A cross between the traditional New Yorker – with bourbon – and the Classic vodka Caipiroska, here we have something entirely and exceptionally interesting for the palate.

Caipiroska is the name of a Brazilian cocktail made with little more than lime juice, sugar, and vodka. It is a variation on the more popular caipirinha, a similar mixed drink that centers on a more rustic, often homemade, sugar cane liquor. Caipiroska ingredients are identical to caipirinha ingredients, with the exception of the alcohol at the center.

The New York Cocktail is a classic drink similar to a Whiskey Sour. It’s a simple mixture of whiskey or bourbon, lemon or lime juice, and sugar.

One of the simplest conjectures relies on the relative scarcity of cachaça outside of Brazil. Brazilian expatriates or travelers abroad might not have been able to satisfactorily recreate the taste of the drink with rum, but succeeded in creating something new and pleasing by using vodka. Vodka is widely available around the world.

Another possibility is that the drink was pioneered by the Brazilian elite who, with access to finer and often imported liquors, may have wanted a new twist on what may have been regarded as a “low-class” drink. In Brazilian Portuguese, the word caipirinha is essentially a diminutive of the word “hillbilly.” Whether these mixed drinks were ever exclusively associated with lower rungs of society is unknown. Modern times have seen widespread acceptance of both the original drink and its vodka equivalent.

The vodka variation is so popular throughout South America that several vodka manufacturers in that region distribute pre-mixed caipiroska beverages. Lime is, of course, the most traditional flavor, but commercial varieties often extend to other fruits as well. Strawberry, passion fruit, and mango are among the most common. Technically speaking, a caipiroska made with anything other than lime is more properly called a caipifrutta, though flavored caipiroska and caipirinha drinks are often simply identified by their dominant fruit.

The New York Cocktail is a Whiskey Sour all riled up!
Dating back to at least 1930 when published in the Savoy bartending guide, the New York Cocktail is a classic Whiskey Sour style drink made sort of like an Old Fashioned in that it starts off with a sugar cube…

New York Caipiroska

1/2 lime, very thinly sliced
1 tsp. dark brown sugar
2 oz. vodka
1 splash bourbon
crushed ice

Muddle the lime slices and sugar in the bottom of a high ball or cocktail glass.
Add the vodka and gently stir.
Add a splash of bourbon and then top with crushed ice.

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