Friday, June 10, 2011

caipirinha time

The Caipirinha: Rio in a glass

The heat and humidity have arrived. Now's the perfect time to slip on your Havianas and cool off with a caipirinha, preferably made while grooving to classic bossa nova by Tom Jobim. The caipirinha is Brazil's national drink, fortified with cachaca, or sugar cane alcohol. Although in Brazil, you can buy a bottle for as little as $3, in the US, you'll have to dish out about $15. Cachaca packs quite a punch, so pace yourself, kids. You can substitue vodka for the cachaca. [Then this drink becomes a Caipiroska.]

I modified this caipirinha recipe from my first cookbook. Back then, I was a lazy mixologist and used granulated sugar in all my cocktails. Since then, I've become a simple syrup fanatic, so I changed this recipe to include it. You can buy simple syrup, but it's easy and less costly to make yourself.  Not only is it a must for cocktails; it's also great to sweeten sorbets and iced tea or to pour over Mediterranean and Middle Eastern sweets like baklava.


  • 1 lime, cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 3 T simple syrup*
  • 1 1/2 jiggers cachaca
  • A few ice cubes

Makes 1

Muddle the lime very well, in order to squeeze out all the juice and the flavorful oils in the skin.

Toss the muddled lime, simple syrup and cachaca into a drink shake. Shake, shake, shake until combined, then pour into a short glass, over ice.

*To make simple syrup: simply combine 1 part sugar with 1 part water. Stir, bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until the sugar completely dissolves. Chill before using.


Andrea said...

My favorite!

dreaminitvegan said...

Sounds wonderfully refreshing! I love Bossa Nova

Sarah said...

Simple syrup is so easy to make. I cna't believe anyone buys it! Thanks for the recipe!

Michalene said...

Thanks for reminding me how easy it is to make simple more gritty drinks for me