The Caipirinha Is The Brazilian Cocktail You’ve Been Too Afraid To Pronounce

Lime, sugar and lots of cachaça.

It’s time to take a break from the mojito, put down the margarita, and give Brazil’s national cocktail ― the caipirinha ― a chance to star at your next cocktail hour. The caipirinha is a simple cocktail made of cachaça, lime and sugar, and it is as refreshing as it is potent.

We know this cocktail could take over happy hours nationwide if it weren’t for this one small flaw: it’s hard to pronounce. And since no one wants to look the fool at the bar, this drink doesn’t get ordered as often as it should. Don’t let this stop you from getting familiar with one of the best cocktails around. There’s a simple fix...

Say it with us now: Kai-Pee-Reen-Ya.

The caipirinha is a fun drink to mix. It involves muddling lime wedges with sugar ― yes, the wedges are left in the glass when served ― and topping it all off with ice and cachaça. But first, you’ll have to stock your home bar with Brazil’s favorite spirit, the previously mentioned cachaça.

Since we know you’re wondering, let’s tackle how to pronounce cachaça before we delve into what it is:

All together now: Ka-Shah-Suh.

Cachaça is a Brazilian distilled spirit made from the fermented juice of sugarcane. It has a flavor reminiscent of rum ― rum is also made from sugarcane ― but it is more vegetal and robust because it’s made from raw sugarcane (and not a byproduct, such as molasses, like rum is). Its production dates back to the 1500s when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil. Rum was distilled a couple hundred years later in other parts of the Americas. Just like with any spirit, its flavor can vary greatly depending on the quality of production. Industrial options can be rough, but delve into smaller batch productions and you’ll be well rewarded.

The traditional caipirinha is perfection, but there are many ways to make variations on the classic with an array of different fruits. We have those options for you below.

Classic Caipirinha
What's Gaby Cooking
Get the Classic Caipirinha recipe from What's Gaby Cooking
Blood Orange Caipirinha
A Spicy Perspective
Get the Blood Orange Caipirinha recipe from A Spicy Perspective
Mango Caipirinhas
Edible Woman
Get the Mango Caipirinhas recipe from Edible Woman
Kiwi Caipirinha
Honestly YUM
Get the Kiwi Caipirinha recipe from Honestly YUM
Ginger Caipirinha
Martha Steweart
Get the Ginger Caipirinha recipe from Martha Stewart
Passion Fruit Caipirinha
Martha Stewart
Get the Passion Fruit Caipirinha recipe from Martha Stewart
Basil Watermelon Caipirinha
No Recipes
Get the Basil Watermelon Caipirinha recipe from No Recipes
Açai Caipirinha
Intoxicology 101
Get the Açai Caipirinha recipe from Intoxicology 101
Sparkling Raspberry Caipirinha
Aida Mollenkamp
Get the Sparkling Raspberry Caipirinha recipe from Aida Mollenkamp
Blackberry Caipirinha
Get the Blackberry Caipirinha recipe by MissGinsu from Food52
Cherry Caipirinha
Oh So Beautiful Paper
Get the Cherry Caipirinha recipe from Oh So Beautiful Paper
Strawberry and Kumquat Caipirinha
Bakers Royale
Get the Strawberry and Kumquat Caipirinha recipe from Bakers Royale
Pineapple Caipirinha
Get the Pineapple Caipirinha recipe from Laylita's Recipes

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