Friday, May 22, 2015

Rabo de Galo

Summer is starting in Tucson, Arizona, and it's the perfect time for the Rabo de Galo, a vintage Brazilian cocktail similar to the Manhattan, and one of my all time favorite cold, easy-to-drink, summer cocktails.
I learned about the Rabo de Galo (Portugese for “the Cock’s Tail”), from a Brazilian acquaintance on Reddit's /r/cocktails/ named Fabio Seitsugo. I had bought some Cachaca because I was working my way through PDT's cocktail book and I wanted to make their Caipirinha. I had always really liked Tiki drinks, and I tend to think that Rum is undervalued as a cocktail base, so Cachaca seemed like it would be exactly the kind of thing that I would like.

Unfortunately, it was not. Cachaca is much more similar in flavor to Pisco than it is to Rum, and I am not a big Pisco fan. My girlfriend, on the other had, is, and she loved Cachaca, so I wanted to find more recipes for her. A Redditor had posted about his attempt at the "Samba-em-Berlin", and Fabio responded to talk about his experience with cocktails in Brazil. I asked him about Cachaca based cocktails and he gave me a list of Classic Brazilian cockitails.

The Rabo de Galo was by far my favorite. It is bright, crisp, and a bit spicy thanks to the Vermouth. When I have Cachaca in the house it tends to be my go-to, simple, and easy to make 'light' cocktail. The Rabo de Galo definitely changed my mind about Cachaca.

Fabio sent me the following recipe, from SubAstor, a bar in Sao Paolo:
- 1 & 1/2 oz of Cachaca
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 1/4 oz fresh lime juice

- two dashes of angostura
Stir all ingredients and serve over ice.

I changed the drink around a bit, good Cachaca isn't widely available in the States and so I adjusted it for the lower quality brands available here. Of those that are available, I tend to prefer Pitu and 61, but if you can get them, Fabio recommends Espirito de Minas while another friend of mine, who works at a craft cocktail bar in Tucson, recommends Ypioca. I also like to serve the Rabo de Galo in an aluminum cup chilled in a particular way: I rinse the cup with water both inside and out, fill it to the brim with ice, and let it sit in the freezer for about five minutes while still damp from being rinsed. This leaves a light frost on the outside of the cup and really cools the drink down.

Modified Rabo de Galo
- 1 & 1/2 oz of Cachaca
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth, I use Noilly Prat,
- 1/3 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 barspoon of white sugar
- two dashes of angostura
Stir all ingredients and serve over ice in a chilled aluminum cup.

I hope you like it!

Vlad N.

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