The key ingredient in a Caipirinha (pronounced Kaay-peer-REEN-ya) is Chacaca - a spirit derived from the juice of sugar cane. The Caipririnha became one of the world's most popular cocktails towards the end of the millennium leading to a world Cachaca shortage. Like any classic, it has a traditional method of mixing which requires a certain attention to detail.
- Cut a lime into eight pieces, place in a glass, add 1-2 tea spoons of granulated cane sugar to taste. The proportion of sugar can vary but its sweetness should balance the acidity of the limes.
- A wooden muddler can be used to grind the sugar and lime in order to release the oils in the skin as well as the juice in the flesh of the limes.
- Fill the glass with crushed ice.
- Add 30-60ml of Cachaca, stir and it's ready!
In recent years, some bartenders have developed the humble Caipirinha by adding fresh fruit such as blackberries during the muddling (crushing) stage to create new flavours, thus creating for example a 'Black berry Caipirinha.' Cachaca also lends a certain Brazilian exoticism to other drinks such as cola and orange juice.