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Forbes FYI: Brazilian Whacks

“How good is good in Cachaça, the elemental Brazilian run that launched an Amazon of caipirinhas? Olie Berlic, formerly a sommelier at New York’s Gotham Bar and Grill, made it his mission to find out. Three years and 800 Cachaças later, he returned home (to Greenwich, Connecticut, of all places) to launch his Excalibur line of small-batch, artisan-made and aged Cachaças: Some (Armazen and GRM) he scouted out in various folkloric corners of the country, and one, Beleza Pura, Berlic developed himself. Www.belezabrazil.comA very refined start on his line is the Rochinha (ho-CHEEN-yah) five-year-old ($38-there is also a 12-year-old at $80), a single-barrel, 82-proof beauty that mingles a sweet, spicy fruitiness with an overlay of wood smoke. Exotic without being bizarre, the Rochinha will put the bossa in your nova sipped over ice with a splashy of soda, or send a caipirinha (”little country girl”) very uptown. Here’s another thought:

THE RIORITA
2 1/2 ounces Rochinha five-year-old Cachaça
2 tablespoons Cointreau
1 tablespoon Rose’s lime juice
1 orange peel (optional)

Mix the Rochinha, Cointreau and Rose’s in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Swirl and pour (neat) into a martini glass, and add the rakish orange peel for tropical color.”

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