The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail made with the flavoursome blend of cachaça and lime. It is similar to a Daiquiri, though not with traditional rum. Cachaça (ka-sha-sa) is made from fermented sugarcane juice, where rum is distilled from molasses. The spirits derived from the sugarcane have an entirely distinct aroma. Cachaça has become an integral part of Brazilian culture and is the third most consumed spirit in the world.
History of cachaça
It is speculated that the production of cachaça began soon after the introduction of sugarcane into the country. It was first used as a healing remedy, and later became the drink of the slaves. As it was the beverage of the lower class, it became regarded by the elites as the “poor man’s drink”. Over time it gained popularity and eventually earned its iconic status. The sweet, heady aroma similar to that of Pisco and tequila makes it ideal for use in many Brazilian cocktails.
The caipirinha concoction began as a cold and flu remedy of cachaça, crushed lime and honey. It evolved into a cocktail much later and is now popular all over the world, served at night clubs and beach parties. The cheapest, non-aged cachaça is thought to make the best caipirinhas, and because of its roughness the bits of lime and sugar soften it. If you like, you can also add a few extra ingredients such as berries.
How to make an authentic caipirinha:
3 shots of cachaça
2 fresh key limes
2 ½ tbsp. coarse sugar