The menu at Fresno is mainly French, but when it comes to cocktails, you definitely want to go Brazilian. Enter Diego Baião, a Brazilian-born mixologist who has been tending bar at Fresno since 2007. Back when he started, as customers got to know him and learned that he was from Brazil, Baião noticed an uptick in requests for caipirinhas. Shortly after that, he began mixing flavored versions of the drink—and they’ve been a popular staple ever since. “I thought adding flavors would make the cocktails a little more ‘Hamptons,’” explained Baião.
Traditional lime, strawberry, passion fruit, ginger, and mint with agave were the hot flavors last summer. This year, Baião is introducing an all-new spicy cucumber caipirinha. “It’s refreshing, with light rum and a subtle cucumber taste. The sweetness of cachaça balances the jalapeño bite at the end,” said Baião of the new drink. All of Fresno’s caipirinhas are made with either Sagatiba or Leblon cachaça, brands both Baião and Fresno owner Michael Nolan agree to be the best. Here, Baião shares the recipe for his latest libation.
FROM LEFT: Classic, cucumber, and jalepeño caipirinhas
Spicy Cucumber Caipirinha SERVES ONE
3 thin slices of cucumber
3 thin slices of jalapeño
1/4 ounce agave syrup
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 1/2 ounces of cachaça
Muddle cucumbers and jalapeños. Add muddled mixture and remaining ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.