Last week I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of Salto Cachaça from the lovely folks at Truffle PR to try out a few cocktails before the big kickoff of Rio Carnival in just a few days time on March 5th.
Salto is a citrus-flavored, (infused with a blend of bitter orange, grapefruit and lime) premium Cachaça from Brazil that’s fairly new to the UK market and at 24% ABV, it’s substantially below the average 38% ABV of other Cachaça – which at first, was quite puzzling. Why bother with such a large reduction in the ABV – does it make the product last a bit longer?
So, we set to experiment with Salto. We started off making a classic Caipirinha, (for one drink: muddle 1/2 lime cut into quarters with a couple teaspoons of sugar, top with lots of crushed ice and pour a shot of Salto (approx. 50ml) over the top – mix). The added citrus and sweetness from the Salto worked really well in the classic Brazilian drink, so we decided to experiment a bit further and created strawberry and passion fruit Caipirinhas, muddling in the fruit with the lime and sugar. All three were fantastic, but we found that Salto really had its strengths when mixed with more than just the lime in the classic Caipirinha. And so, we moved on…
After rummaging through the fridge and spice cabinets, we decided to make a cinnamon infused cocktail with Salto and set about making a cinnamon simple syrup by infusing cinnamon sticks in equal parts sugar and water until the simmering created a lovely caramel-colored simple syrup. Our last cocktail creation of the evening started off with 1/2 lime cut into quarters muddled with half a shot of our cinnamon syrup, then topped up with lots of crushed ice in a tall glass and large sprig of fresh mint lightly mixed in to the drink. We topped off the drink with a shot of Salto, a quick dash of orange bitters and a bit more of our cinnamon syrup – delicious! Subtle spiciness of the cinnamon, sourness of the lime, fresh mint and the more complex citrus palette from the Salto all worked well together. Our favorite of the evening – evidenced by our failure to snap a shot before we had more than few sips!
Whilst Salto may be of lower strength than other Cachaças, it holds its own brilliantly in long drinks – definitely not something to sip neatly. I’m looking forward to creating more drinks with Salto over the next few weeks – and might even squeeze in a few strawberry Caipirinhas to celebrate Carnival AND finishing exams last week!
TheSalto website, (I’m not the biggest fan of the interface) has a few great cocktail ideas and offers a bit more information about the Cachaça.
If you’re in the mood to celebrate Carnival, you can head to the following bars/restaurants in London for a limited time to try one of their Salto cocktails:
Rocket Restaurant & Bar Mayfair, 4 Lancashire Court, London, W1S 1EY
Rocket Restaurant & Bar Old Broad Street, 6 Adams Court, Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1DX
Rocket Restaurant & Bar Canary Wharf, 2 Churchill Place, London, E14 5RB
Or if you live in London and would like to try a bottle, Gerry’s in Soho and Petit Canon in Parsons Green currently stock it – more to come, I think!
(Thanks to Truffle PR for sending over the bottle – we loved it!)