The Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil. Think limeade with one hell of a kick! Caipirinhas are delicious, but they are sneaky. Once you learn how The Latin Lover makes them, you’ll be spoiled forever.The Caipirinha is wonderfully refreshing and delicious. They truly are like concentrated limeade that packs an anvil-weilding punch. In summer, they slide down and so will you, if you don’t watch your intake. Add some fresh mint to the muddle and they become a Cuban Mojito.
The Latin Lover is renowned for his Caipirinha skills. He’s made these for dozens of people and they are oh, so memorably delicious. We lived in São Paulo for a few years and a Brazilian friend showed him how he felt they should be made; this is the result of that lesson. The Latin Lover learned well.
Cachaça is a very inexpensive alcohol in Brazil; the equivalent of $5 or $6 US$/litre (it may be more expensive now). It has a bit of the sugar cane flavor, tends to be a bit rougher than rum or vodka, but it is the real deal to use if you want a truly authentic caipirinha. If you want a TRULY authentic caipirinha, then the beach on Ipanema (I understand there’s a girl there) would be just the ticket! Cachaça is much more expensive here in the US, so we usually use rum. Because The Latin Lover is Cuban-born, he prefers Bacardi. So, all you need to make this sublime concoction is: rum, limes, sugar and ice.
- 1 large lime, cut into pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons white sugar
- ice cubes
- Cachaça (or rum or vodka)
Using a sharp knife, cut the very ends off the lime. Then, cut the lime in half; cut each half into 4-6 pieces, depending on the size of the lime. Put the lime pieces in a short, sturdy glass. Muddle together the limes and the sugar together until they give up much of their juice. The juice will pretty much cover the fruit. Now you can stop here, let them set for up to an hour, and then continue, if you’re going to have a party later and you want to do some advance prep. But, you don’t have to wait until they “ripen”; they are always perfect. Add ice cubes, smaller ones work better than larger, to about the 3/4’s level. Fill with Cachaça; stir well and serve. These sneak up on you; do be careful!
NOTE: You want to try to purchase smooth skinned limes, like the ones in the pictures here. The Latin Lover thinks they have much more juice and a thinner skin, so the muddle together with the sugar better.
DRINKERS NOTE: Some people add sparkling water, but these are not Brazilians! As I mentioned, you may substitute white rum, which will make it a “caipirissima”, or vodka, which will make it a “caipiroska”. If you substitute grain alcohol…seriously, please get some help!
Caipirinhas can be made with other fruits like mangoes, watermelon, cherries, passion fruit and I really like “The Classic” with just a few drops of the Bacardi Mango Fusion. It positively screams summer. Even when the snow is drifting against the house and the temperature hovers around single digits. Caipirinhas are a nice way to warm your soul.