With the world gripped by Olympics-fever all eyes are trained on Brazil for Rio 2016, so we thought we would showcase the country’s national drink: the caipirinha.
Once almost unheard of outside Brazil, the caipirinha is now one of the World’s best-known cocktails, thanks to the widespread availability of the key ingredient, Cachaça. Cachaça is a form of rum unique to Brazil made from raw sugar cane rather than molasses. This gives it a more rustic flavour than traditional rum, and when mixed in a cocktail it creates a great base flavour.
The name caipirinha translates roughly as “country girl”, although the masculine form of the word, caipira, is usually
considered to be a rather derogatory term akin to hick or bumpkin! Whatever the origins of the name though, it is hugely popular in its home country, where it is consumed as much in the city as the countryside where it was most likely created. Like many “folk drinks” it originates from traditional home-remedies, in this case for colds and flu, so think of it as a tropical version of our hot toddy!
The basic recipe is cachaça, lime and sugar. Although there are many different fruit variations, with passionfruit and raspberry being two popular choices. It is important to use a decent cachaça and we recommend Germana 2YO, it is family produced and aged for 2 years to provide a more rounded flavour. We also use demerara sugar rather than white because the slightly caramelized flavour really compliments the barrel-aged Germana. Here is our recipe:
50ml Germana 2YO Cachaça
3/4 lime, cut into six pieces
3 brown sugar cubes or 3 tsp demerara sugar
dash sugar syrup
Muddle the sugar, lime and syrup in a rocks glass, add the cachaça and crushed ice, churn it all together then cap with more crushed ice. Serve with straws. To make a fruit-variation add puree or whole fruit when muddling and adjust the sugar accordingly.
So rustle yourself up a tasty Caipirinha, sit back, turn on the Olympics and be transported to Rio…!