Famous for its passion for football, colourful Rio Carnival, aromatic coffee, and sexy samba and bosa nova music, the fact that the highly anticipated soccer tournament is held in Brazil makes the international event as much about the sport as it is about the sheer energy and vitality of the host country.
If you are going to stay up late to catch the matches, why not come on down to Clarke Quay to celebrate with some drinks that will let you experience the sizzling atmosphere of South America.
Evoking the Taste of Brazil
When Senor Taco opened in Clarke Quay in 2009, it was the first Taqueria (taco shop) to set up shop there. Serving quality Mexican favourites like tacos and quesadillas, the 140-seater brings the magic of the country right to the riverside hangout.
In celebration of the international soccer season, Insideasked Senor Taco to create some signature drinks that are inspired by Brazil. The creative concoction resulted is La Brasília (S$18), a creamy cocktail with a swirl of blue that draws its inspiration from the globe on the Brazilian flag. The heady mix of coconut milk, pineapple juice, condensed milk, and crushed ice is blended to a yummy froth then drizzled with blue curacao and a generous dose of mezcale.
The drink is finished with a wedge of pineapple crowned with a little blue umbrella for good measure. Mezcale is a tequila native to Mexico made from the maguey plant (a form of agave similar to the aloe vera). Its name comes from the Aztec word for “oven-cooked agave”.
“I picked the ingredients because they are all common to South America. I included mezcale because we are a Mexican restaurant. We are one of the first to bring it to Singapore and we are trying to introduce it to our patrons. Of course, the blue curacao is for the splash of colour,” said Iman Omidfar who has been mixing drinks at Senor Taco for a year. Here’s a little known fact: Iman has a degree in mixology and civil engineering as well!
The cocktail’s rich flavour is reminiscent of a piña colada thanks to the coconut milk and pineapple juice. But the mezcale, which is 100 per cent organic and made in limited quantities in the traditional method from 200 years ago by artisans and imported directly from the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, gives the drink a smooth, smoky finish that adds another layer to its taste.
The other drink Senor Taco has for this soccer season is its blue Margarita (S$15).
“The Margarita is one of our top drinks. We coloured ours blue just for this soccer season,” said Iman.
If all this is not enough to give you an excuse to head on down to Senor Tacos, this bit of news might - the Mexican bar is screening all the matches of the soccer tournament this June! Now you can soak up the football frenzy while downing those soccer-inspired cocktails.
Invoking the Spirit of South America
At Cuba Libre Cafe and Bar, the sultry seduction of South America will lure you in and keep you going back for more. Named after the legendary drink, Cuba Libre (a rum and cola mix with an optional slice of lime), said to have been created in celebration of Cuba’s liberation from Spanish occupation, the place is a hotbed of all things Latino. From the music to the menu and the mixes, it is as if South America has come to Singapore. The next best thing to being in Brazil might just be to come down to this dive.
In honour of its Cuban theme, Cuba Libre Cafe and Bar serves arguably Singapore’s best Mojito (S$27), one of Cuba’s oldest cocktails. Like its name, which is African for “to cast a spell”, this place’s award-winning Mojito is so deliciously it will have you spellbound.
Made with Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, a rum from the sun-soaked island of Barbados, sweet and sour, brown sugar, lime wedges, a dash of soda water, mint leaves, and crushed ice; and served with a stick of sugar cane, the Mojito comes in a mega jar that makes it a monster of a drink. Cuba Libre’s version, wonderfully refreshing because of the tangy limes yet surprisingly sweet, is further lifted by the minty aftertaste.
“What makes our Mojito special is that we muddle the lime separately from the mint leaves. Most places do them both together. But when mint leaves get crushed too much, it releases the oils within and makes them bitter,” said Hairul Hakim, Group Beverage Manager, Cuba Libre Café and Bar.
If you are rooting for the champion team of last season’s tournament, you might want to order Cuba Libre’s other signature drink, the Sangria (S$22), in a show of solidarity. This fruity cocktail is one of Spain’s better alcoholic exports.
“Our Sangria is special because we use cherry brandy and Cointreau, an orange liquor, to heighten the fruitiness of the drink. The cherry brandy also makes it sweeter. Because fresh fruits are used, we make each drink to order,” said Hairul.
Another secret to Cuba Libre’s mixes is the precise measures of ingredients used. No “free pours” for this place.
As the world tunes in to Brazil and the highly anticipated international soccer tournament, you, too, can get into the spirit of South America with these drinks designed to get you into the mood to cheer on your favourite team. Bottoms up!Recipe for La Brasília
Recipe for Mojito
Drink with us:Senor Taco
www.senortaco.sgCuba Libre Café & Bar
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