Cooking Lesson #322: Caipirinha de Limo Tradicional (Classic Brazilian Cocktail)
…from the Happy Hour Bar
How you doin’? Imagine that you’re listening to a sexy Brazilian samba on the beach at Rio de Janeiro while taking in the sunset on the famous Copacabana Beach. Do you feel it? I can feel the magic now. Probably one of the best trips I had was spending a couple of weeks in Rio. As they say, “It happened in Rio.” I usually get restless when traveling if the trip lasts longer than 4 or 5 days, but Rio was different. I thought they would have to carry me to the plane to leave.
The beaches are magnificent, the hotels are superior, the ladies and men are beautiful, the food (all cuisines) is delicious—what’s not to like? The most memorable cocktail is the Caipirinha de Limo Tradicional--a drink like no other! Made with Cachaça (ka-shah-suh) and muddled lime, it's a refreshing cocktail that's easy to make.
Cachaça is a distilled spirit made from fermented local sugarcane juice. Also known as pinga, caninha and other names, it is the most popular spirit among distilled alcoholic beverages in Brazil.
You won’t see many different brands of cachaça on bar shelves in the US, but you’ll probably see at least one, which is an improvement. Meanwhile, in its native Brazil, you’ll find thousands of producers. While the international community is still catching on to the obvious appeal of this lively, complex spirit, it doesn’t quite need our approval… they love it in Rio.
Cachaça is kind of like white rum, which is a light spirit made from sugar cane. Cachaça differs in that it’s not made from sugarcane molasses but the cane juice itself, lending it more floral, grassy, herbaceous flavor notes than its rum counterparts. Good quality young cachaças should have some of that sugarcane juice earthy, green flavor, while aged cachaças will borrow a rainbow of flavors from the wood it is aged in.
For me, the taste of the simplicity turns to love…Salud!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, or to taste
2 ounces Cachaça (Brazilian rum)
The Top 10 Traditional Brazilian Dishes that pair well with Cachaça:
Quip of the Day: “Twinkle, twinkle little star—direct me to the nearest bar.”
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