When we heard that Café Gratitude, a collection of beloved plant-based restaurants in California, was rolling out a full craft bar program at its new upscale location in Newport Beach, we couldn’t help but scratch our heads. Alcoholic drinks at a notoriously health-conscious eatery? So we spoke with Jason Eisner, Café Gratitude’s beverage director, to get the scoop.
"Everything starts with a commitment to quality," Eisner tells InStyle. And so the liquor used in Gratitude’s signature cocktail, the caipirinha—the mojito's Brazilian cousin—is completely organic. "Organic cachaça, unlike many other spirits in the rum category, is made from the pressed juice of sugarcane," he says. “The terroir in the flavor and aroma is not only present, it's breathtaking. Topping that off with fresh, organic limes is a must, especially since you will be marinating the lime skin in the liquid for days on end. And of course, unprocessed sugar, which tastes earthy and delightful." Eisner serves the caipirinha with a rock candy stick on the side so that patrons can decide how much sweetness they’d like to add. Try the recipe below.
1. Cut a lime in half. Using a Mexican beehive juicer ($17; cocktailkingdom.com), juice the lime into a bell jar.
2. Add the lime halves (rind included) to the jar. Add sugar and cachaça to the jar as well.
3. Shake a minimum of five times daily and let maturate for 48 to 72 hours. This allows the lime oil to escape from the rind and all of the flavors to marry together.
4. When ready to make the cocktail, empty the liquid from the jar into a cocktail shaker, but not the pith.
5. Shake with cracked ice and fine strain into a double rocks glass.
6. Add the three to four lime swatches and fresh ice.
7. Garnish with rock candy stick.