Rambunctious Pt 3: The Caipirinha

Rum, it comes in many forms, ages and primary ingredients. Cachaça, the official rum of Brazil is made from raw sugar cane juice unlike molasses for the rum from the Caribbean. Cachaça or aguardente, pinga, caninha if you have visited Brazil is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in the country with a production of over 400 million liters a year with only 1% of it being exported worldwide. The most popular cocktail using Cachaça and the granddaddy of all “stick” drinks is the Caipirinha.

“Stick” drinks as they have been most popularly called were huge in my home country of Australia. We never really got the “Martini” craze that took over North America in the late 90’s and early 00’s. The Caipirinha birthed the vodka equivalent, the Caipiroska and the mass of flavored interactions that were splattered across bar menus across Australia. But the classic Caipirinha is the most complex, grass roots way of drinking Cachaça and takes you straight to Ipanema Beach in Rio.

The biggest tool in your arsenal that you need for this drink is a muddler, and in a pinch a rolling pin or big wooden spoon. Crushing the lime to extract the juice and the oils from the skin is a delicate balance between a flavorful, aromatic drink or a mucky, bitter mess. But when you get it right, it’s the perfect patio sipper. Track down a quality Cachaça such as Novo Fogo or Leblon, some fresh limes and sugar. The sugar for sweetness is important, a classic cane sugar is one of the best to use. Raw, flavorful and giving a great compliment to the Cachaça while not drowning the lime in cloying flavor. You can use it granulated or syrup, granulated helps with the extraction of oils from the skin but the syrup can help with consistency when entertaining.

The Caipirinha birthed a huge trend worldwide, drunk by millions of Brazilians every year and is the epitome of simplicity, rustic rum cocktail that showcases the bounty of the country. Relatively unknown in Canada but not for long.


The Caipirinha

2oz Novo Fogo Barrel-Aged Cachaça

1/2 oz Cane Sugar Syrup or 1 bar spoon of Cane sugar

1 lime quartered

In a shaker, muddle lime and sugar. Add cachaça and ice and shake. Pour or dirty strain into an old fashion, add a few more cubes and stir.


Written By:

one of the most recognized bartenders in his homeland of Australia at the time, and relocated here for love with the city’s honest and unpretentious food and drinks (and for his lovely now-wife). In his years here, Shawn has ...

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