“You’ve got to try it.’
Michael was Skyping with me from Rio de Janeiro and telling me about a famous local cocktail that he’d sampled while there, the caipirinha, a muddled drink made with cachaça, limes, sugar, and ice. Of course we had to try making it at home, and after an evening sipping several different versions we created, we’ve decided the caipirinha is now on our cocktails list for parties.
Cachaça is a sugar cane brandy available as both aged (gold) and unaged (white). The aged cachaça is sipped straight while the white cachaça is used in cocktails. This stuff is pretty potent, so if like me you have a low alcohol tolerance, plan on having just one.
We experimented with mixing methods and decided that shaking made it pretty close to the consistency of the caipirinha Michael tasted in Rio. As soon as we perfected our basic recipe, we started playing with other flavors because there are many fruity variations on the caipirinha. We tried it with blueberries, pomegranate juice, and other citrus. Our favorite combination turned out to be the caipirinha with pomegranate juice and a little less lime (amounts listed below). For a nonalcoholic version, just use water or seltzer water.
So happy Labor Day Weekend! Pour yourself a cocktail and celebrate the last weekend of summer.
- 1 medium lime, cored and thinly sliced into 8 wedges
- 3 teaspoons fine sugar
- 3 ounces (90 ml) cachaça
- Place the lime slices in the glass and sprinkle the sugar on the lime. Muddle the limes until they are pretty well smashed.
- Pack ice in the glass almost to the rim, then pour in the cachaça. Invert into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Pour it all back into the glass and serve.
rocks glass, about 12 ounces
1/2 lime, cored and thinly sliced into 8 wedges
3 teaspoons fine sugar
3 ounces (90 ml) cachaça
3 ounces (90 ml) pomegranate juice
pomegranate arils for garnish