The caipirinha gets all the glory in the annals of cachaça cocktails. It’s the only one many people know. In fact, as I’m sure you’re aware, some people believe that cachaça can only be used for caipirinhas. And while the caipirinha is a great cocktail, it’s certainly not the only cachaça cocktail.
The Rabo de Galo (literally tail of the cock or cocktail) has long been hidden behind the bright glow of the caipirinha. However, today, it’s striking out on its own to show the world the wonder of aged cachaça in a delightful cocktail.
If you’ve been over to my beginner cocktail post, you’ll find the recipe for the Rabo de Galo. As I began my cachaça journey several years ago, I heard the name of the cocktail, without knowing exactly how it was made. It was only about a year into my exploration that I found out that it’s probably the simplest cachaça cocktail out there.
It quickly became a staple for me, and I shared it with many people in Brazil who’d never heard of the cocktail.
More recently, the cachaça community has gone the extra mile in promoting the Rabo de Galo, particularly as a way of introducing aged cachaça into the lives of cocktail lovers. The push began with Rabo de Galo competitions in Brazil. Our wonderful associate Leticia Nobauer aka Frau Cachaça was the first national champion.
From there, competitions moved to states around Brazil, and even to Portugal.
One of the main people, leading this push for the Rabo de Galo, was Mestre Derivan, the same man who had brought the caipirinha to the attention to the International Bartenders Association (IBA) in the 1980s. As the face of Brazilian bartending, he was deeply involved in doing the same thing as he had for the caipirinha.
Unfortunately, Mestre Derivan passed away during a competition in Portugal, leaving a gaping hole in the cachaça community’s spirit. Just after he passed, the Rabo de Galo was added to IBA’s cocktail list.
Beyond that, however, the Rabo de Galo is a tasty cocktail.
50 ml aged cachaça
15 ml Cynar or equivalent
15 ml sweet vermouth
It’s a nicely balanced cocktail that’s perfect for those who want to introduce others to aged cachaça. The Rabo de Galo is a sophisticated drink. It’s easy to make, yet its presentation rivals that of any other cocktail made with whiskey or bourbon.
Try it out this weekend! Let me know what you think in the comments.