The weather this week has been miserable and it has been very cold; in parts of the south of Brazil it snowed for the first time in 50 years. Cold for Brazilians in São Paulo is in the low 40sF (6C), and with a wet cold it definitely does feel bone chilling. The last days I have been spending my nights next to a warm fire!
But, knowing that the weather in the northern hemisphere has been unbearably hot, I thought that I would try to bring some of your warm weather to Brazil and try to get rid of the horrible rain that has been plaguing us for the last days. And, what better way to do this then to make the national drink of Brazil, CAIPIRINHA.
Caipirinha is a cachaça-based drink made with lime, sugar, and ice. Cachaça, also known as pinga, is a distilled liquor derived from sugarcane and is very popular throughout Brazil. Cachaça comes in several different varieties and prices. Some people use cachaça to mix drinks and others prefer it in a small shot glass sipped slowly. Until recently cachaça was largely unknown outside of Brazil, but because of increased availability outside of Brazil it is slowly becoming known to other parts of the world.
Caipirinha is a drink that is enjoyed in restaurants, bars, beaches, and households throughout Brazil. At some point or other every tourist to Brazil will get there hands on one of these tasty and refreshing drinks. The best place to have a caipirinha is on the beach!
Beautifully easy to make, caipirinha is my all-time favorite cocktail. Although it is best made with cachaça, using a good quality vodka works just as well.
Because I am a bit of a fussy cocktail drinker I have never used specific measurements for making caipirinha. Instead, I have always gone by taste. My advice to you is follow the recipe below and before gulping the whole thing down check the flavor and add more cachaça, sugar, or ice as needed.
50 ml cachaça or vodka
1/2 lime sliced thinly, or cut into four wedges
2 tsp white sugar
Place the lime in a glass and muddle (mash the lime with a muddler or wooden spoon to extract all of the juice). Add the cachaça, sugar, and ice cubes or crushed ice.