The Olympic Games are underway and medals are already being handed out to hard working athletes who have effectively harnessed all of their talents and peaked right at the precise moment to be the best in the world. There is no question that we should applaud these fine individuals and teams with a proper cocktail. Naturally, since these games are being held in Rio we should be indulging in a few Caipirinhas.
The Cocktail: Caipirinha
You’ll need some patience with your cocktail to begin with. I say that because the drink is so simple you’ll need to have some patience with your expectations. You expect a cocktail to be complicated. The Caipirinha is not. Craft cocktails are seemingly pretentious. The Caipirinha is so laid back you’ll feel overdressed when you are enjoying it.
Your taste buds will warn you about the cocktail the moment you take your first sip. You drink and your palate instantly recognizes a foreign flavor. It’s not rum. It is Cachaca. It’s almost cleaner than its cousin in the liquor world with a far more distinct alcohol flavor. Initially, Cachaca feels like Spring break on your tongue. It stings a bit like low grade Tequila but before it becomes a nuisance on your palate it evolves into a divine collection of variations on sweet. The sweet is not like a cheap sugar rush from a candy bar, it is like the taste of a kiss from your partner who has just bitten into a ripe pineapple.
Cachaca, pronounced, Ka-Shah-Suh, is made from distilled sugar cane juice. While it has been called Brazilian Rum it is different than rum because it is not made from molasses. It can be aged in wood barrels and it comes in varieties from super clear to dark. Cachaca is only made in Brazil and is the primary ingredient in Brazil’s national drink, the Caipirinha. It can be had straight but a cocktail is better for the casual drinker.
1 lime, quartered 2 teaspoons fine sugar 2 ounces cachaca
Drop the lime wedges into a shaker. Add the sugar. Muddle. Muddle. Muddle some more. Add Ice. Add Cachaca. Go ahead add more than you think is right. Shake. Shake and shake again.
Pour it all into a glass or a plastic cup. When you taste it you’ll realize why a plastic cup feels right. It feels like a day at the beach. The Caipirinha tastes like sunshine. It is light, crisp and full of happiness.
During the Olympics, have a few but not too many because they will sneak up on you.