Best Caipirinha

My choice, found at Madison Park's Cactus outpost, is one that contains a very un-caipirinha-like ingredient: candied ginger. Brazil's national cocktail is traditionally made from three elements only: cachaça (liquor made from sugar cane juice, not cane molasses, as rum is), sugar, and lots of muddled lime. Due to the rawness of the liquor, it's gnarlier than a mojito; sexier too, like the difference between baile funk and salsa. Ask for it like this: "kai-purr-een-yuh," but scan the bar for cachaça—one famous brand has a lobster on the bottle—before you even bother. I once got a glass of Ketel One with one sad, intact slice of lime for my trouble at the supposedly hip Standard in L.A. Thank heaven most Seattle bartenders know what they're doing, especially when they break the rules with an unorthodox garnish like the sparkly ginger at Cactus. Naturally, rebellion makes the results doubly sweet.—Rachel Shimp 4220 E. Madison St., 324-4140, www.cactusrestaurants.com.

 
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