Many travellers enjoy a caipirinha cocktail when visiting Brazil or Portugal. A caipirinha is easy to make but also easy to get wrong! This recipe shows how to make the perfect caipirinha.
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Caipirinha Recipe – How to Make a Caipirinha
A perfect caipirinha is made in a tumbler glass and uses the following ingredients:
- 1 lime, cut into small chunks.
- 2 dessert spoons of soft brown sugar.
- 75mls cachaça.
- Crushed ice.
- Cut the lime into chunks and place into the bottom of the glass along with the sugar. Using a pestle or cocktail muddler, crush the lime up with the sugar.
- Once the lime and sugar is muddled together, use a small amount of the cachaça to rinse the excess sugar and lime from the sides of the glass. Then add crushed ice up to the top of the glass.
- Pour the cachaça over the ice – it will need about 75mls to reach the top – then place half a cocktail shaker or a slightly larger glass upside down over the glass and give everything a good shake. If there is room, add a tiny bit more crushed ice at the top.
Serve with a straw and a napkin, as they do in Brazil!
There are many variations to the original caipirinha recipe shown above. Popular in Portugal, the ‘morangoska’ is a delicious alternative that replaces the lime with fresh strawberries.
The ‘caipiroska’ is exactly as above, but with the Brazilian cachaça replaced with vodka.
Some bartenders serve the drink over cubed ice rather than crushed, resulting in a drink that tastes stronger.
Cachaça for Caipirinhas
There are various brands of cachaça available to use to make caipirinhas , the most well-known being Cachaça 51, with the familiar red, white and yellow label, and Cachaça Sagatiba Pura.
Within Brazil, and to a lesser extent within Portugal, many other varieties are available. As with rum, cachaça is available in both white varieties and more mature (and expensive) aged varieties.
Just as a mojito can be made by a connoisseur using aged rum, a caipirinha can be made with darker and smoother cachaça, such as Cachaça Sagatiba Velha.
Cachaça is a strong spirit, typically around 40% alcohol by volume, and in a caipirinha is served in an undiluted form, so caipirinhas should be enjoyed responsibly!
Whichever variation the drinker chooses, the caipirinha is a sophisticated cocktail, perfect for summer nights, and an impressive drink to know how to mix well.