Cachaça (pronounced ka-CHA-sa) is Brazilian sugar cane liquor, the main ingredient of the margarita-like Brazilian national drink, the caipirinha. Cachaça can be wickedly raw and high in alcohol. Leblon Cachaça, which won a Double Gold Medal at the seventh annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April, is smooth, 80-proof and made from freshly pressed sugar cane.
At Jardiniere the other night, I ate a four-course meal accompanied by different cachaça cocktails. While I don’t recommend this under any circumstances, I did discover a divine cachaça aperitif that went perfectly with Jardiniere’s scallop and cherry tomato ceviche: Put ¾ ounce fresh lime juice; ¾ ounce fresh ginger syrup (made by boiling a 1-to-1 ratio of water to sugar and steeping peeled chopped ginger in it overnight); 1½ ounces Leblon cachaça and five to 10 mint leaves into a cocktail shaker. Top with ice and shake well. Strain the mixture into a flute and top with 2 ounces dry sparkling wine. Leblon Cachaça is available at Beverages and More for $26.
Edible Gardens Festival in Napa
The organic gardens surrounding COPIA’s dramatic modern exhibition hall are now at their summer peak. Experience them at the Edible Gardens Fest along with cooking demos, wine and food booths, garden presentations and a marketplace. Activities are Saturday and Sunday from
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $15.
500 First St., Napa; (888) 512-6742 or www.copia.org