Caipirinhas and Cachaca…

Well, this is a tutorial of sorts, though more in the “contributing to the delinquency” variety.

I want to tell you how to produce a drink that my wife introduced me to about two years ago and we just introduced my family to over Thanksgiving in Tampa. It’s a wonderful, lime-flavored concoction that done properly, tastes like a sharp, sugary lime, but hits like a gold brick.

The ingredients and tools are easy:

  • Limes (1 per drink)
  • Natural Cane Sugar (not brown sugar) (approximately 2 tablespoons per drink)
  • Glasses. You can get custom caipirinha glasses but any short, solid juice-glass will do.
  • Pestle. Traditional caipirinha pestles are almost flat-bottomed, with a pyramidal grid on the bottom much like a meat tenderizer. Wooden juice pulpers will also work as long as the tool you use can crush the lime in the bottom of the glass.
  • Crushed ice. Not too fine either – the crushed ice that comes out of most dispensers built into refrigerators is actually a bit too fine but will do in a pinch. You can get a good consistency by hammering the ice in a bag until it’s well broken up.
  • Short straws suitable for stirring and sipping.
  • Cachaca The smoother and least alcohol-flavored the better. It’s a bit difficult to consistently get a hold of any particular favorite brand but the best I’ve seen so far is the “Pitu” brand.

Cut up one lime (I usually quarter it), and place it in the glass. Add the two tablespoons of sugar. Crush the limes in the bottom to mix the lime juice and the sugar, getting as much juice squeezed out as possible.

Top off the glass with ice.

Add about 2 oz of cachaca. This will usually come close to the top of the ice.

Add straw, stir it up, and enjoy!

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