Those words are Brazil’s most popular cocktail and its native spirit, respectively. Cachaça, a Brazilian rum that is made from the fermented juice of sugarcane, as opposed to most rum that is made from molasses, the byproduct of sugar production. Cachaça is often more robustly flavored and vegetal than traditional white rums, but not always.
On a hot Summer day, a Brazilian Caipirinha is a refreshing change from the ordinary. Fresh lime, raw sugar, cachaça and cold seltzer come together easily bringing with them images of sandy beaches, tropical breezes and vacation. Nothing to make ahead and no shaker needed, this quick low-maintenance drink is made in one glass.
The Caipirinha Recipe
You will need:
- Superfine sugar
- Crushed ice
- A “lowball”, “rocks” or “Old-Fashioned” glass
- A pestle (from a mortar and pestle — or something similar) for the muddling
- Cut the ends off of the lime and discard.
- Cut the lime in half lengthwise and cut out the white pith in the middle.
- Cut the lime in half, and cut one half of the lime into four wedges and place in the glass. If your lime is small, you will need to add more lime to the glass.
- Add one to three tablespoons of sugar. The amount of sugar depends on your personal taste as well as the size of the lime you are using.
- Use the pestle to “muddle” the limes and sugar together. Basically, you want to crush the limes so that they mix in well with the sugar. Be careful not to break the skin of the lime. When you’ve gotten all of the juice out of the lime, you’re done.
- Pack crushed ice in the glass all the way to the top.
- Add cachaca all the way to the top of the glass. (It’s really only about 2 oz.)
- Use a larger glass or bottom of a cocktail shaker and put it over the top of your drink. Pick up with two hands and shake very well for at least 15 seconds.
- Garnish with a wedge or slice of lime.
- Drink…and enjoy the best caipirinha!