While I haven’t really followed the Olympics over the last two weeks, I’ve loved seeing the spotlight back on Rio de Janeiro and it’s brought back some great memories of my trip there two summers ago. My husband and I headed to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014 and even got to cheer for France at Maracanã Stadium. Well, I cheered more than he did, of course 😉
In addition to Rio de Janeiro, we also traveled to Belo Horizonte where we cheered on England even though it was already eliminated from the tournament, the Minas Gerais where we witnessed what it’s like to be in a really small town when Brazil wins a game and Foz do Iguaçu on the Argentine border where we saw that it was like to be in Brazil when they lose 7-0 to Germany and get booted out of the tournament they’re hosting). One constant throughout our trip: caipirinhas, the country’s most famous cocktail. After a long day of navigating a country that can be difficult at times, with only rudimentary Portuguese and a French guide du routard to guide you, plus a nervous husband who’s not a great traveler, caipirinhas (yes, plural!) were just what I needed to relax.
One of the souvenirs I brought back from Brazil was a bottle of cachaça so I could indulge in some of the country’s flavours back in Washington, DC. Cachaça is distilled from pure cane juice and taste a bit like rhum agricole. It’s not widely available in the United States, and when it is it costs a lot more than it sure and that’s a shame because Caipirinhas are a ridiculously easy cocktail to make, requiring just 3 ingredients (muddled lime, cachaça and sugar.) Here’s what you need to make the classic version of the cocktail at home:
1-2 limes, cut in quarters (plus an additional slice for garnish)
1-2 tablespoons of white sugar
2 ounces of cachaça (approximately 6 CL)
Start by muddling the limes and the sugar at the bottom of a cocktail glass or in a shaker. You basically want the juice to mix with the sugar before adding the cachaça and further mixing or shaking. If using a shaker, pour the content, including the crushed limes into a short glass filled with crushed ice. If you used a glass directly, just add some crushed iced to it before serving. If you want the drink to be a little less potent, you can also add a splash of perrier lime sparkling water before serving. You can also, as is often done in Brazil, add fresh fruits to the mix like crushed pineapple or passion fruits (though those are even harder to find here it seems than cachaça.) And if you’re hosting a large party and don’t want to bother making individual cocktails, Caipirinhas work really well in a pitcher too, just quadruple the recipe. And if you can’t get your hands on some cachaça swap in some vodka instead and make it a caprioska!
Saúde and obrigada for the memories Brasil!