Move over margarita and mojito, Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha is about to be moved into my favorite south of the border summer drink. It’s a lot easier to make than it is to pronounce (kai-pee-reen-ya) and oh so refreshing. It’s a perfect summer porch sipper. With the 2016 Olympics in Rio going on right now, I was in the Brazilian spirit and decided to make some caipirinhas to enjoy with some enchiladas on Saturday night.
My first experience with a Caipirinha was at Asia de Cuba, a Cuban/Asian fusion restaurant in New York. I don’t remember much of that night (likely due to a few caipirinhas) except that dinner was delicious, the drinks were divine, and I made it home safe and sound.
Traditional caipirinha’s are made with cachaça which is a Brazilian liquor, and another tough word to say (ka-shah-suh) If you can’t find cachaça you can substitute with white rum (which is what we did).
Cut 1/2 of a lime into slices or small wedges and add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the bottom of your glass.
Muddle lime and sugar together. Do it hard enough to mix your sugar and lime juice. You want to get some of the flavor of the peel, but not mash it so hard to get the bitterness of the rind. If you don’t have a muddler (<< amazon link), a wooden spoon will work fine.
Add in ice, pour in two oz. of cachaça (or white rum). Then optionally you can add in soda water or club soda. I preferred it with a little soda water since it was pretty strong straight up. I’m told this is called a “caipirinha long”.
Cheers! By the way, mojito, I haven’t quit you, just added a friend into the fun.