A caipirinha is a well known Brazilian cocktail made with sugar cane alcohol called cachaca – pronounced cachaza-, limes, crushed iced and sugar. It is a drink that is simple and delicious, however for reasons I will never understand a lot of bars and restaurants tend to mess it up, I’ve had crappy caipirinhas in a lot of places (from Ecuador to France), so I kind of gave up on them, until I had a real caipirinha on a beach in Brazil, that’s when I was shocked that I had missed out on something so easy to make and so good. I really don’t know how you could mess up making a caipirinha, a fresh lime are definitely crucial and so is making them with cachaca –though there are versions made with vodka and called caipiroskas- , but somehow all those drinks labeled caipirinhas that I had previously tasted were not even close to that strong and refreshing drink I had in Brazil. While the classic caipirinha is made just with cachaca, limes, sugar and ice, there a lot of fruity caipirinhas where you can add crushed berries, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, or any fruit you like. Back in April Keren of Frantic Foodie organized a dinner for local food bloggers at The Capital Grille, the dinner was amazing but my favorite part was an aperitif drink of vodka infused pineapple, it was perfect, taste of the pineapple was so fresh, and it inspired me to infused the cachaca with pineapple for a few days before I made the drinks. Cachaca is not as smooth as vodka so you still have that distinct cachaca taste plus the flavor of the pineapple. Ideally the pineapple and cachaza should be left to infuse a few days, but you can also do it the same day if you need to. I also add freshly crushed pineapple to the drink; I like to make each drink individually in a cocktail shaker, however for a large party it is easier to make them in a pitcher, just make sure that the limes and sugar are muddled well before adding the cachaca, crushed pineapple and crushed ice.
1 bottle of cachaca
1 whole pineapple, peeled* and sliced
Pineapple caipirinha – quantities are for 1 drink
2 oz pineapple infused cachaca
1/2 lime, cut in small chunks
2 tbs freshly crushed pineapple
1 tbs sugar
- To make the pineapple infused cachaca place the pineapple slices in a large container, pour the cachaca over the pineapple slices, close tightly and let it rest in a dark cool place for a few days – but no longer than a week.
- Use a muddler to crush and mix the limes and sugar in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the cachaca, crushed pineapple and ice, mix well and serve immediately.
* Pineapple peels can be used to make chicha de piña