Cool Down with a Caipirinha

Caipirinhas are the perfect summer cocktail.  Part sour, part sweet, caipirinhas are replacing mojitos as the hottest drink in South Florida.

caipirinhaThe caipirinha is the national cocktail of Brazil.  Only recently has it been gaining popularity outside the country.  It’s a fairly simple drink: Cachaça (made in Brazil from fermented sugarcane juice), fresh lime juice and raw sugar.

It’s very easy to make.  I like mine extra sour so I use an entire lime for each drink.  Cut the lime into wedges and put it in a rocks glass with 2 teaspoons of raw sugar.  Muddle the lime and sugar.  Fill the glass with ice and add 1 to 2 shots of Cachaça (I like Leblon Cachaça, available at many liquor stores).

You’ll find caipirinhas at bars all over South Florida, including versions that use other fruit juices like passion fruit or pineapple.  Beware of those who try to pass off caipirinhas made with rum or vodka.  They’re tasty, but it’s just not the same.

My favorite caipirinhas are at the Sunset Lounge at the Mondrian Hotel on South Beach.  Their caipirinhas are made with raw sugar from Hawaii and crushed ice.  If you like a bit of spice, try their Chili Passion Caipirinha, made with sriracha.  Sip one outside by the pool just before sunset for great views of the downtown Miami skyline.

Try a caipirinha and it’s sure to become your new favorite cocktail.  Saúde!