Hutch’s Happy Hour – Caipirinha Cocktail
As June 29th marks our 6th wedding anniversary; it’s only appropriate that this month’s cocktail is one Amanda and I both love and discovered on our honeymoon to Brazil, the Caipirinha.
Pronounced “kai-puh-ree-nyuh”, it’s the national cocktail of Brazil, made from 3 simple ingredients and we feel a great choice of drink for any occasion, particularly these long hot summers days we’re currently experiencing. Whilst for us the cocktail conjures up great memories of a fantastic holiday, sitting in bars overlooking Copacabana Beach, Ipanema and Paraty Bay; if you experience even half the feel-good summertime vibes we get when drinking it, you’re in for a treat.
- 50ml Cachaca
- 1-2 limes (to taste)
- 3tsp sugar
How to make a Caipirinha
- Cut lime(s) into quarters, and remove the white pith (removing the pith isn’t essential but it can add a bitter taste to the drink)
- Add lime quarters to a glass with the sugar and muddle together
- Pour in the cachaca and mix together with muddled lime and sugar
- Fill glass with crushed ice to serve
During our time in Brazil I don’t recall drinking a bad caipirinha; and during our second week, which we spent in Paraty, we were lucky enough to be given a lesson in how to make them by Richard Roberts; husband to one of Brazils top chefs, Yara Castro Roberts.
To paint a picture for the story ahead, Paraty is small coastal town roughly 7hrs minbus ride south of Rio. In the main town, buildings are whitewashed with terracotta roof tiles, each with door and window surrounds painted in their own vibrant colour; the streets cobbled with what can only be described as small boulders. We were later informed these boulders were used to ballast the Portuguese ships for stability as they sailed across the Atlantic to settle in Paraty.
We stayed in a pousada about 30 minutes’ walk along the coast from the main town. The beach walk lined with small ramshackle bars serving a modest selection of local beers, cocktails and a small seafood menu. The white fish with shrimp sauce being a particular favourite. All bars provided al fresco dining with sea view; each with their generic branded plastic table, chair, parasol arrangements positioned out on the beach itself. Looking away from the beach, beyond the buildings across the road, as far as the eye could see was nothing but forest and mountains.
It hadn’t rained in the South of Brazil for over a month when we arrived in Paraty, where it normally rains daily. On our way to a cookery lesson with Yara, the skies quickly turned grey and within seconds we found ourselves drenched from the tropical storm we found ourselves in. Continuing into town, the rain continued, and lightning started to strike buildings nearby whilst we ran through the unevenly cobbled streets, shin deep in water trying to find the venue. We eventually arrived to find the town had been hit by a power cut (another regular occurrence in Paraty) and the Roberts household lit only by candlelight. After drying off, and borrowing t shirts and shorts from our extremely kind hosts; those of us that had made it sat with Richard as he told stories of the town and taught us how to make the famous Caipirinha, whilst we waited for the power to return and cookery class to begin (not to mention their tumble dryer to power up so we could enjoy the walk back to our pousada in warm dry clothes).
I could go on and on about the fantastic experience we both had that day, and the rest of our trip to Brazil, but I hear a caipirinha calling my name and it’d be rude not to answer.