I love Fridays. Or more specifically, Friday nights. It has always been my favorite night of the week. This might be because it signifies the end of a long week at work, the anticipation of the weekend, or possibly it might be the idea of happy hour with friends or family. Friday night has usually been a going out night for my husband and I, and back when we lived in downtown Cincinnati we would often walk somewhere to enjoy half priced beverages and plates of appetizers. I remember when we sat down at the bar in Boi Na Braza, and I ordered the Caipirinha. I had found it, MY drink. To this day it is still my favorite, but I only have it on rare occasions because it seems more special this way. 10 years ago yesterday my husband and I went on our first date, and the rest was history. So now that it’s once again Friday night, I say it’s a good time to crack open the cachaça and celebrate.
as listed in my beloved Food Lover’s Companion
[ki-pee-REEN-yah] Brazil’s most popular spirited potable, the Caipirinha is made by muddling lime wedges and sugar together in a tall glass, then adding crushed ice and the potent Brazilian sugar-cane brandy cachaça. Substituting vodka makes it a Caipiroska, rum makes it a Caipirissima. The word Caipirinha is Brazilian for “drink of farmers”.
Well my friends, I was born a Farmer (by name only) so that might explain why I love this drink.
You will need:
old fashioned glass
muddler (or the end of a citrus reamer or wooden spoon)
cachaça (I use 51)
*side note: Cachaça is similar to rum, but the big difference is that rum is usually made from molasses, a byproduct from the refineries that boil the cane juice, while cachaça is made from fresh pressed sugar cane juice that is fermented and distilled. You may substitute white rum, but then you will have to call it a Caipirissima!
There are a few factors that can affect the final result. The size of the limes, and the amount of sugar. It all really comes down to personal taste. You can use between 1-3 tablespoons of sugar and anywhere from half to the whole lime. I’ll tell you how I make it, and you can decide for yourself.
Cut the lime in half, cut off the white pith in the middle, then cut the lime into 8 pieces. I generally use about ¾ of the lime, so I use about 5 or 6 pieces. You can just throw the extra lime in the next one, or toss it in a glass of water.
Place ¾ of the lime in the bottom of an old-fashioned or lowball glass with 2 tablespoons of superfine sugar and muddle until you have gotten the juice out of the lime and it has mixed well with the sugar.
Fill the glass to the top with crushed ice and top with 2 oz of cachaça. Stir it or shake for a few seconds in a cocktail shaker and pour back into your glass. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary.