Cabana (Leeds Trinity Centre) has been settling in well, but isn’t resting on it’s laurels. The Brasilian grill restaurant has just launched it’s new summer cocktail menu, and it includes some real treats.
Dariusz Pawlowski – resident mixologist, has developed a set of 19 new recipes that range from super refreshing frozen styles, through to spicy chilli laden drinks. Cabana seem to have something for everyone with the new menu, but aren’t moving too far from their heavy use of cachaca (Brasilian sugar cane rum) – not a bad thing in my book.
Always focusing on the quality testing (humour me), we selflessly sipped and slurped our way through five of the new drinks on offer last night – here’s the verdict:
Blueberry and Acai Caipirinha
Firstly, let’s just accept that blueberries and acai are superfoods, so obviously you can drink this cocktail safe in the knowledge it’s really more like taking vitamins. If you think about it…
But while you’re kidding yourself that you’re getting health benefits from your booze you can also be smug in your choice because this tastes really damn good. The smoothness of the Cachaca isn’t lost in the fruit, and rather than being overpoweringly sweet, the blueberry and acai mingle well to give a lovely honeyed flavour. This is really drinkable.
Spicy Malagueta Caipirinha
Cabana are pretty well known for their Spicy Malagueta Chicken (and rightly so because it is gorgeous), so a few eyebrows were raised at the prospect of their Malagueta Kick sauce being included in a drink.
When it arrived it was almost luminous – a really stunning raspberry shade. Giving the clue to the contents, this Caipirinha is laced with raspberry and lime, along with the spice.
It’s not actually really spicy at all. It adds a nice background hum to the drink, but reminds me of the time when everyone started putting chillies in chocolate…personally, I don’t really jump for joy at the prospect. The drink is ‘nice’, but I wouldn’t rush to the bar for that one again.
‘What in the ham sandwich is a Batida?’ I hear you ask. Yes, well, me too!
It’s actually a ‘hard shake’ – thickened with coconut milk. We felt that Mango Batida was just incredibly sweet and not to our tastes. But, we then tried the Passionfruit Batida and preferred this one – the slight zing from the fruit seemed to cut through the super-sweet base much better. It’s quite a thick drink, and definitely one of those for people who don’t really like to taste alcohol in their cocktails – if you’re a fan of creamy, sweet drinks then I’d absolutely recommend this to you. If like me, you find all that a bit much, then stick to the caipirinhas, as they’re much more refreshing.
Frozen Strawberry Caipirinha
Last but not least this beauty arrived. Almost overflowing from the glass and garnished with a strawberry, this was The One. Tasting much like you’d expect, smooth and sweet with strawberry and a hint of lime, this cocktail is almost a good substitute for desert. Tasting fantastic and a great way to end a summer’s day.
You can try all these (and more!) at Cabana Brasilian Barbecue in Leeds from today, plus they’re offering 2 for 1 on cocktails every day between 12-7pm and 10pm-close, as if you need an excuse.
I’d recommend indulging in some snacks while you’re there – we had tortilla chips and guacamole, parmesan and honey, cheesy garlic dough balls and toasted corn.
As a treat, I’ve got two of these cocktail recipes for you in my next post. Check back tomorrow and get your best bartender kit at the ready.
Let me know in the comments what your favourite cocktails are.