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March 20, 2012

Somebody has a case of the Mondays. I’ll give you a hint… It’s me.  I have forgotten how to sit at desks and stare at screens. I’ve been saying “Obrigada” when I get my Starbucks. I’ve been wearing Havaianas to work.

So yesterday in a fit of  why-am-I-not-in-a-tropical-oasis-syndrome (W.A.I.N.I.A.T.O.S.;  Watch out, it’s contagious) I decided the best cure was simply to pretend that I was. So I made myself a cocktail that would bring me back.  Enter, stage left, the Caipirinha.

A caipirinha is like a mojito. But you subtract the mint and substitute cachaça.  It is the cocktail of Brazil.  One sip, and you’ll be right back on that beach in Rio, surrounded by tiny bathing suits and intimidating tans.


So let’s go to Rio. Here’s the team:

Step one, take your limes. And take a lot of them. I use a half of a lime (at least) per cocktail.  Wash the lime off and roll it on your counter to loosen it up and get the juices flowing.

Then slice them up into eighths or so. The smaller you slice them, the easier it is to get all the juice out.

Here’s the general proportion:

2 oz. cachaca + 2 tsp. sugar + 1/2 lime + 1 ice cube

You can use this proportion to whatever size you want.

Take the limes and sugar and muddle them to a pulp. (Pulp. Limes. Heh.) I bought a mortar and pestle for limes while in Brazil, but you don’t need anything that fancy.  (Please note that by fancy I mean a plastic cup and stick.) Just grab a glass and use a wooden spoon.  Add the slices one or two at a time, top with some of your sugar, muddle, then add a few more.

Mmmm, tangy….

Oi, Senor Caipirinha! Nice 'stache.

Pour the whole mess into a glass.  Add cachaça and ice cubes.

Then shake it up.

If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, just use a plastic cup. See above. And shake. You can even samba and shake. That makes it even MORE Brazilian. You want to shake until the ice really starts chilling the drink and the sugar is largely dissolved. (Note: I did not use simple syrup, but I think that would be a great way to avoid the problem of dissolving sugar in a cold drink.)

Give it a sip and add sugar to taste. You’ll notice a thick layer of sugar at the bottom of mine. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Serve with a straw.

BONUS: You can make a million different types of caipirinhas by adding various fruits.  Just choose your fruit, make a puree, and add it at the mixing stage. Last but not least, though I cannot imagine going further from the streets of Rio than to Martha Stewart’s kitchen, here is a great adaptation of the traditional caipirinha that each of you should probably try…. on a Monday.

Your W.A.I.N.I.A.T.O.S. will thank you.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. EAK permalink
    March 20, 2012 2:01 pm

    A beautiful ‘stache!


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