Capeta Paulista

Our pal Chris Viljoen has sent in yet another fascinating cocktail recipe, providing a glimpse of the cocktailian culture in Brazil. Chris says this drink is very popular in São Paulo at the moment.

This was the most fascinating one yet, although one that can get a little expensive. It calls for fresh passion fruit pulp, two passion fruits’ worth for each drink, and in supermarkets those little suckers can go for $2.50 each. Try to find one in a farmer’s market, where the price is more likely to be reasonable … or else, move to a place like Brazil, where I assume they’re cheap and plentiful.

Make sure your passion fruits are wrinkly but not dry and overly shriveled before you cut them in half and scoop out the pulp — that’s when they’re at the height of their ripeness.

You can make vanilla sugar by slicing a vanilla bean in half and, after scraping the seeds out for another use, placing the bean husk in a bowl of sugar. The bean pod will add a wonderful flavor and aroma to the sugar. I didn’t have any of that handy, so I used Monin’s Organic Vanilla syrup, which is an excellent, shelf-stable product.

Chris says he watched the bartender as he made it, but the guy wouldn’t give him the measurements under orders from his stinky boss. It may need some tweaking, but was pretty good as is.

Capeta Paulista
Capeta Paulista
(“Capeta” means “devil” in Portuguese)

3 ounces passion fruit (grenadilla in Portuguese) pulp.
1-1/2 ounces cachaça.
Juice of 1/2 lime.
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1/2 ounce vanilla syrup).
1 small pinch cayenne pepper.

Shake well with a few large cubes of ice. Take out any remaining ice and pour into a cocktail glass. Don’t strain, because you want to keep the pits.

It has a really different taste.

It was pretty weird, but really enjoyable. The slight tartness of the ripe passion fruit pulp with its heavenly tropical perfume, the additional perfume of the vanilla, the tartness of the lime and the touch of fire from the cayenne (the weirdest part) made for quite an experience. Maybe when the weather gets warmer we’ll have these as well as Caipirinhas. Thanks again, Chris!