Caipirinhas are one of the most refreshing cocktails of the season. And this simple recipe, packed with tons of fresh lime, a touch of sweetness, and the beloved Brazilian spirit, cachaça, will cool you off all summer long.
Hands down, the Caipirinha is my favorite cocktail. Well, it actually may be tied with the Paloma. And I do love a glass of Prosecco. Hell, it’s tied with the Margarita too.
But in all honesty, I love whipping up (or ordering up) a caipirinha any chance I get. They’re so easy to make at home, require next to no preparation, and has hardly any added sugar. All you need on hand is three simple ingredients, serious!
Ingredients in a Caipirinha Cocktail:
A caipirinha ingredient list is simple as can be, here is all you need:
- Fresh Limes
- Club soda (optional—not classic)
What is Cachaça?
Cachaça, which was once hard to find, is becoming easier and easier to get a hold of these days. In the past few years it has gained momentum in the cocktail word, much like other small batch operations that are gaining traction in a movement towards craft distilling and brewing.
By law, cachaça must be made in Brazil (similar to how a bottle of Champagne can only carry that name if the grapes have been grown in the Champagne region of France) and is made from cane juice pressed from the stalks of sugarcane.
Is Cachaça rum?
You’ll hear Cachaça often referred to as “Brazil’s rum”, and although it is distilled from the fresh cane juice, it’s significantly different from what we think of as rum. Traditional rum is made by distilling cane juice that has been processed into molasses, which gives it that rich, caramel-like flavor. Whereas, cachaça is made by fermenting fresh sugarcane juice then distilling to create the spirit. Compared side by side, cachaça with have a much brighter, grassy, and almost herbaceous flavor than rum.
Cachaça researcher, Felipe Jannuzzi, has traveled Brazil to research and explore the different types of cachaça from the various regions of the country (the method in which it is made varies from region to region). Jannuzzi and his fellow researchers have identified more than 70 different aromas in cachaça. Much like the aroma wheel created for wine, Januzzi and his fellow researchers have created an aroma wheel for cachaça.
The Cachaça industry
Although there are brands that sell industrial, big-batch cachaça, much of this spirit that’s consumed worldwide is actually from premium artisanal productions. So, you can feel good about drinking this spirit, because you’re helping to keep an industry of small batch producers in business, how cool is that?
How to make a caipirinha cocktail
Making the Brazilian caipirinha cocktail is one of the easiest drinks you can make. The two key things to remember:
- get more limes than you think you’ll need
- seek out Cachaça (don’t use just any ol’ rum), this is what makes a caipirinha, well, a caipirinha!
Making a caipirinha step 1:
Add lime wedges and sugar to a cocktail shaker and muddle until juices are released.
Making a caipirinha step 2:
Fill shaker 3/4 full with ice and stir until thoroughly chilled.
(Optional: fill shaker 3/4 full with ice secure lid, and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled.)
Making a caipirinha step 3:
Divide caipirinha between two rocks glasses, garnish with additional lime wedges if desired, and serve.
(Optional: top with a splash of club soda.)
To stir or to shake the caipirinha cocktail?
Classically caipirinhas are stirred, but occasionally I prefer to shake them, here’s why:
- I like my cocktails thoroughly chilled.
- I think it really gets the lime wedges smashed up, which means more flavor.
Need to outfit your bar cart? Here are some of my favorite bar essentials:
- Cocktail shaker for the bartender in the family
- Cocktail shaker that will make a statement
- Casual rocks glasses (used here)
- Diamond shaped rocks glass
- Patio-safe rocks glasses
- Champagne Tumbler
- Stemless wine Glassses
- Stunning wine glasses
- Square ice cube trays
Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Classic Caipirinha Recipe.
To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Cheers!Print
A classic caipirinha recipe that features lime, a touch of sugar and Brazilian cachaça.
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 5 ounces cachaça
- Club soda or lime-flavored sparkling water (optional)
- Lime wedges for garnish
In a cocktail shaker muddle lime wedges with sugar. Add cachaça and fill shaker three-quarters full with ice, secure lid, and shake vigorously.
Pour (don’t strain) into two rocks glasses and top with club soda or sparkling water, if desired.
Add a few more lime wedges for garnish, if desired.