My mother-in-law is back in town, which always means trouble of some sorts. The last time she was visiting, trouble took the shape of mass quantities of sugar frosted sweets.
This time, trouble is taking the form of the zippy Brazilian beverage known as the Caipirinha (pronounced KIE-PUR-REEN-YAH).
In the two and a half months since she stayed with us last, my MIL has been backpacking all over South America. The gift she brought back for us was a lovely bottle of cachaça (pronounced KA SHA SA) which is a national product of Brazil. In the US, cachaça is labeled as Brazilian rum, but it differs from most rums as it is made from sugarcane juice, rather than molasses. Cachaça has a rich history dating back over 400 years. The Caipirinha is Brazil's hottest drink made with it.
As avid history lovers, Will and I were more than happy to partake in this exotic cocktail. So, without further ado, my MIL put on the CD she bought in Peru and got busy crushing limes and ice.
The ingredients are always crushed together in a glass using the blunt end of a wooden spoon or a wooden pestle made specifically for this task. Its pretty simple and you can alter how sweet or sour you want it to be by adding (or not) more sugar.
If you want to make this drink, but don't have cachaça handy, there are other variations. A Caipirissima is like the Caipirinia, but mixed with rum instead of cachaça. And if you use vodka, you will have a Caipiroshka.
Go ahead and give it a try. As the weather warms up, there is nothing quite like the zesty and sweet taste of a Caipirinha!