Whether warming up in the winter or refreshing in the summer, typical Brazilian caipirinha has become one of my favorite drinks since spending a few weeks in Brazil. In my travel preparation tips for Brazil, I already told you a little something. Now I'm sitting here with my Caipi, my (now) favorite cocktail, thinking I need to share with you what I've learned about the Brazilian national drink Cachaça and the accompanying cachaça cocktail Caipirinha. The original Caipi recipe may not be missing at the end of course.
The Brazilians and their Caipirinha
I was never a big Caipi fan, too strong, too little sweet and that sand in the glass, I mean of course the brown sugar settling on the ground.
But let's start by saying that the rumor that Caipirinha is being sold on every street corner in Brazil is more than true. Whether on the Copacabana, pre-mixed with tanks that are carried around on the back or freshly prepared on street stalls. And not only that, in Augusta (São Paulo) is every few feet someone, with a cart or cool boxes, on the roadside and sold next to Caipirinha also like the Cachaça pure as a shot. These shots are then loudly touted and distributed to the party people. Alternatively, there is also vodka or tequila.
I became a convinced Caipirinha connoisseur when I was finally persuaded to "Caipi" on my second evening at the hostel. Well, "Caipi" says no one anyway, at least not a Brazilian. The abbreviation of the cachaça cocktail probably makes little sense in Portuguese.
The name Caipirinha comes from the Brazilian word "caipira", which means as hillbilly. The cachaça cocktail is translated as "little hillbilly"
Brazilians prefer to drink caipi with vodka
Most of the Brazilians I met in Brazil in just under four weeks were not big fans of Cachaça, nor of their national cocktail. Chachaça is considered a cheap alcohol, locally produced and sold, which means for most Brazilians, that it can only be about fusel. The belief that the more expensive and imported vodka must be of much better quality keeps up well. The reason for this is that in Brazil everything of high quality is used for export and therefore only the committee would remain in the country. Whether that is the facts is sometimes left open, but the fact is, the Brazilian prefers to dodge vodka. The fact that what is so lovingly sold in Brazil Caipirinha with vodka, we also as Caipiroska on the map has been, was most of the Brazilians that I met, but also new.
Conclusion: Brazilians prefer to drink Caipiroska as Caipirinha. The "Russian" name variant is more of a European invention.
When you meet a caipi-mixing Brazilian
… then you have to ask him for the original Caipi recipe. Of course, I have also let me show how to prepare a real Brazilian caipirinha. This is also a justified, because I have the first few days refused to drink Caipi, because I found the stuff ur-gray-awful, at least what I knew from Germany as a "real Caipi". In addition, I had the cat already in mind – meow.
I've already revealed that I finally let myself be persuaded to try a real "real Brazilian Caipirinha". The full Brazil experience is only available with the cachaça cocktail. What happened then literally knocked me out of my slippers. He tasted it! If I was looking for a drink somewhere, it was either water, because it was thirsty, or Caipi, because otherwise it was thirsty. After that, it really shines out of the slippers. Conclusion the next morning: devil stuff! But yaaaaaa!
4 things you need for an original Caipi recipe
- Whole ice cubes
- White cane sugar * – No sand in the glass 😉
- The right cachaça * – I recommend leaving the fingers of Pitú and Cachaça 51
- Untreated limes
Whole ice cubes Cooling the drink overall slower, but it will last longer and do not dilute the drink so fast. Even if the Caipirinha is served with crushed ice in Germany, that would be unthinkable in Brazil. In order to get the drink cold, I saw bartenders in Brazil, the "Caipi" already "Shaken". You do not have to, but it leads to the desired result, the drink is cold and mixes faster with the sugar.
Please do not throw sand in the glass. For brown ones sugar in the Caipirinha we are laughed at by the Brazilians. Brown sugar does not dissolve, remains stuck in the glass, and the sugar from sugar cane, as it is traded in Brazil, the main flavor of the Caipirinha.
Make sure also that the lime untreated. Nothing is worse than messing up a good cachaça and supposedly delicious caipirinha with bitter limes. A tip I got from a bartender in Brazil is also to make sure that you do not rub the bowls while squeezing and releases bitter substances. Either squeeze by hand or crush the lime with the pestle without turning movements.
The right chachaça for Caipirinha is essential. Cachaça * is made from freshly harvested sugarcane – unlike rum, which is mostly made from cane molasses. The name "Cachaça" is also a protected designation of origin, cachaça must therefore always been made in Brazil.
The alcohol content of cachaça in Brazil is legally at least 38% to a maximum of 48% vol. limited. The regions of Alagoas, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco are known in Brazil for the production of cachaça. The young, just distilled schnapps is usually still colorless, while the yellow or gold dyes indicate an aging process. Cachaça is either produced industrially or traditionally by hand and stored in higher quality in barrels made of native wood.
Tips for shopping Chachaça
My favorite chachaça is that of Velho Barreiro *, which is sweeter, almost smells of honey and is also a bit darker in color than what we know about Pitú, which is mainly used here in Germany. Of course, just because it's my personal favorite does not mean that there's nothing better. Only the well-known Pitú and Chachaça 51 (Cinquenta e um) do not have a particularly good reputation in Brazil. The bottle Chachaça 51 is one of the cheapest products you can get there. So if you see such a bottle standing here, which in spite of everything costs 12 €, leave it there and take something else. From the brand Velho Barreiro I have seen, there are also different degrees of maturity *, I find that, for example. again very interesting and worthwhile to test.
If you live in Berlin, or miss a visit, I can recommend the small grocery store Chili & Paprika in Friedrichshain. There are all kinds of South American specialties here. A really nice shop, where I have to buy my chachaça, if you need to go fast. In addition to the spirits, Chili & Paprika is also home to my beloved Doce de Leite and Açai, which we do not even get in the supermarket. I prefer to buy Açai frozen and not powdered.
The Caipirinha original recipe
Preparation – per glass:
Cut a washed lime into 4 to 6 slices and place in a glass with 1 tsp of sugar.
Crush the sugar and lime with a wooden pestle to gain juice and aroma.
Then fill the glass completely with ice and add the cachaça. Attention: Crushed ice requires more space from the ice because of the broken surface. In this variant, the glass can be filled to the brim with cachaça. With normal ice cubes, it is recommended to start a test run (with less schnapps) and to adjust the ratio of lime schnapps to your own taste.
Before serving, either mix the drink with a shaker or with a spoon, carefully transport the lime and cane sugar from the bottom of the glass.
And who invented it?
Even if today no one knows why the name is called Caipirinha, it is known that he should initially alleviate the course of a nasty gastrointestinal disease.
In 1856, in the chronicle of Paraty, a sleepy coastal town 250 kilometers east of São Paulo, the original recipe of the Caipirinha: "Because it was forbidden to drink river water because of the ongoing cholera epidemic, we started medium Aguardente (" fire water " , meaning the sugarcane brandy Cachaça) with water, sugar and lime juice to mix. "Obviously achieved the desired effect.
Today, the place is a listed tourist attraction. But not only because of the Caipirinha. Almost at the same time, the mother of Heinrich and Thomas Mann was born in Paraty: Julia da Silva-Bruhns.
Are you big Caipirinha fans? When will the next Caipi party be with you?
I'm looking forward to your comments & photos 😀
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