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Cocktail of the week: Caipirinha

Secondary Categories: The Essentials

South Americans have a reputation for knowing how to have a good time, and Brazilians are right at the top of the list. Some might say it’s just in their blood, but it’s also got a lot to do with something else which regularly courses through their veins. One sip of a real Brazilian Caipirinha will make you want to samba the night away…

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Samba Dancers: Picture - Norton do Carmo

Consisting of cachaça (a sugar cane spirit not dissimilar to white rum), lime wedges, brown sugar and crushed ice the, Caipirinha may seem simple to make, but it’s also very easy to get wrong. But if you ask me you’re better off getting your guide to recommend a few places in Rio de Janeiro: you absolutely can’t beat drinking the real thing next to Copacabana beach.

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Rio de Janeiro: Picture - Boris Kasimov

No one can really agree on where or how the Caipirinha originated, but general consensus seems to be that the stars aligned somewhere near Sao Paulo around the beginning of the 20th century. Surprisingly there is agreement on the origin of the name: ‘Caipirinha’ means hillbilly in Brazilian Portuguese…although nobody can say what this has to do with the drink!

Just like Brazil itself, the Caipirinha is feisty, sugary and refreshing and no visit to the fifth biggest country in the world is complete without it. You can bet your bottom dollar the Caipirinhas will be flowing like water during the soccer World Cup later this year, but why wait that long?

 

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