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Caipirinha, the drink of Brazil... and friends


Brazil is all about colour, dance, friendly smiles, wonderful cities and flavours. .. and it’s the country of the caipirinha — a drink as wonderful as everything else here!!


It tastes like happiness

Caipirinha tastes like joy and the whole world insists on trying it; either in its original version, or in any one its equally delicious variations. The idea of a caipirinha is you toast to good times, whenever you can: on warm days or nights, at the pavement cafe, on the beach, at parties or hanging out with friends, before or after a hearty feijoada or a mouth-watering barbecue; or simply whenever you feel like it !!


It's a drink that stirs the soul, that makes it dance. It is made by everyone and for everyone!!



The cure for all ills


It is said that the caipirinha used to be drunk to satisfy the refined palates of the landowning class of Piracicaba, in São Paulo. It often replaced whiskey or imported wine at high-society parties.


In fact many stories are told about the origins of the caipirinha, and there are several times and places that claim it as their own. However, there is one story that stands out and has gained a significant number of followers. It can be traced back to São Paulo and the early 20th century: 1918 to be precise.


Apparently, the now world-famous caipirinha began as a cure for the so-called ‘Spanish flu’, a disease (often fatal) that affected almost everyone all round the world.


Lemon, garlic, honey and alcohol was the combination given to patients - a linctus of its day that combined the benefits of Vitamin C with the therapeutic effects of alcohol. One day, someone decided to remove the garlic and honey and add sugar, to reduce the acidity of the lemon. Later, to combat the heat, ice was added — which proved to be a kind of ‘Midas touch’, and made the caipirinha one of the most popular drinks in the world.


A drink for everyone ...

Since it was first concocted, this drink has always been found in any number of settings. It was the drink of choice for the most refined urban palates of either sex, for the humbler citizens of the hinterland, or the intellectual circles of Brazilian society.


Whatever the history of the caipirinha, over time it has become synonymous with celebration, togetherness, conviviality, lightness of spirit; and, above all, it is a drink to everyone's taste!!

How do you make a caipirinha? It’s very simple . ..

Making caipirinhas has become part of the ritual of getting happy, whether with friends or family; and it's not that complicated to achieve a beautiful traditional caipirinha. It's a simple recipe, although you have to try it several times (and get it wrong) until it's perfect!!



Still don't know how to make it ? Well, write down this recipe!!


The caipirinha contains Tahiti lemon (or lime as it’s more commonly known), cachaça (sugar cane spirit), sugar, ice and . .. a lot of love !! Tahiti lemon is perfect for the desired effect, as it has no seeds, and it’s juicier and sweeter.


The lemon (or lime) should be neither too green nor too ripe. And, if you want a traditional caipirinha, it’s best if it’s made with white cachaça - its acidity makes it go well with the rest of the ingredients.


Let’s get to work !!

To start with, cut the lemon in half and remove the pith from the centre so that the flavour does not get too bitter. Leave the peel on and cut it into small pieces. Then put the lemon in the glass you’re going serve the finished caipirinha in, add the sugar and, using a pestle, gently crush the mixture together. Once you're done, add the ice and, of course, the cachaça or another spirit that will work great as an alternative.


Because there are other options for making caipirinhas, which we’ll tell you all about next...


The different versions of the caipirinha

Cachaça is the spirit that has always been used in caipirinha, but over time other recipes have been tried and other alternatives created that are also very popular. .. and delicious. For example, some people use vodka and get a stronger caipirinha, or there are those who prefer saké which gives it a sweeter flavour.


As for the fruit to use, it’s common to find variations on the caipirinha, with other fruit instead of lemon. Some people use passion fruit, strawberry or kiwi.


The caipirinha ‘family’ has grown and the original version has been adapted all over the world for various palates and tastes. Caipiroska and caipiríssima are two good examples.

Brazil... in a glass with ice and love

Did you know that the caipirinha was only officially registered as a typical Brazilian drink in 2003?


It's true. It was actually only that year, a long time after first becoming popular and largely through the good offices of President Lula da Silva. The official record reads: ‘any drink with an alcohol content of 15 to 36% by volume, at 20 degrees Celsius, made with cachaça, lemon and sugar may be called caipirinha (a typical Brazilian beverage)’.


And there is no doubt about that!! Drinking a caipirinha is like drinking Brazil, with all its natural charm and joie de vivre.


The country's identity can be imbibed in long, spaced-out sips, with a constant twinkle in the eye, and a genuine desire to share.

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