Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weekend Cocktail: The Caipirinha

Last time we left off we had spoken about Cachaca. The most famous cocktail which utilizes Cachaça and happens to be the national cocktail of Brazil is the "Caipirinha". This cocktail is a good gateway drink to experience Cachaça, which may be hard to find, but, if you can get your hands on some Cachaca all you need is sugar, a lime, some ice, a low-ball glass & a muddler.

There are tons of recipes out there in regard to the proportions so I would like to share two which I have tried and enjoyed.

The first is from a book my wife got me as a birthday present, it is called "Classic Cocktails" by  Salvatore Calabrese ("The Maestro"), who claims to be "one of the worlds leading bartenders".

Salvatore Calabrese's Caipirinha:
  • 50 ml Cachaça
  • 1 small fresh lime
  • 1 1/2 spoons of powdered sugar (I used granulated)
Carefully wash the lime and remove the tips from the top and bottom, to remove some of the pith. Cut the lime in to wedges (going from top to bottom). Place the lime wedges and sugar in a low ball cup and muddle the lime so the juice comes out and mixes with the sugar until it is dissolved. Add the Cachaca and Ice (I like to crush my ice cubes) and stir. Place a straw in it and your ready to go.

 According to "Drink Boy" Robert Hess:
  • 2 ounces of Cachaça
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Half of a whole lime quartered
Same as above but stir after adding the Cachaca and stir again after adding the ice.

Additionally, according to Hess: "if Cachaca is unavailable in your are you can substitute it with a good white rum".  I dunno about this, with out Cachaca its not really a Caipirinha, more like a Daiquiri. Maybe if you use a rhum agricole like we spoke about in last post it would be some what closer. Still... Rum and Cachaca are different, the later is aguardente, not rum.
After discovering this cocktail courtesy of my wife it has really grown on me.  Recently my wife went out with my sister and ordered a Caipirinha. Either the bartender botched it or had some other recipe that was the the equivalent of Winston Churchill's "dry Martini", where he waved a bottle of vermouth over the glass of gin, just substitute the gin with Cachaca.

I really recommend the Caipirinha to anyone who wants to experiment with Cachaca or who are fans of Mojitos, Daiquiries and rum to give this one a try.


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