[Cocktail of the Week]

Parlour Bar’s imitation caipirinha allures with cherry and açai

The Parlour Bar’s Açaí Caipirinha uses vodka instead of cachaça, the traditional spirit in the Brazilian cocktail.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

There are increasingly few places to have an audible conversation on Fremont East, but my go-to spot for respite is Parlour Bar inside El Cortez. And on this Wednesday evening, with the PA mercifully piping in traditional jazz, my boyfriend and I decide to mellow out with a drink.

From Parlour’s cocktail menu, I choose the Açaí Caipirinha, while my boyfriend picks the South Side. My drink comes first, and the black-cherry notes of the Grey Goose make their presence felt immediately, the advertised açaí surfacing a few swigs later. My boyfriend takes one swig and groans. “It’s good, but this isn’t a real caipirinha,” he says. He would know. He’s made several trips to Brazil, where the cocktail is beloved—and usually boasts not vodka, but cachaça, a sugarcane-based distillate. I’m drinking what’s known elsewhere as a caipivodka (or alternatively, a caipiroska).

Later, I ask John Civitello, director of food and beverage for El Cortez, about the misnomer. “What can I say—we’re taking poetic license on the drink,” he says of the cocktail, devised by occasional Parlour collaborator Southern Wine & Spirits. “It’s a broad stretch.” I’m not hung up on this—I dig its flavor profile, as complex as the brassy arrangement filling the air. Once again, I can rely on the Parlour.


1 ½ oz. Grey Goose Cherry Noir vodka

½ oz. Cedilla Açaí Liqueur

1 oz. simple syrup

lime wedges

Method: Place lime wedges and vodka in mixing glass. Muddle to extract the juice. Add ice and açaí liqueur, shake and pour (do not strain) into a lowball glass.

Tags: Nightlife, Booze
Photo of Mike Prevatt

Mike Prevatt

Mike started his journalism career at UCLA reviewing CDs and interviewing bands, less because he needed even more homework and ...

Get more Mike Prevatt
  • The Container Park bar's seasonal creations run far and wild.

  • And that's just the beginning of the Gaudi Bar's innovative drinks. Winter is coming.

  • Get More Cocktail Stories
Top of Story