Edit ModuleShow Tags

Get a Taste of Brazil with the Caipirinha



Todd Buchanan

If you’re like me and missed the Rio Carnival the other week, we can still get a taste of the festivities by mixing up the popular Caipirinha cocktail, which is often tipped back at the fete.

It’s made with Brazil’s national spirit, cachaça [kah-SHAH-sah], which is a close relative of rum made from freshly-pressed sugarcane rather than from molasses, a by-product of the sugar processing industry (which rum is made from). Cachaça dates back to the 17th century in Brazil, where it’s as much a part of the culture as tequila is in Mexico.

The Caipirinha (pronounced Ki-pee-REEN-yah) gets its name from when Europeans first arrived in Brazil and began cutting down the Amazon forest to make settlements. The local indigenous people referred to the newcomers with the contemptuous term caipira— “weed cutter.” The Portuguese adopted the term and modified it to create the word for “country bumpkin” or “hillbilly”—caipirinha. The use of this word for the cocktail reflects its simple, rustic origins.

Fresh lime is the key to a properly made Caipirinha, but don’t over-muddle: crush the lime wedges just enough to release the juice without crushing the bitter white pith. The only other ingredients apart from cachaça, are sugar, added to taste, and ice.

Sit back, sip, and listen to “The Girl from Ipanema” as you reflect on a much more laid-back experience here. Or, if you wish to don something sparkly and dance the samba to recreate elements of the over-the-top bash, no one will be the wiser. Saúde!
 

Caipirinha

1 fresh lime (key limes, if available)
2 ounces cachaça
2 teaspoons sugar (more or less, to taste)
1 scoop crushed ice

Cut the lime into several wedges and place in a short, wide-mouthed cocktail glass, pulp side up. Sprinkle with sugar and use a wooden spoon or muddler to crush them gently, releasing the juice but avoiding the bitter pith and skin. Add the cachaça and top the glass with ice. Stir vigorously. Serve with a straw and a lime wedge garnish.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Joan’s in the Park Still Has It

Approaching their four-year anniversary, Joan’s is still a culinary gem with an everyone-knows-your-name attitude

Shrimp, Avocado, and Assorted Greens Over Black Beans with Spicy Salsa Recipe

This Mexican-influenced main-dish salad is also extremely versatile: Substitute chicken, pork chops, or flank steak for the shrimp, and you have a totally transformed meal

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Banana bread fans can whip up this easy gluten-free loaf that rivals the traditional versions
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Add your comment:

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent TC Taste Posts

Joan’s in the Park Still Has It

Approaching their four-year anniversary, Joan’s is still a culinary gem with an everyone-knows-your-name attitude

Shrimp, Avocado, and Assorted Greens Over Black Beans with Spicy Salsa Recipe

This Mexican-influenced main-dish salad is also extremely versatile: Substitute chicken, pork chops, or flank steak for the shrimp, and you have a totally transformed meal

Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread Recipe

Banana bread fans can whip up this easy gluten-free loaf that rivals the traditional versions

Indeed Brewing Co. Rolls Out New IPA

Let it Roll arrives as Let it Ride winds down, to bring you an IPA year round

From Shrub to Switchel

A local female-owned company’s refreshing, organic switchel drink.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags