During my period of study in Portugal I tried to know and to understand every aspect of the portuguese/brazilian culture and it was there that I meet Caipirinha. The easy way to prepare it and its good taste made Caipirinha famous all over the world.

The main ingredient is the cachaça, a distilled alcoholic made from fermented sugarcane. In the XVI century the residuate of sugarcane was given to slaves and to animals. This fermented residuate was called by the spanish "cachaza" and by the portuguese "cagassa".
Then someone had the great idea to distill it, and this originated a strong alcoholic that became famous really soon.

Apart from being an alcoholic beverage it was considered also as a medicine, something like an elixir that could be given to heal from flu (grippe) and fever.

The ingredients are:
- Cachaça (5-6 cl. / 1T fl oz);
- 1/2 Lime;
- 2 teaspoons of white sugar;
- ice.

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Step 1: Cut the Lime

Take a lime, divide it and then cut into four wedges.

Place the lime into the glass. I left the glasses for about half an hour into the freezer, to maintain the cocktail cold while you're drinking.

Step 2: Add the Sugar

Add two teaspoons of white sugar into the glass. The refined sugar is better than the cane one, because it melts better with lime.
The use of cane sugar is mainly an european tradition, the original Caipirinha uses the refined one.

Step 3: Mash the Ingredients

Mash the two ingredients (sugar and lime) with a muddler or a spoon. Be careful not to press too much, to avoid the lime to release its acid part contained in the peel.

Then fill the glass with crushed ice.

Step 4: Add the Magic

Finally it's time to add our magic ingredient, the cachaça. I bought it in a shop, it can be found everywhere (here in Italy). The exact quantity is 5 cl., but you can try different quantities depending on how strong you want it to be.

Step 5: Drink It!

Now it's time to have party and drink all the caipirinhas you can!

Remember not to drive after drinking!

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    6 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The author is correct about pronounciation. I'm brazilian and we use to drink every weekend at barbecue party and beach. There's another secret, commonly used by cariocas. Cut out that like white line in the center of the lime and throw away, 'cause it leave a little bitter flavour but makes a great difference in the final taste.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the suggestion!
    I've never drank caipirinha in brazil, but it seems it would be the only way to better understand caipirinha science! :P


    9 years ago on Step 3

      This is an excellent instructable on how to make a great authentic caipirinha! I have one minor quibble with this step, though. The skin of a lime contains lime oil...the acid is in the fruit. By muddling the fruit (mashing it with a spoon or muddler), you release both the juice of the fruit and the oil of the skin. The juice provides the acidity, and the oil a lovely floral quality. So I would encourage folks not to be shy in the muddling step!
     BTW, I love your caipirinha pic! It looks soooooooooo delicious it's got me wanting one!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Good to know that your Erasmus exchange paid out!

    Dare I say  that, in portuguese, "cachaça" should sound something like "cachassa"? ;-)

    2 replies

    Yes it paid and I suggest it to everyone!

    The word cachaça can be divided in 3 syllables: ca-cha-ça, and I would suggest this pronounciation: KA-SHA-SSA.

    If you want to listen to the word pronounced by brazilians try here