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Happy Hour: Caipirinha

It may be the dead of Winter, but this past weekend, San Francisco felt like pure Summer, with clear skies and balmy temperatures. I decided to celebrate with a drink that couldn't be more appropriate: the Caipirinha.

This drink, is made with limes, as well as a special liquor called cachaça, which incidentally happens to be the national liquor of Brazil. Over the past five years, cachaça has developed a large fan base in the United States. Like rum, it's made from sugarcane, but while rum is made from distilled molasses, cachaça is the product of fermented sugarcane juice. To make this cocktail, you can choose any brand, but I used Água Luca ($28.99), a premium variety of cachaça that's filtered a whopping 12 times.

On the nose, it resembles tequila, and it has a light, clean flavor with a slightly sweet finish. Although Água Luca can easily be enjoyed by itself on the rocks, its sweet-tart flavor is incredible when used in a caipirinha. To transport your palate to Brazil,






  1. 2 oz. cachaça
  2. 1 oz. simple syrup
  3. 1 lime, quartered
  4. Cracked ice


  1. In a shaker, muddle sugar and limes thoroughly.
  2. Add cachaça and cracked ice. Shake vigorously and pour contents of shaker, including ice, into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Makes 1 cocktail.




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aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Never had one but sounds yum...
emalove emalove 8 years
I love these!
ntshlv ntshlv 8 years
real caipirinha must be made with granulated sugar!! no brazillian i know (myself included) uses simple syrup for caipirinha even if it is more convenient...
liltamby5 liltamby5 8 years
Thanks for the recipe! I always wanted to make one of those. I wonder how it would taste with absinthe??
Food Food 8 years
@Shoneyjoe - you have a point! I'm huge on the convenience of simple syrup, but there is something about the granulated character of regular sugar in combination with the muddled limes that can make a caipirinha sensation. If you're a sugar fan like shoneyjoe, you can use 2 tsp. of granulated sugar instead.
syako syako 8 years
Love these!!
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
Don't use simple syrup - you want the granules of sugar to assist in the muddling of the limes. As for the shaker, I've never seen much need. I had an amazingly authentic (and thus, a tad harsh) caipirinha in a neighborhood party in Rio. Two limes cut into eighths plopped into a cup (I got one of those giant 16 oz. plastic jobs - whoo!). Add about a tablespoon of sugar and muddle. Fill with ice cubes. Fill with cachaça and stir with a straw. Don't worry about everything being evenly distributed - each sip should be a little different: some sweet, some sour, some very boozy, some not so much.
Food Food 8 years
I wanted a super strong drink that I could really get acquainted with, so I used a highball glass and doubled the recipe!
ImJessica ImJessica 8 years
My love for cairpirinhas is only second to my love of mojitos. So delicious and refreshing!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I've always wanted to know how to make one of these. Thanks for the recipe!
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 8 years
Mmmmm... yummy. Its tradition for me & the bf to go to one of the churrascaria restaurants (Brazilian Steakhouses) in Atlanta, and we always get there about 20 minutes before our reservation so we can enjoy a caiprinha at the bar before our meal.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
I LOVE caipirinhas!!!! so refreshing and potent without being too much to handle. I had one at a bar in Boston that made it with muddled berries, it was divine.
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