At this point, it doesn’t matter where you live (at least in the US) – it is most definitely still summer. And it’s hot. Grill-outs and pool parties are still happening. And ain’t nobody got time for hot toddy’s and red wine, amiright?
My all-time favorite cool, refreshing cocktail is The Caipirinha (cay-pee-REEN-ya). It’s Brazil’s national cocktail, and, being married to a Brazilian, it has basically become a member of our little family. The caipirinha is like a Brazilian mojito, made with sugar, lime, and cachaça (ka-SHA-sa), which is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane. The first time I visited Brazil, one of my absolute favorite parts was sampling the different flavors of caipirinha: kiwi, mixed berry, strawberry, and my personal favorite, passion fruit.Every Brazilian has their own twist on the caipirinha recipe – more or less sugar, adding a splash of soda, shaken, not shaken, etc. My favorite recipe is Fabio’s, which you’ll find below.
The recipe is very simple. (We’ve found that the BEST way to make a caipirinha is to add some coconut water, which strays from the very traditional recipe, but it makes a world of difference.) Once you’ve tried the classic caipirinha, try other fruits like strawberries and kiwis (they require less added sugar, too!). You’ll have to hunt down cachaça at a somewhat specialty liquor store, not all liquor stores carry it. If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute vodka, and then you’ll be drinking a caipiroska!
- 1 lime, cut into about 16 small pieces
- 2 ounces cachaça
- ⅓ - ½ cup coconut water
- 1½ Tbsp sugar (OR your sweetener of choice: agave syrup, honey, monkfruit extract, etc.)
- Plenty of ice
- Add the lime and sugar (or sweetener) to a glass and muddle well.
- Add the cachaca and ice, pour into shaker. Shake well. Saude!