Posted by: gbdub | July 18, 2010

B-Day Booze – Caipirinha

So my baby sister turned 21 yesterday and is all growed up an whatnot. In her honor, I present her favorite cocktail, which she has of course never had before today. Being 2000 miles away, she of course couldn’t enjoy this frosty libation, so I assure her (and all of you) that it was delicious.

The caipirinha in the national cocktail of Brazil. It’s the preferred method of drinking the local hooch, cachaça (ka-SHAH-sa). Cachaça is much like rum, but while rum is made from molasses, cachaça is distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. The flavor is a bit different, smooth and clean with a distinct sweet toasted sugar /caramel note. A bit of sugar and lime are all you need to make the perfect cocktail for a hot summer evening.

Happy Birthday Kristen!

Here’s all you need. Cachaça is becoming increasingly popular in the States, so if you have a decent liquor store nearby you should be able to find a good bottle. You’ll want the white variety for caipirinhas, although, like rum, they do make dark aged varieties designed for sipping straight. If you can’t find any, you can use vodka (the resulting beverage would be a “caipiroska”, sake (sakerinha), or even Campari (caipirItaly). This is essentially the basic “sour” cocktail that so beautifully combines sweet, sour, and boozy.

Wash your lime well (it’s going straight in the drink). Cut the lime in half, remove the pith, score deeply from the skin side, and toss in a glass with sugar.

Muddle it together with something sturdy and blunt. I used the end of a citrus juicer because I haven’t ponied up for a real muddler yet. Work out as much of the juice from the lime as you can.

Add cracked ice and top off with a generous slug of cachaça.

Stir or shake well, and garnish with a lime wheel if you’re into that sort of thing. Saúde!



The proportions are very much a matter of preference, so feel free to experiment. Just be sure to cut the limes before you have more than a couple of these.

  1. 2 tsp. sugar (superfine works best)
  2. ½ med.-large lime
  3. 3-4 ice cubes, cracked
  4. 2 oz. cachaça
  5. lime wheel or wedge, for garnish

Score or slice the lime half and add to a sturdy rocks glass with the sugar. Muddle together. Add cracked ice and cachaça. Stir well, garnish with lime wheel, and serve.

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  1. You make your mama proud. This was a sweet way to wish your sister a Happy Birthday.

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