Cocktail of the Month for August
By Sid Robinson
The world turns its eyes to Brazil this month for the Summer Olympic Games, and no doubt those attending the Games in Rio de Janeiro will be served their share of the official national cocktail, the Caipirinha.
A relatively simple drink, the base spirit in the Caipirinha is cachaça, a distilled liquor made from fresh sugarcane juices. While it is Brazil’s most common alcoholic spirit, you’d be hard-pressed to find cachaça is most U.S. homes and bars, which instead lean toward the more readily available and popular variations of rum. In fact, cachaça is recognized as a type of rum in the United States and the term “Brazilian rum” is no longer used.
Most popular rums are made from molasses, which comes from sugarcane. While there also are plenty of rums available made directly from sugarcane juices, all variations of cachaça are made that way.
The Caipirinha is one of the world’s great classic cocktails. But if the spirit of the Olympic Games isn’t enough to send you rushing out to pick up a bottle of cachaça, we offer a few alternatives. As always, please drink responsibly.
2 ounces cachaça
1 ½ bar spoons of sugar or ¾ ounce simple syrup
½ lime, quartered.
Place lime quarters in the bottom of a mixing glass or shaker. Add the sugar or syrup and muddle, extracting the juice and the oil in the skin from the lime quarters. Add cachaça. Add ice and shake well. Pour entire contents over ice in a chilled rocks glass and serve.
Substitute white rum for cachaça
Substitute vodka for cachaça
The Daiquiri is very similar to the Caipirinha except that it originated in Cuba and uses white rum. There also are some minor differences in the preparation.
1 ½ ounces white rum
¾ ounce simple syrup
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a small cocktail glass.