If there is one thing you should know about me, it is this: I love a good drink. A well-mixed and balanced drink can set the right mood, put you in a good frame of mind, and compliment whatever situation is happening around you.
In my quest to learn new things, and try different activities, I decided to test out some recipes for drinks.
Spring is struggling to arrive in my neck of the woods, so I thought I would encourage it’s speedy arrival by testing out some summer-y, beach-y, feel-good-y recipes. I’m as happy as a clam drinking beer and ciders, but a light and fruity mixed drink is a sure-fire way to scream IT’S FINALLY SUMMER! (Even when it is still cold and sometimes snowing. In May.)
Without further ado, I introduce to you… the caipirinha!
I was first introduced to this drink about four years ago. I was hanging out with a friend, and his Brazilian friend was coming over. She had just come back from Brazil and brought with her some authentic cachaca, a rum-like drink made from sugarcane. She made this drink so easily, and it was a great and refreshing drink, so I figured I would try my hand at it!
I used the recipe found in the fantastic and gorgeous recipe book, Beach Cocktails. (Can you call it a cookbook if there is no actual cooking?)
It is a fantastic recipe book with colourful and bright pictures, descriptions of processes and different types of alcohol, as well as tools, syrups, and bitters that can be used to enhance your beverage experience. I’m sure I’ll refer to this book again in the future.
It’s not a particularly complex recipe and consists of a small handful of ingredients: lime, cachaca, superfine sugar, and ice. Easy peasy.
Where I’m from, it can be hard to find cachaca, but I managed to find a store that had three bottles left in stock! I bought two. (Seriously, this stuff is really hard to find!) I didn’t have any superfine sugar, but I had special fine sugar, and I’m 100% sure that it is not the same thing. But it’ll have to do! I had ice cube trays in the freezer and I bought a single lime on my way home from work. I’m not a huge fan of a strong, overpowering lime taste, so one lime is more than enough for one person.
Now, the picture in the book makes the drink look a bit green – like a pale green colour – which comes from the lime. The cachaca isn’t green like I had originally assumed. The label is green. It’s deceptive. Especially if you’re only half-paying attention. The picture in the book made it look delightful and light, and I hoped mine would turn out the same.
The directions are pretty simple:
- Cut the lime into quarters
- Add one to two teaspoons of superfine sugar
- Put both of these ingredients into a shaker and muddle together
According to the book, muddling consists of crushing ingredients together with a spoon or muddler to help release flavours. As if I need an excuse to buy bar accessories, I picked myself up a muddler. I have a small 8oz shaker, so I put two teaspoons of my not-so-super-fine sugar in with two lime wedges. And muddled the crap outta it. There is an impressive amount of lime juice in limes. This would become my only regret during this process: getting too caught up in the muddling and releasing too much of a flavour that I’m not really favourable toward.
After the muddling, I needed to scrounge up some crushed ice. I only had large ice cubes in my freezer, but I also have a hammer and a ziploc baggie, so I went about smashing and making my own crushed ice. The ice had been crushed, the sugar and lime muddled, and ready for the the final ingredient, cachaca. Add two ounces to the tiny shaker, and fill with as much ice as possible (the instructions said only half a cup, but I wanted to water it down a bit). Carefully pop on the lid and shake, shake, shake. Keep shaking until the drink is cold, or until the shaker is so cold you can no longer hang on to it.
After struggling to pop the lid back off, pour it into a glass, garnish as desired (with a spare lime wedge) and enjoy!
The Verdict: So lime-y! That was totally my fault. I’m aware of my lost love for limes, and I muddled too much. But when I wasn’t being completely turned off by the overwhelming lime flavours, it’s a nice, light, and refreshing drink! It’s cool and smooth and would make a great addition to a wildly hot summer afternoon. The sweet flavour with the light alcohol is ideal for some backyard patios or garden parites. But enjoy responsibly! Cachaca has 40% alcohol content, and because of it’s light and sweet taste, these drinks can be downed pretty quickly.
For my first real test into mixed drinks, I must say, this was rather successful! I’m excited about trying other drinks soon.
Because I’m curious…
What is your favourite summer mixed drink?