The Caipirinha: Brazil’s National Cocktail

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The 2014 World Cup is taking place in BrazilFifa-World-Cup-Brazil-2014-e1396712263296 …….. and there is no better way to celebrate this world event by drinking a Caipirinha. 220px-Caipirinha2 Caipirinha (pronounced kie-purr-REEN-yah) roughly translates to “country bumpkin” and it is the national drink of Brazil, where it originated, and is a common beverage of choice during Carnavale.  It is made with cachaça, an intensely sweet Brazillian style of rum that is made from sugarcane juice. The market is changing and now it is possible to easily find a premium cachaça to use in this drink, which is highly recommended because it is the main component of the drink.   The Caipirinha is the strongest national cocktail of them all in Brazil, where it orginated in the state of São Paulo  around 1918. The Caipirinha as we know it today would have been created from a popular recipe made with lemon, garlic and honey, indicated for patients of Spanish flu pandemic—and which, today, is still used to cure small colds. As it was quite common to put a little alcohol in any home remedy in order to expedite the therapeutic effect, rum was commonly used. “Until one day someone decided to remove the garlic and honey. Then added a few tablespoons sugar to reduce the acidity of lime. The ice came next, to ward off the heat,” explains Carlos Lima, executive director of IBRAC (Brazilian Institute of Cachaça).   I(Thomas Dohrendorf) im März 2005t is imbibed in restaurants, bars, and many households throughout the country. Once almost unknown outside Brazil, the drink has become more popular and more widely available in recent years, in large part due to the rising availability of first-rate brands of cachaça outside Brazil. The International Bartenders Association has designated it as one of their Official Cocktails. The Caipirinha is a perfect cocktail to adapt for seasonal fruits and is fun to use with different fruit combinations.

Prep Time: 3 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 3 minutes

Yield 1 Serving

1 lime, cut into small wedges
2 teaspoons Superfine sugar,  or to taste
2 ounces of  cachaça or white rum, to taste
Ice cubes

Place the lime wedges, pulp side up in the bottom of an old fashioned glass or heavy tumbles. Add sugar, to taste and muddle the lime and sugar together with a long handled wooden spoon.  Add the cachaça, stir and add the ice cubes. Stir again and serve immediately.

Bartender Notes:
Be sure to crush the pieces of lime pulp side up or too much bitter lime oil will released from the zest. Keep the sugar mixed in the drink by stirring often. Cachaça, a spirit distilled from sugarcane, is one of the most popular drinks in Brazil. Some of the better varieties are available in larger liquor stores in the U. S.