Today, Dan and Marie—the duo behind The Whaling Club—are back to share the cocktail of the month! Arguably one of the most refreshing cocktails in the classic repertoire also happens to be the national drink of Brazil. They’re talking about the Caipirinha!
Before we get into the cocktail, let’s talk briefly about the main ingredient, cachaca. Cachaca is a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane. It’s similar to rum in that both are distillates derived from sugar, but most rums are traditionally distilled from a sugarcane byproduct like molasses whereas cachaca is distilled directly from fermented sugarcane juice. This results in a spirit that’s a bit more grassy, vegetal and funky than its Caribbean cousin.
The drink is traditionally prepared in what we called a ‘rustic style,’ meaning the contents that make up the cocktail are transferred from the shaking tin to glass in their entirety (instead of strained off over fresh ice or into a stemmed glass). Muddling the wedges of lime directly into the cocktail along with a small amount of raw sugar not only incorporates the juice but also the natural oils from the skin of the fruit.
Because muddling is essential to preparing an authentic Caipirinha, we recommend throwing in some seasonal fruit while you’re at it. Cherry was the obvious choice for us this time around, but berries, stone fruits and even herbs are all fantastic additions to this cocktail.
- 1 white sugar cube
- 3 cherries
- 8 lime segments
- 3/4 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces cachaca
Combine ingredients in a small shaking tin. Muddle, add cracked ice, shake and transfer into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry or a wedge of lime.