Kick-start your weekend today by trying a delicious caipirnha (pronounced kie-purr-reen-yah) cocktail. This simple sweet-tart concoction is the national cocktail of Brazil and with just one sip I promise you'll be transported to the beaches of Rio! The key ingredient to the caipirnha is cachaca (pronounced ka-sha-sa,) a Brazilian spirit distilled from fresh pressed sugarcane juice. Until recently, the only available cachaca in the United States was very cheap and unrefined 'industrial' cachaca, produced in large quantities and with a very unrefined, harsh flavor. Fortunately, artisanal cachacas have become increasingly available in the States, and are worth the higher price tag, so check your local liquor store (Party Source has it if you're in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area) or find a premium cachaca online. A couple good brands to look for include Leblon, Novo Fogo, Pitu, and Fazenda Mae de Ouro Cachaca. If you can't find it in-store or your state doesn't allow for alcohol to be shipped in, ask your local liquor store to try and source it- you'd be surprised how willing they are to bring in new products. If you're still not having any luck finding it you can easily sub in vodka to make a caipiroska, sake to make a caipisake, or rum to make a caipirissima.
I had the very good fortune of mixing up a batch of caipirnha's with a beautiful handcrafted bottle of Nega Fulo that Amanda's husband had brought home from a business trip in Brazil. Best souvenir ever? I think so!
1/2 lime, quartered
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or more to taste)
2 oz. cachaca
To make this refreshing and delicious cocktail, wash your lime and cut it in half and then into quarters. In a large sturdy old fashioned glass gently squeeze the juice of the lime quarters into the glass and then place them in the glass pulp side up. Sprinkle with the sugar and muddle together with a muddler or blunt end of a wooden spoon. Be careful not to crush too hard as the skin of the limes can give off a bitter flavor. Add in the cachaca and stir to mix. Fill the glass with ice, mix one last time and enjoy! Just be careful as this cocktail is deceptively strong!!
Enjoy this drink outside with a few good friends!!