International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Caipirinha

Glass of caipirinha

(Brazilian cachaça-lime cocktail)

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The national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha (kai-pi-REE-nyuh) is a heady mix of lime juice and cachaça (kah-SHAH-suh), a brandy-like alcohol distilled from sugarcane juice. Sugar takes the edge off the lime and makes throwing these drinks back just a little too easy.

1 serving

Ingredients

  • Lime, halved, each half cut into 4 wedges -- 1
  • Sugar -- 1 or 2 tablespoons
  • Crushed ice
  • Cachaça -- 2 to 3 ounces

Method

  1. Put 4 to 6 lime wedges into an old-fashioned glass and sprinkle with the sugar. Use a muddler or wooden spoon to crush together the limes and sugar to release the lime's juice.
  2. Pack the glass with crushed ice and pour in the cachaça. Stir well, garnish with a couple more lime wedges and serve.

Caipirinha Variations

  • Add more or less sugar according to your taste.
  • Instead of stirring the drink at the end, cover the glass with the bottom of a cocktail shaker and shake well for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Caipiroska or Caipiroshka: Use vodka instead of cachaça.
  • Caipifruta: Substitute crushed fresh fruit for the lime juice. Try strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, mango, tangerines. Use about 3 tablespoons. Cut back on the sugar.
  • Use brown sugar instead of white sugar.

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