Brazil’s National Cocktail, The Caipirinha

Today is #carachaday. For those of you unfamiliar with this Brazilian liquor, let’s hear from Anthony Bourdain:

“The caipirinha, man. This indispensable icon of Brazilian beach culture is known to start with fresh lime, muddle and mash with more lime juice, sugar, ice, the magic ingredient, cachaça—that’s basically the distilled liquor of the sugarcane—shaken, not stirred, and you’ve got yourself one of the world’s truly great cocktails. The utility beverage good for any time of day or any social occasion. Very satisfying.” – Anthony Bourdain

Forget it’s a Monday, and mix yourself up a caipirinha. Let’s travel virtually to Brazil, where this refreshing drink is a national treasure and is enjoyed in bars, on the beaches, during family and friend get-togethers.

Caracha, a distilled spirit made from sugar cane, and with sugar and lime, is the liquor in the caipirinha (kai-pee-reen-ya).

While most people don’t have caracha lying around the house, they do have the other simple ingredients that it takes to make a caipirinha: sugar and lime.

Finding cachaca:

Cachaca isn’t a very popular spirit in the US and it’s only made in Brazil, so you may be surprised to find that it’s fairly widely available at your local liquor store. A couple of the most popular starter brands are Ypióca and Leblon.

Let’s get out your favorite cocktail glass and try your first one:

Caipirinha Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 limes for muddling
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 oz cachaca
  • lime juice of 3 limes

Instructions:

  • Muddle the limes and sugar together in a cocktail shaker (or a glass if you don’t have a shaker). Don’t scimp on the muddling!
  • Add the cachaca and lime juice, shake well until you see condensation on the outside of the shaker.
  • Add crushed ice to a glass and pour the shaker contents over the glass.
  • Serve immediately garnished with a lime slice
  • How about muddling some strawberries with the sugar and making a refreshing strawberry version? Feel free to play with the flavors and come up with your own!

Saúde!