|IBA Official Cocktail|
|Studio photo of a caipirinha|
|Primary alcohol by volume|
|Served||On the rocks; poured over ice|
sugar cane, lime(ingredient)
|Standard drinkware||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.|
Caipirinha (Portuguese pronunciation: [kajpiˈɾĩj̃ɐ]) is Brazil's national cocktail, made with cachaça (pronounced: [kaˈʃasɐ]) (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime. Cachaça, also known as pinga, caninha, or any one of a multitude of traditional names, 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.
The drink is prepared by muddling 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).
The caipirinha is the strongest national cocktail of Brazil 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. The International Bartenders Association has designated it as one of their Official Cocktails.
The word caipirinha is the diminutive of the word caipira, which in Brazilian Portuguese refers to someone from the countryside (specifically, someone from the rural parts of south-central Brazil), being similar to US English hillbilly or the Lowland Scots teuchter. Caipira is a two-gender noun. The diminutive mostly refers to the drink in which case it is a feminine noun.
- Although Brazilian law (Decree 6.871 based on Normative Ruling 55, from Oct. 31, 2008) as well as the International Bartenders Association (IBA) 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).
- 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. 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.
- 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 1970s.
- Caipinheger is another variation made using Steinhäger.[unreliable source]
- Caipirão is another Portuguese variation made using Licor Beirão instead of cachaça. Beirão liquor is very sweet, so no sugar is used.
- Caipisake (also called Sakeirinha) is made with sake instead of cachaça. Often made with strawberries or kiwifruit.[unreliable source][unreliable source]
- A variation from Italy is made using Campari instead of cachaça.
- Cocktails with cachaça
- Ti'Punch – similar French Caribbean cocktail, made with Rhum Agricole, a fermented sugar cane juice similar to Cachaça
- Daiquiri – similar Cuban cocktail, made with rum
- List of Brazilian dishes
- List of Brazilian drinks
- Sour (cocktail)
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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.
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