Squeeze the last few drops of sunshine out of 2017 with this classic Caipirinha recipe
So summer is nearly over, but considering it was 27 degrees in London yesterday it seems we might just be spared the wind and rain of autumn for a few more weeks at least.
The excitement of this weekend’s Notting Hill Carnival has got us clinging on to what’s left of the summer for dear-life and in attempt to squeeze every last drop of sunshine out of the ever-shortening days we thought we would bring you a simple, delicious Caipirinha for you to make at home.
First though, a bit of context. The Caipirinha is one of Brazil’s most famous exports and isn’t too far derived from a Mojito – think less mint but with a slightly grassier, more aromatic spirit. If you’re into that light, fresh acidic style of drink, then this will be right up your alley. The key ingredients of this drink are limes, sugar and a classic Brazilian spirit called Cachaça (Cash-as-ah).
“What is cachaça and where can I get it?” I hear you cry. Well, it’s made from sugar cane, like rum, its more internationally renowned cousin. However, whilst rum tends to be made from by-products of sugar production such as molasses, cachaça is made from juice which comes from the raw sugar cane when it is crushed. A less processed state of raw material lends cachaça a volume and range of flavour which is much bigger and more pronounced than most of the white rums available on the market today.
You’ll be able to get hold of a bottle of the stuff at a large supermarket or a speciality booze shop near you, or at a last resort tap into t’internet and have some ferried to your door – just make sure you get quick delivery as we don’t know how long the weather will last. Prices will vary brand-to-brand with a budget brand like Pitu being much more spirituous with a proper alcoholic bite although very functional. Higher-end products such as Abelha (my personal favourite), Leblon and Sagatiba deliver a creamier, more finessed product which is easily on par with the better white rums of this world.
Whichever brand you choose, once you’ve got your cachaça, it’s time to get mixing and make yourself a tasty drink. In addition to the booze, you will need the following;
Limes – Nice juicy ones, cut into 6 wedges per lime.
Sugar syrup – Standard 1:1 ratio, mix one cup of caster sugar into one cup of cold tap water and stir until dissolved.
Ice – Crushed is best but if cubes are all that’s available, chuck the cubes into a tea-towel and give them a smack with a rolling pin.
Rocks glass – Something short, chunky and preferably fairly big.
Straw – Difficult to drink a crushed-ice drink without it.
Muddler – A muddler is a piece of bar equipment specially designed for squashing fruit, if you don’t have one of these, which you probably don’t, a rolling pin is a perfect substitute.
A spoon – a simple teaspoon will suffice here.
- Add 5 of your lime wedges to your glass and give them a good squash with the end of your rolling pin/muddler. You want to give these a bit of a working-over as not only do you want the juice in the flesh, you also want to grind some of the oils out of the peel. This will give your drink a fragrant, almost sherbet-like quality.
- Add 25ml of sugar syrup to the mix, followed by 50ml of cachaça. If you don’t have an appropriate measure, and egg cup will do with one egg cup of sugar syrup to 2 egg cups of cachaça.
- Fill the glass two thirds of the way with your crushed ice and churn through using your spoon. Be sure to lift the limes and sugar off of the bottom of the glass to ensure that your drink has even flavour throughout.
- Cap the drink with more crushed ice, add your straw and your final lime wedge for a garnish, find a sun-trap and enjoy.
We hope this recipe helps you make the most out of the rest of your summer, but if you manage to master this, why not try adding some soft fruits or the pulp of a passionfruit to the mix when you’re middling those limes? There’s an endless array of fruit-driven twists to this recipe and we would love to hear about yours.
You can get in touch with us across forms of social media using the handle @copperpotbar. Alternatively, drop us an email on Sam@copperpotbar.com. We do masterclasses and events too!