Country Bumpkin

December 23rd, 2007

A few weeks ago Anthony left a comment recommending the English Caipirinha as an excellent cocktail that makes use of berries. Anthony’s recipe wasn’t all that precise, but the drink sounded potentially interesting so tonight I had a bit of a play to see what worked best. After an initial attempt that was rather heavy on the gin and a little light on the berries, I ended up with a pretty tasty recipe.

The only problem I had was the name. If you’re going to do something as drastic as remove the Cachaça, I don’t think you can still call the drink a Caipirinha, just as I don’t think you should really call a Vodka Martini a Martini (oh the controversy!). Anyway, the Caipirinha is named from the Portuguese “caipira”, which refers to someone from the countryside. Here in Britain we often refer to such people, somewhat derogatively, as bumpkins – which sounds like a much better name to me…

Country Bumpkin cocktail

The Country Bumpkin

The Bumpkin has a wonderfully fresh, summery taste which makes it a cocktail I will definitely be returning to in the warmer months. When using a good juniper-heavy gin like Tanqueray it provides an interesting base which ensures that fruit doesn’t entirely dominate the drink. Given it’s lighter flavours this is a great drink for people that don’t like traditional, strong, cocktails – my boyfriend who normally won’t go near gin happily quaffed down several of these.

In an attempt to add a little more depth to the profile of the original English Caipirinha recipe Anthony provided, I tried adding various bitters while making the second round of these drinks. Orange bitters didn’t quite work out, but a dash or two of Fee Brothers Peach bitters really added an extra dimension, although their sweetness meant the amount of sugar needed to be reduced a little. If you don’t have peach bitters use the above recipe, but increase the amount of sugar syrup to ½ a shot.

Cheers to Anthony for sharing the English Caipirinha with us – do let me know what you think of my tinkering if you get a chance to try it…

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Posted in Blackberry, Gin, Lime, Peach Bitters, Raspberry, Recipes

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8 responses to “Country Bumpkin”

  1. Dominik.mj – the opinionated-alchemist Dominik.mj - the opinionated-alchemist says:

    Great idea; I like especially your attempt to keep the character of the gin!

    However it reminds only very remote of a Caipirinha – it is more like a hybrid of Simon Diffords Blimey (he does it with lime vodka – I know that the original recipe is with Scotch…) and a Bramble sans Creme de Mure…

    Ok the differences are there, so the name is your call ;)


  2. Jay Jay says:

    Dominik, I completely agree that it’s only very vaguely related to the Caipirinha – hence the change of name.

    It is similar to the Bramble though I agree. It brings up an interesting point – at one point does a variation become a different cocktail?

    Looking back at books like the Savoy Cocktail Book, even a slight change to the recipe results in a brand new name for the drink. These days though it seems more usual to adopt a variation on the existing name. Where do you draw the line?

  3. Dominik MJ – the opinionated alchemist Dominik MJ - the opinionated alchemist says:

    You are absolutely right if you see it in this light!

    By the way – HAPPY NEW YEAR and all the best for you and your blog!

  4. anthony anthony says:

    good god, I am working in an office today, first day after the break, and that recipe is causing me to get -seriously- thirsty. (can’t answer the phone… mouth too dry… cough…)

    the reason I like the combination is that it tastes exactly like a fresh english summertime – for some reason it makes me think of a flavour of ribena that never made it past R&D.

    I will have to try the bitters, they seem like a good idea! ant

  5. Darryl Darryl says:

    This sounds great. I’m looking for some good gin-based drinks in order to overcome my aversion to the stuff; I’ll definitely try one of these sometime soon. I have yet to use peach bitters in anything, either.

    As far as nomenclature goes, I think if you change more than two ingredients in the drink it’s no longer just a variation. If you substitute vodka for rum in a Mojito, say, but everything else stays the same – muddling the mint, using sugar and lime wedges, topping with soda, etc. – then just call it a Vodka Mojito. But if you use vodka, muddle mint, add fresh squeezed orange juice, and top with Mountain Dew, that’s definitely not a Mojito anymore. (Or palatable, in all likelihood.)

  6. Jay’s Country Bumpkin | The Pegu Blog says:

    [...] The Country BumpkinSort of an English take on the Caipirinha. It tastes great, and looks even better. [...]

  7. VictoriA VictoriA says:

    I had an English Caipirinha at Goucho Grill on Sunday – theirs is made with Crème de Mûre (and no bitters). Was divine!!

  8. Jason Jason says:

    Hello! this was so tasty. here in seattle – this time of year we have maybe the best blackberries in the states. I just made this but didn’t have peach bitters or any “plain” simple syrup around. So substituted lavender syrup – really good.

    thanks for the recipe.

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