Summer will be here before we know it - so I'm preparing you with one of my favorite hot-weather cocktails, Brazil's National Drink: the Caipirinha.
How to pronounce Caipirinha?
Confession: I avoided ordering them for years because I had no clue how to pronounce this classic Brazilian drink. So let me help you:
Make sure to scroll down for the proportions and Caipirinha recipe, but these are what you'll need to make a Caipirinha:
What kind of liquor is Cachaça?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not rum. Cachaça is it's own thing entirely -- a Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugarcane juice. It must be made in Brazil, and it must bet between 38 and 40% alcohol by volume.
What is the best cachaça?
I find best to be extremely subjective. The only cachaça I can find locally is Leblon, so that's what I buy at home.
However, out at restaurants, like Fogo to Chao and others, I've had several different types - including cachaça aged in wood! I have yet to find one I didn't enjoy, so leave the "best" up to your desired price point and palate. Keeping in mind that the wood aged version will have a more robust flavor ( and color ) from the wood, while the other versions may be a little lighter in flavor.
What can I substitute for Cachaça?
If you MUST substitute, start with Rum and call it a Caipiríssima. Realize that the flavor of cachaça is quite unique though and it will not be a perfect substitution.
There are several other variations on a caipirinha that can be made with substitutions:
- Vodka ( Caipiroska )
- Sake ( Sakerinha )
- Add fruit in addition to the lime ( Caiprifruta )
What does a caipirinha taste like?
Don't let all those limes fool you! This Brazilian cocktail packs a punch! It's bright and clean tasting, with the cachaca and lime juice, and the sugar adds just enough sweetness to pull it all together into a refreshing, boozy, drink.
What is the difference between a mojito and caipirinha?
While a caipirinha is made with cachaça, limes, and sugar, a mojito is made with rum, mint, and sugar. They are both clear, a little sweet, and muddled, but the drinks taste wildly different.
Personally, I love caipirinhas and cannot stand mojitos! The only drink I enjoy mint in is a Mint Julep.
- 2 ounces cachaca
- 1 teaspoon sugar super fine if you can find it, otherwise a few pulses in a food processor can break it down for you
- ½ lime cut into 4 wedges, white center pith removed
- In a cocktail / rocks glass, muddle the lime wedges with the sugar. Fill the class with ice cubes, and top with cachaca.