The Spicy Brazilian as inspired by Palace in Miami Beach.

cocktail, spicy brazilian
The Spicy Brazilian

After my first trip to Little Havana, I Ubered back over to South Beach as the weather had improved significantly by the early afternoon and I wanted to take a stroll down Ocean Drive and take in the hist ts smack dab in the middle of it all, and because it was so nice that I had to go down to the ocean and dip my feet in, because #waterbaby. Of course, when the weather improves in South Florida, it also means it gets hot AF, and by the time I had rinsed off my feet and made my way back to Ocean Drive, I was in the mood for a drink.

And then I saw it: Palace.

Palace Bar in Miami Beach
Palace in Miami Beach

Palace is a renowned gay bar that has a cast of fantastic drag queens who perform nightly as well as twice on Sundays during brunch. When we were in Miami for D and E’s co-bachelor party, we all went there for one of the brunch performances along with bottomless mimosas. The mimosas were truly bottomless, the performances were fantastic, and the food was a little strange (lobster risotto for brunch? On South Beach?), but the latter was entirely not the point.

Wanting to scope it out for myself before the bachelor weekend, I walked in and promptly ordered myself a Spicy Brazilian cocktail. My bartender couldn’t have been cuter or nicer, and the drink itself was fantastic. Curious as to what spice went in to give the drink some heat, he even let me know: sriracha.

The Spicy Brazilian cocktail at Palace
The Spicy Brazilian cocktail at Palace

Naturally, this ended up on my list of things to recreate at home post-Miami, and as I’ve tinkered with it I’ve decided to essentially make this a passion fruit-flavored Caipirinha. The key to making one really is to halve each of the four lime wedges before adding them to the glass, as this allows for more surface area which makes them easier to muddle. This, in turn, extracts more juice, which then dissolves the sugar more readily.

The addition of passion fruit juice means I usually decrease the amount of sugar, but only by a half-teaspoon because you do need the sugar to act as the abrasive. The squirt of sriracha helps cut the sweetness anyway, both with the heat and the savoriness.

Spicy Brazilian

Makes one cocktail

  • 1 half of a large lime, cut into wedges and halved again
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ ounces passion fruit juice
  • 2 ounces cachaça
  • Squirt of sriracha, to taste
  • Ice

In an old-fashioned glass, combine the lime and sugar and muddle with a wooden muddler or spoon until limes have been juice and the sugar has started to dissolve. Add the cachaça, passion fruit juice, and sriracha and stir to combine. Add about a half-cup of ice to the glass, stir again, and serve immediately.

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