With spring fast approaching and the summer warmth just breezing around the corner, gather around a couple friends and family for a barbecue while sipping on our traditional caipirinha recipe that’ll transport you to the beaches of Rio.
A Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail, that is made with cachaça.
Cachaça — also known as caninha and other traditional names — is the most popular spirit amongst other distilled alcoholic beverages in Brazil. It is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. Likewise, both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products, but in cachaça the alcohol results from the fermentation of fresh sugarcane juice that is then distilled, while rum is usually refined with by-products like molasses. You can learn more about cachaca here.
If I were to tell you how cachaça taste like, it is almost as equivalent to tequila in terms of how strong it is. For this recipe, I will be using Salinas cachaça from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil (notably the most famous for producing the finest cachaça’s in Brazil). Another recommendation and most readily available would be Pitu Cachaça, for it will provide you with a slightly smoky nose, dry and smooth on the palate, finished with an earthy – herbal spicy notes to your cocktail.
- 1 oz Cachaça (I would recommend Pitu Cachaça)
- 1 Lime (cut in 1/8th half wedges)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- Ice cubes (preferably crushed, cubes work as well)
Making Your Caipirinha
Fortunately for me, I have a caipirinha glass set-up, with a wooden muddler, and a neat little caipirinha old-fashioned glass. If you do not have a muddler, a wooden spoon does the trick.
- Cut the limes into 1/8th half wedges (halved, then cut into 4 individual wedges, then half those wedges. Save the other half for garnish)
- Place 2-3 pieces of half wedges inside the old fashioned glass, add sugar, and muddle (mash the two ingredients together with muddler/wooden spoon).
- Add ice and 1 ounce of cachaça (2 if you’re a risk taker and like it stronger)
- Stir, garnish (standard garnish is lime wedge, a fancier option would be a sugarcane stick), and serve.
As excited as I am for you to try this tropical cocktail, keep in mind that two of these is just enough to get your mind blownin’. Experiment with other flavours such as coconut, grapefruit, passion fruit with pineapple, and even guava!
And as always, keep it soigné.