There is nothing like Brazilian Caipirinhas to kick off World Cup madness! I love the World Cup and so this is a time which can’t come quickly enough for me. As with the Olympics I always try and explore the food and drink not only of the host country but some of those participating in the event. This World Cup is in Brazil which offers a multitude of wonderful food and drink opportunities to enjoy during this month long celebration. The first stop on the culinary tour must be Caipirinhas. Not only is it the National Cocktail of Brazil it is also mind boggling delicious! It is a powered up limeade for grown ups. Fruity, ice cold and delicious this is a hot weather cocktail which should be in every well rounded drink rotation.
The foundation of the drink (apart from limes) is a Brazilian hard liquor made from sugar cane called Cachaca. Really there are only a few ingredients. Lime, Cachaca, sugar and ice. Four. That’s it. There are lots of variations using all sorts of fruits instead of limes which are also delicious, however, I thought today I would make the original lime version.
I allow one lime for each cocktail although limes can vary greatly in size and amount of juice they contain. The limes I used for mine today were on the small side and so I used a whole one for each cocktail. With a larger lime you may only need 1/2. Cut the lime in half. Cut each half into 4 slices. Muddle the 4 slices with 1 TBLS. sugar in the bottom of a highball glass. I chose to do this in a cocktail shaker as I like mine extra cold and shaking the muddled lime, sugar, cachaca with ice in the shaker produces a much colder cocktail.
The secret to the muddling is to release not only the juice from the limes but also some of the oil from the peel without destroying it completely. I do not like a grainy cocktail and so I make sure the sugar really dissolves at this point. If you don’t have a muddler (which looks like a little baseball bat sometimes with spikes on the bottom) you can use the wrong end of a wooden spoon. Muddling is really just what is sounds like, pressing and mushing the ingredients together. Okay, that was the most difficult part of making this cocktail. Not difficult I know but it gets even easier from here on out.
Next, add ice and top with 2 1/2 ounces cachaca (either into the highball glass or the shaker). If in the shaker the put the top on and shake away, pour (don’t strain) into a glass and enjoy (If in the highball glass give it a stir and you too can enjoy).
I am sure that Brazilian Caipirinhas will quickly become a summertime favorite just as they are here in our home. We had a little get together this last weekend and served them with a spicy guacamole. One word. Amazing. Enjoy the World Cup and while you are watching join in the fun with a little taste of Brazil!