How to Make an Authentic Caipirinha Cocktail

Master three versions of Brazil's national cocktail, the caipirinha, to properly celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympics.

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1. Traditional Caipirinha

With the 2016 Summer Olympics happening in Brazil, we feel it is our duty to show you how to mix up the national cocktail like you are right there in Rio. The caipirinha is a lovely sweet -- yet sour -- libation, and though there are endless creative recipe variations, it is traditionally made with cachaça (a Brazilian brandy), sugar, and fresh lime. Caipirinha is easy to make, refreshing to drink, and the perfect adult beverage to help properly celebrate the Summer Games.

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Ingredients

To make one traditional caipirinha, you'll need:

  • 2 oz. cachaça
  • 1/2 fresh lime, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
  • ice
  • rocks glass
  • muddler

Steps for a Traditional Caipirinha

To assemble: Add the lime wedges and sugar to your glass, and muddle until the sugar is nearly dissolved into the lime juice. Now add the cachaça and stir. Add ice to fill your glass, stir again, and finish it off with a lime wedge garnish. Drink up, because now we're making a second version.

2. Caipirinha Lite

Let's not sugarcoat this (aside from the 2 teaspoons we put in the previous drink): The caipirinha is a very strong, very sweet drink. If it's a little too much for you, we've got a less-intense version for you to try.

Ingredients

To make this lighter variation, you'll need:

  • 2 oz. cachaça
  • 1/2 fresh lime, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 oz. sparkling water or club soda
  • ice
  • rocks glass
  • muddler

Steps for a Caipirinha Lite

Follow the steps as in the previous cocktail: Muddle limes and sugar in the glass. Add cachaça  and stir, then add ice. Top with sparkling water and garnish with lime. You can always adjust the amount of liquor and sparkling water to your specific taste. Now drink this one up, too, because we've saved the best for last!

3. Passionfruit Caipirinha

For a really delicious, unexpected twist on the caipirinha, trying adding a bit of passion fruit and fresh mint to the original recipe. The added flavors are sublime.

Ingredients

For this version, you'll need:

  • 2 oz. cachaça
  • 1/2 fresh lime, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • pulp and seeds of 1/2 of a fresh passion fruit
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • ice
  • rocks glass
  • muddler

Steps for a Passion Fruit Caipirinha

Mix ingredients as before: lime and sugar, plus passion fruit and mint leaves muddled in the bottom of your glass. Add your cachaça and stir. Add ice and garnish with lime or mint.

If You Can't Be in Brazil, Drink Like You Are

There's just something wonderful about the Olympic spirit, and for all of us who aren't lucky enough to be there experiencing it in person, a couple of caipirinhas and your friends and family gathered around the TV is the next best thing. Here's to the Summer Games!

All images and recipes via Drinking with Chickens.

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