Easy, passed, shareable drink and food is so right now! It also happens to be the theme of the new book Short Cocktails and Small Bites by Julia Charles.
A classic Caipirinha is my go-to drink on a hot summer’s night. It is made with a whole lime cut into wedges and ‘muddled’ with sugar in a rocks glass to extract all the juice. A scoop of crushed iced then goes in, followed by a generous measure of neat spirit. Rather than be deprived of this icy treat in the winter months, I tried this seasonal twist.The tangy clementine is, of course, perfect with a little cranberry sauce and creamy brie.
Makes 2 drinks (each 30 ml/1 oz.)
1 whole clementine
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
2 teaspoons demerara sugar
60 ml/2 oz. cachaça (Brazilian sugar cane spirit)
Ice cubes and crushed ice
2 small tumblers
BRIE AND CRANBERRY SAUCE PUFFS
375-g/12-oz. package ready-rolled puff pastry, chilled
About 200-g/7 oz. Brie, cut into 2-cm/3⁄4-inch cubes
250 ml/1 cup cranberry sauce
Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
A 24-hole non-stick mini muffin pan, lightly greased
Short cocktail: Remove the ends from the clementine and slice it into quarters, being sure to remove any of the white pith in the centre of the segments. Put into a cocktail shaker with a lime wedge and sugar and pound with a muddler or end of a wooden rolling pin to extract the juice. Add the cachaça with plenty of ice cubes and shake well. Strain into small crushed-ice filled tumblers and serve with a short, wide straw. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired.
Small bite: Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF) Gas 6. Use a sharp knife to cut the puff pastry sheet into 7.5-cm/3-inch squares. Press each square into the prepared muffin pan. Place a cube of Brie in each one and add about 2 teaspoons of cranberry sauce. Bake in the preheated oven for 15–10 minutes until golden and puffed and the cheese has melted. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve warm.
Excerpted from Short Cocktails and Small Bites by Julia Charles, published by Ryland Peters & Small (CAN $13.95). Photography by Alex Luck © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.
This original imbibe article first appeared in the Winter 2019/2020 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.