145 Ave. C (@ 9th St.)
East Village 212.505.6559
At this beach-themed Alphabet City pan-Latin restaurant, fresh fruit cachaça cocktails like the Kiwirinha (cachaça, kiwi, and sugar) and the Nuevo Mojito (cachaça, passion fruit, mint, lime, sugar, and soda) will have you feeling miles from the concrete jungle. Every first and third Sunday, Sagatiba brand cachaça heats the place up with live Brazilian forró music and drink specials.
221 W. Broadway (Franklin & White Sts.)
More than 50 kinds of caipirinhas are available at this Brazilian steakhouse, and some varieties sound more like meals than drinks, like the peanut caipirinha—cachaça, peanut butter, Frangelico, and crème de cacao. Other varieties include coconut, coffee, ginger, carrot, grape, and blackberry. There’s also a long list of specialty cachaças here which can be sipped straight, like GRM or Rochinha.
1022A Lexington Ave. (@ 73rd St.)
Upper East Side 212.879.6190
Why this vivid French-Brazilian restaurant is in the stale Upper East Side is anyone’s guess. Here, cachaça is not only used in cocktails, it’s also used in the food, such as seared foie gras coated in a cachaça-molasses reduction and for dessert, avocado mousse with cocoa nibs and a reduction of cachaça and unrefined sugar. Should you prefer to drink your cachaça, the cocktail menu features drinks like the Ze Do Caixao (cachaça, lime, mint, honey, and cumin seeds) and the Rio 40 (cachaça, Brahma passion fruit, lime, and sugar).
94 Greenwich Ave. (W. 12th & Jane Sts.)
West Village 212.366.6110
The first and only cachaçaria (cachaça specialty bar) in NYC, this intimate Brazilian bistro has more than 20 brands available. Choose from a variety of specialty cocktails like a frozen batida (cachaça, fresh fruit, and cream) or sip the spirit straight with a four-shot flight. The leafy garden out back is the perfect setting for a lazy day of sampling the drink menu.
361 Greenwich St. (Franklin & Harrison Sts.)
Even though it’s not a Brazilian joint, this Spanish-Mediterranean tapas eatery serves up the ideal summer drink, the Agua Fresca (cachaça, melon liquor, fresh watermelon, pineapple and lemon juices), as well as a mango “caipajito” among its rum-heavy cocktail menu. Given the romantic candlelit décor, you’ll feel more than relaxed after sipping on a few of these—just don’t fall asleep on the Moroccan pillows lining the banquettes.
~ Selena Ricks