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IBA Official Cocktail
Studio photo of a caipirinha
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish

sugar cane, lime(ingredient)

Standard drinkware
Old Fashioned Glass.svg
Old Fashioned glass
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Place lime and sugar into old fashioned glass and muddle (mash the two ingredients together using a muddler or a wooden spoon). Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the Cachaça.
Notes A wide variety of fresh fruits can be used in place of lime. In the absence of cachaça, vodka can be used, making a caipiroska.[1]

Caipirinha (Portuguese pronunciation: [kajpiˈɾĩj̃ɐ]) is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (pronounced: [kaˈʃasɐ]) (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime.[2] Cachaça, also known as Pinga or Caninha, is Brazil's most common distilled alcoholic beverage. Although both rum and cachaça are made from sugarcane-derived products, in cachaça the alcohol results from the fermentation of fresh sugarcane juice that is then distilled, while rum is usually made from refinery by-products such as molasses.[3]

The drink is prepared by smashing the fruit and the sugar together, and adding the liquor. This can be made into a single glass, usually large, that can be shared amongst people, or into a larger jar, from where it is served in individual glasses.


Although the real origins of caipirinha, as it is known today, are unknown, according to one account it began around 1918 in the state of São Paulo with a popular recipe made with lime, garlic and honey, indicated for patients with the Spanish flu. Today it is still being used as a remedy for the common cold. As it was quite common to add some distilled spirits to home remedies, in order to expedite the therapeutic effect, rum was commonly used. "Until one day someone decided to remove the garlic and honey. Then added a few tablespoons sugar to reduce the acidity of lime. The ice came next, to ward off the heat," explains Carlos Lima, executive director of IBRAC (Brazilian Institute of Cachaça).[4][5]

The caipirinha is the strongest national cocktail of Brazil[6] and is imbibed in restaurants, bars, and many households throughout the country. Once almost unknown outside Brazil, the drink has become more popular and more widely available in recent years, in large part due to the rising availability of first-rate brands of cachaça outside Brazil.[7] The International Bartenders Association has designated it as one of their Official Cocktails.[8]


The word caipirinha is the diminutive version of the Brazilian word caipira, which refers to someone from the countryside, being an almost exact equivalent of the US English hillbilly or the Lowland Scots teuchter. The word may be used as either a masculine or a feminine noun, but when referring to this drink it is only feminine (usage of diminutives is common in Brazil). In the Brazilian vocabulary, the word caipirinha is mostly associated with the drink itself rather than the class of person.


  • Although Brazilian law (Decree 6.871[9] based on Normative Ruling 55, from Oct. 31, 2008)[10] as well as the International Bartenders Association (IBA)[11] allow the use of the name caipirinha for the version with lime only, the term is often used to describe any cachaça-and-fruit-juice drink with the fruit's name (e.g. a passionfruit caipirinha, kiwifruit caipirinha or strawberry caipirinha).[citation needed]
  • Caipifruta is a very popular caipirinha drink in Brazil, consisting of cachaça, crushed fresh fruits (either singly or in combination), and crushed ice. The most popular fresh fruits used to create caipifrutas are tangerine, lime, kiwifruit, passion fruit, pineapple, lemon, grapes, mango, cajá (Spondias mombin fruit), and caju (cashew fruit).


There are many derivations of caipirinha in which other spirits substitute for cachaça. Some include:

  • The Caipivodka (also known as Caipiroska, Caipiroshka or Caipirovka), in which vodka substitutes for cachaça.[citation needed]
  • Caipiroska (made with vodka instead of cachaça).[citation needed] Very popular in Finland and Sweden. In Africa this version is also called "Dawa", Swahili for medicine.
  • The Caipiroska Negra, Black Caipiroshka or Caipiblack is made with black vodka instead of cachaça.[citation needed]
  • Caipiríssima is a caipirinha made with rum instead of cachaça; the word was coined for an advertisement for a popular rum brand in the late '70s.[citation needed]
  • Caipinheger is another variation made using Steinhäger.[12][13][unreliable source]
  • Caipirão is another Portuguese variation made using Licor Beirão instead of cachaça. Beirão liquor is very sweet, so no sugar is used.[14]
  • Caipisake (also called Sakeirinha and made with sake instead of cachaça) is also becoming increasingly popular, most commonly made with strawberries or kiwifruit.[15][unreliable source][16][unreliable source]
  • Global variations of the Caipirinha were created to celebrate the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil by replacing the sugar with a liqueur or ingredient from each nation's home country.[17]
  • A variation from Italy is made using Campari instead of cachaça.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Brazilian Drinks: Caipirinha". 
  2. ^ "Lista de Publicações". Retrieved 2015-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Cocktail Times - Dictionary". Cocktail Times. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  4. ^ Casa e Jardim - NOTÍCIAS - A história da caipirinha at the Wayback Machine (archived November 17, 2011)
  5. ^ Drinquepedia - Things go better with a cocktail!. "Receitas de Drinques - Drinquepedia". Drinquepedia. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ Mackay, Jordan (August 10, 2006). "Made in Brazil". 7x7 Magazine. .
  7. ^ Willey, Rob (February 2006). "Everyday with Rachael Ray". Cane and Able. Retrieved 2007-01-14. The caipirinha—a sour-sweet combination of crushed limes, sugar and cachaça—has become the darling of American bartenders, and first-rate cachaça is at last finding a place on American liquor-store shelves. 
  8. ^ "International Bartenders Association". IBA. 2005–2007. Archived from the original on February 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  9. ^ "Decree 6871/2009" (in Portuguese). Brazilian Republic Presidency's Civil Office. 2009. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  10. ^ "Ruling Instruction No. 55 from 31/10/2008" (in Portuguese). Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA). 2008. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  11. ^ "IBA Official Cocktails". International Bartenders Association. Archived from the original on March 7, 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  12. ^ "Fazenda Libanus Agroindustria Ltda". Fazenda Libanus Agroindustria Ltda. 
  13. ^ "Tangiroska". The Latin Kitchen. 
  14. ^ "Caipirão Promotional website". Caipirão. 2005–2007. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  15. ^ "How to Make a Sakerinha (A Brazilian-Japanese Fusion Cocktail)". 
  16. ^ "Caipirinha with different flavours". mybraziliancuisine. 
  17. ^ "World Cup Cocktails for All Teams". Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  18. ^ "Camparinha Cocktail Recipe with Picture". 1 January 0001.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]