Happy Friday friends, who’s thirsty? We’ve been hit with some hot summery temps lately, and have I got just the thing for you: A Lemon Mint Caipirinha. A Caipi-wha? Well… I’m glad you asked.
A Caipirinha is the NATIONAL COCKTAIL of Brazil. I’ll say it again- National Cocktail! Ughhh why are South Americans so much cooler than we are? With their casual skimpy beachwear and their tropical fruit and on top of that their esteemed government (scandals be damned) goes and declares a national cocktail??
What is the national cocktail of the US I ask? A Bud Diesel temporarily renamed America?? Jim Beam and Coke?? Or worse– Bud Light Lime?? It’s a travesty really.
Anyway I digress. A caipirinha is traditionally made with the liquor Cachaça which is a distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice. Some might liken it to Rum, or like “Rum’s older cousin” (much like Mezcal is compared to Tequila), however I don’t find them all that similar. Cachaça has a cleaner kinda grassy finish, and I would say more of a boozy eye-widening kick than rum. It’s just now really starting to gain popularity in the US– I was thrilled to find my local liquor store had two (!) options.
In a traditional caipirinha whole quarters of limes and sugar are muddled together in the bottom of a glass, and in goes the booze and ice. For my version, I’ve subbed the limes out for lemons, and added some mint to play off the grassiness of the cachaça. What you end up with is a cocktail that starts out strong, and as the ice melts and the sugar dissolves, it mellows out to the end. I hope your Friday does the same. Cheers!
Lemon Mint Caipirinha
Makes 1 cocktail, multiply as needed
1/2 fresh lemon, cut into quarters
1/4 C mint leaves
2 tsp superfine sugar
2 oz Cachaça
Take lemon quarters and mint and place in bottom of cocktail shaker. Sprinkle sugar over fruit and herbs and stomp with muddler until juices release and sugar starts to dissolve. Add ice and cachaça to shaker and shake it like you had a bad week.
Pour mixture, unstrained, into old fashioned glass and garnish with mint and lemon wedge if desired.
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