We’ve been wanting to try a Caipirinha at home for a while, but we had to stalk the very friendly employees at our local liquor store to find a bottle of cachaça! For those of you that aren’t familiar with the delightful cocktail that is a caipirinha, it’s a drink native to Brazil, traditionally made with muddled limes, sugar, and cachaça, a liquor derived from sugarcane.
It’s the type of drink you have to be careful with; it’s pleasantly sweet and tangy and goes down quite easily, so you can’t have too many! As we’re sitting here writing this post, my mom is telling me the story of my dad’s first Caipirinha during their trip to Brazil many years ago; to sum it up, he had four in a very short time span and woke up feeling less than optimal. Consider that our disclaimer!
You can easily omit the kiwi and mint to make a traditional version, but we loved the added depth of flavor (and had a surplus of kiwi sitting around!). We recently took a cocktail 101 class at a renowned local Detroit bar (The Sugar House, for those interested) and applied some of that knowledge to this cocktail. Correct technique can really elevate a cocktail! Here are a few things we learned
- Be careful when muddling mint! If over-muddled, fresh mint becomes bitter and unappetizing. For this drink, we first muddled the lime and sugar, then added the kiwi, and finally, a few sprigs of mint. Gently muddle the mint just enough that you can smell it – it should only take a few seconds.
2. Stir, don’t shake! As we learned from our friends at The Sugar House, the general rule of thumb regarding shaking vs. stirring is to reserve the shaker for drinks containing fruit juice, dairy or egg whites. Stirring is best reserved for drinks that are heavy on the spirits, like this one! Use your bar spoon to stir gently, yet quickly, around the outer edge of the glass. Instead of using your wrist, use your fingers to twirl the spoon. Check out a video tutorial here. Now it’s time to head to your liquor store and search for a bottle of cachaça!Print
This is a pretty strong cocktail – proceed with caution!
- 2 oz cachaça
- 1/2 of a lime (quartered)
- 2 scant bar spoons of granulated sugar
- 1/2 of a peeled kiwi (quartered)
- 3–4 fresh mint leaves
- Add lime and sugar to a large glass. Muddle until sugar slightly dissolves (about 10 seconds).
- Add quartered kiwi and continue muddling until kiwi is broken down.
- Add mint leaves and muddle gently for a few seconds – be careful not to bruise the mint as it will become bitter. (Read blog post for more info.)
- Add cachaça and a few cubes of ice. Stir for about 15 seconds and transfer to drinking glass.
We prefer to serve this in a chilled glass and remove the ice cubes as to avoid watering it down! To quickly chill a glass, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to serving.