Do you want to impress your guests with a delicious Brazilian cocktail? How about a Caipirinha? It’s delicious but doesn’t require complicated cocktail mixing techniques.
Caipirniha (pronounced kai-pee-rin-jah) is a popular Brazilian cocktail using cachaca, a local sugar cane liquor. If you can’t get your hands on cachaca, you can substitute with vodka to make the variation cocktail, Caipiroska.
There are many different variations with different names, and the dosage of each ingredient depends on your own taste. However, this is my personal preference and I’ve had pretty good feedback so far. Feel free to experiment.
All you need is 4 ingredients:
- Limes (1 lime per cocktail)
- Brown Sugar
- Crushed Ice
- Chopping board & knife
- Muddler (or mashing stick) – you can also use a pestle or a wooden cooking spoon
- 300ml tumbler (or other sturdy glass)
- Wide straw
Preparation for 1 Caipirinha
Cut 1 lime into 8 wedges
Important: in my opinion this the most important factor – don’t be stingy on limes. Other recipes recommend half a lime per Caipirinha, but I think that’s not enough.
Place the lime wedges into the glass / tumbler.
Add 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar over the lime wedges, mash with the muddler until all lime wedges are properly squeezed.
The exact quantitiy of brown sugar depends on the sugar brand, how long the sugar has been sitting in your cupboard, and of course your personal taste. The tartness of the limes also matters – sometimes a bit more sugar is required if the limes are very tart.
Add 6cl (or 2 oz) Cachaca
Add crushed ice – fill the glass to the rim
It is important to use crushed ice, not just ice cubes. If you don’t have crushed ice or an ice crusher, you can put ice cubes into a plastic bag and use a hammer or another sturdy utensil to crush the ice in the bag
Cover the glass with one hand, leaving a little gap to stick in a fork to thoroughly mix the lime/sugar/cachaça mixture through the crushed ice.
By mixing everything, a bit of the ice will melt and the mixture will settle down. Fill the glass up with crushed ice, but don’t mix again.
Put in a long, thick straw and serve.
How to make Caiporoska
As mentioned earlier, if your local liqour store doesn’t stock cachaca, you can use vodka instead – in this case the cocktail is called Caipiroska, Caipiroshka, Caipirovka or Caipivodka
Some people claim that the original Caipirinha is made with lemons instead of limes, others recommend to use white / refined sugar instead of brown sugar.
You can also experiment with adding orange a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juice to add a bit more liquid.