The Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail featuring cachaça liquor, lime, and sugar. With just 3 core ingredients, you can easily mix up these tangy, refreshing drinks in minutes.
Muddling the lime and sugar is key to releasing the fruit oils and achieving the right texture. While cachaça can be hard to find, you can substitute rum for equally delicious results.
Read on for the classic recipe, my tips on muddling technique, and suggestions for playing with different fruit variations. Saúde!
- 2 lime wedges, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 ounces cachaça or white rum
- Crushed ice
- Cocktail shaker
- Muddler or wooden spoon
- Double old fashioned glass
Muddle the Lime and Sugar
- Place the lime pieces and sugar into a cocktail shaker.
- Using a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle ingredients together, pressing firmly to release oils.
- Once sugar is dissolved and lime mashed, add cachaça and a handful of crushed ice.
Mix and Serve
- Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds until thoroughly chilled.
- Pour everything including muddled limes into an old fashioned glass.
- Top off with more crushed ice and enjoy!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
- Adjust sugar amount to taste preference
- Use a double old fashioned glass to fit all ingredients
- Add more crushed ice before serving for dilution
- Squeeze more lime juice if too sweet
- Use a rich demerara sugar instead of plain white sugar
- Try other citrus like grapefruit, lemon or orange
Customize Your Caipirinha
- Strawberry – muddle strawberries with the lime
- Passionfruit – use passionfruit juice and pulp
- Pineapple – use pineapple wedges instead of lime
- Kiwi – muddle kiwi with lime
- Melon – use honeydew or cantaloupe instead of lime
- Mint – add a few mint leaves while muddling
- Serve in a traditional short rocks glass over abundant crushed ice.
- Garnish with lime slices or wedges.
- For parties, set up a caipirinha bar with cut limes, sugar and different fruit options. Let guests muddle their own.