Brazil’s national drink, the Caipirinha is a strong cocktail made from cachaca, muddled limes, and sugar served over ice. A refreshing and delicious libation that is perfect for hot summer days and backyard barbecues.
Hey y’all! Welcome to Thirsty Thursdays on my site, I’m really excited to start this series with a drink that we’ve been drinking for a while: the caipirinha.
If I haven’t told you about my husband’s love for Brazilian Steakhouses (I mean, it’s all you can eat meat. It’s his dream restaurant come true lol), I’m telling you now. We go to our favorite, Chima, all the time. And they serve great caipirinhas.
What is a caipirinha?
A caipirinha (pronounced kai-pree-nyuh) is a traditional Brazilian cocktail using limes, sugar, and cachaça (pronounced ka-cha-zuh).
Cachaça is a spirit made only in Brazil, made from freshly pressed sugar cane juice, and can be aged in indigenous wood barrels.
It was considered a type of rum when it came to the US, but because rum is made from sugar-by products and is often aged in used bourbon barrels and cachaca predates rum, it was pulled from being known as one and is in a class of its own.
How to Make a Caipirinha
It’s a super simple drink, and since it’s so simple you need to have quality ingredients. There’s no hiding behind a mixer here.
Muddle chopped fresh limes + sugar. Any sugar works, but I really like using raw sugar here.
Add cachaça and ice. Give it a good swirl with a stirrer or straw.
Aaaand that is it!
This is definitely not a weak drink. I’m going to be totally honest and say that I do add a nice splash of limeade (just lime juice, water, and sugar) to dilute it.
I’m pretty sure that’s what they do at restaurants, too, because I always end up with a nice full glass while the classic drink only uses about 3 ounces of cachaça per glass and that’s it.
But don’t quote me.
Can I use rum?
It’s not traditional, but I won’t tell you no. After all, the two spirits are kinda like cousins, but cachaça has a more vegetal and fruity taste to it.
How to Make Caipirinha for a Crowd
I would say that this is a diluted version of the small-batch glasses. Because filling a pitcher full of just liquor may not be advised.
You’ll need the juice of ten limes, one cup of simple syrup, a cup of ice water, 4-5 cups of ice, and two whole cups of cachaça in a large pitcher. It’ll serve about 10.
You’ll be using the juice instead of the muddled limes because the white part under the lime’s green skin, called the pith, turns extremely unpleasant over a longer period of time.
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- 2 washed limes, cut into eighths
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 6 oz cachaca
- Ice cubes or crushed ice
- In two old fashioned glasses, muddle one chopped up lime with two tablespoons of sugar in each. Muddle them well until the sugar is almost completely dissolved.
- Add 3 ounces of the cachaca to each glass, add ice, and stir with a spoon or straw.
- Serve immediately.
This is a very strong drink, you can add limeade or different juices as mixers to dilute the strength.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 117Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 0g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.