Mojito and Caipirinha’s illegitimate child

Ah, caipirinhas — perhaps Brazil’s best export outside of footballers (though admittedly, there’s some fine exporting going there). For those that haven’t had the chance to experience one yet, 1. get your arse to the nearest Brazilian steakhouse ASAP, 2. cry into your mojito instead. Of course, I may be a bit biased in this — the first time I ever had a caipirinha, a Brazilian friend brought a giant gourd (literally. a gourd.) filled with mysterious substances that he had us take turns pounding/mashing before we started taking sips and passing it around.

“Pedro. Where on earth did you find a giant gourd??”
“Oh, I missed drinking out of these so much, I ask my mother to buy one and send it to me in the mail.”

Somehow things taste better when it came out of a container sent by someone’s mother 5000 miles away.

Now I don’t remember too much else about that particular drink besides that it was good, I kept calling it capoeiras, and we were preetty happy by the time the gourd had been emptied.

A few days and wikipedia articles later, I had learnt that the secret of the caipirinha is cachaça, or a distilled liquor vaguely resembling rum, but made from sugarcane instead of molasses. The end result tends to be a bit softer than rum, and quite conducive towards sipping. Or awesome cocktails. Cachaça just started being imported into the US recently (before, being mainly popular in Germany… hallo randomness!). The most recognizable brands in the US market are Pitú and Cachaça 51, and indeed, I had a liter of Cachaça 51 courtesy of MarketViewLiquor for 19.99. Haven’t tried to look for cachaça out in the city too much yet, so I don’t know what the de facto availability is.

Anyhow, I had some friends over for dinner, and the debate turned towards the perils of nationalized healthcare; basically, an excellent time to bust out some awesome cocktails. I just happened to have limes. Some brown sugar. Aaaand cachaça! So I started cutting those limes into wedges and got enthusiastically into the muddling business before realizing… I have no idea how to make a caipirinha.

So instead, I did what I do best — make shit up.

Caipijitos (serves 4)
– 1 lime
– 4 tbl of brown sugar
– 4 shots of cachaca
– 1 12oz (standard) can of seltzer water // carbonated water

1. Cut 1 lime into ~8 wedges, put into a thin/tall glass (small french presses are awesome for this). Add the brown sugar and cachaca and muddle.
2. Pour into 4 glasses (in my case, red wine glasses) over a couple ice cubes.
3. Top off each glass with seltzer water & mix.
4. Serve to unsuspecting guests as caipirinhas. Bask in their praise.

Wow. Damn good. I think the star of the party really is the cachaça. I sipped a bit of the stuff later and it has a distinctive taste that stood out nicely in the Capijitos. Definitely worth a second shot at trying to make real caipirinhas. 😉

Till next time… cuidado!


One Response

  1. […] for the equivalent! The cachaca has a fairly decent chunk cut out of it (due to the popularity of bastardized caipirinhas), the vodka & tequila a mite bit chomped on, but otherwise everything else is fairly untouched. […]

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