha, made with cachaça, simple syrup or sugar and lime.
A Danville company imports cachaça, the national spirit of Brazil. It’s used in the popular cocktail known as the caipirinha, made with cachaça, simple syrup or sugar and lime. Photo provided

Looking to get into the “spirit” of the 2016 Rio Olympics? When watch the opening ceremonies, you can feel almost Brazilian with a caipirinha in your hand, especially if it’s made with Espirito XVI Cachaça from AmBrabev of Danville.

A traditional Brazilian cocktail, the caipirinha is one of the most widely consumed cocktails in the world, said Zachary Baeker, CEO of AmBraBev. Made with cachaça, sugar or simple syrup and lime, it’s served on every street corner in Brazil, he said. Cachaça is a sugar-cane based spirit similar to rum. Relatively unknown in the United States, it’s the third most popular spirit in the world, behind baijiu and vodka, he said.

“Cachaça has a subtly sweet finish, delicate on the tongue, with a clean smooth finish. Ours is double-distilled to make it more approachable to a U.S. audience, so it has a smoky nose with hints of banana and vanilla ... with the lime tastes outstanding,” he said. He hopes to release a version aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels later this year.

Baeker began importing cachaça from Rio de Janeiro about four years ago. His Espirito XVI Cachaça is in stores statewide, including Liquor Barns. It’s 80 proof and about $29.99 a bottle.

▪  National Root Beer Float Day is Saturday, and A&W will give away free floats from 2 p.m. to close at three Lexington restaurants: 2251 War Admiral Way, 652 East Main Street and 114 Towne Center Drive. You can also go to enter to win free floats for a year.

▪  The 27th Stanton Corn Festival is Friday through Sunday at Stanton City Park. There’s a talent contest at 7 p.m. Friday, and festival hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There’s a corn-eating contest, a beauty pageant, clogging and singing Saturday, and a car show, singing, preaching, a corn-hole tournament and a cornbread bake-off Sunday.

▪  Tickets are on sale for the eighth annual Fest of Ales 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at Cheapside Pavilion. There will be more than 150 regional beers from more than 50 breweries, including 21 in Kentucky. Tickets are $30 and always sell out. Advance ticket sales only are available at Pazzo’s, The Beer Trappe and Liquor Barn stores in Lexington, and at Thursday Night Live.

▪  Some of Kentucky’s approximately 160 farmers markets will celebrate National Farmers Market Week Aug. 7 to 13 with special events. Many markets will offer cooking demonstrations, sampling, door prizes and other events to commemorate the week, said Sharon Spencer, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s farmers market specialist.

On Aug. 13, Bluegrass Farmers Market in Lexington will have education centers set up on master gardeners, Kentucky garden clubs, and the Monarch Butterfly Garden Initiative. The market is giving away 250 pumpkin scoops embossed with the Kentucky Proud logo at both Saturday market sites, 3070 Lakecrest Circle and 1837 Plaudit Place.

At this weekend’s farmers markets:

▪  Lexington Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in Cheapside Park and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Southland Drive, will have seasonal produce, meats and eggs, bread and honey, plants and flowers.

▪  Bluegrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 3070 Lakecrest Circle and 1837 Plaudit Place, will have seasonal produce, honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, flowers, eggs, beef, pork and lamb.

▪  Chevy Chase Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at 316 South Ashland Avenue, will have cut flowers, beer cheese, seasonal produce and local meat and eggs.

▪  Jessamine Growers Farmers Market, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main and Rice in Wilmore, will have seasonal produce, flowers, herbs, local honey and eggs.

▪  At local farmers markets this weekend, Boone Creek Creamery, 2462 Palumbo Drive, will have gruyere, butterkase and caerphilly cheese, in addition to other cheeses.