Key West Caipirinha

We’re going to take this Brazilian bombshell and give it a Conch Republic twist.

Think of the caipirinha as the mojito’s southern cousin.  When in Brazil the caipirinha is king, when in the Caribbean the mojito is king.  Both drinks have similar profiles. Refreshing, lime front and center, enough sweetness to balance the alcohol and both are strong enough to kick your ass in the tropic sun.

I’ve been all over Brazil and me and the caipirinha have had many pleasant, and sometimes not so pleasant nights.  The base alcohol for the caipirinha is cachaca.  It’s a clear Brazilian Cane spirit.  I like to think of it as a mix between white rum and vodka.  That’s my technical explanation.  Over the past few years cachaca has become more readily available in the U.S.  You will most likely find Leblon or Cabana.  Both are very nice examples of cachaca.  Normally I drink 51, which is the cheap working man’s brand in Brazil, which can also be found in your local store now.


Caipirinha Image - Flickr scottwolfejr

Rules are a good idea when it comes to this drink.  When in Brazil, I normally limit myself to two.  I always want another, but let the people with me know not to allow me the third.  Once I had four just before getting on a plane from Sao Paulo to Milan, Italy.  I slept the entire flight.  The stewardess had to wake me as we were landing.  I’m not so sure I slept or plan passed out.

I haven’t taken major liberties with this recipe.  It’s common to use various tart fruits to make the drink so I’ve decided to embrace the Conch Republic’s Key Lime.  Enjoy the recipe and video.

  • Cachaca.  Brazilian Cane Liquor.
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 3 Key Limes.  Sliced into quarters.
  • Muddle limes and sugar in glass.
  • Ice halfway.  Cachaca to the rim.  Mix.

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2 Responses to “Key West Caipirinha”

  1. Amy June 30, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Just got our first bottle of 51 Cachaca last week! Will need to try this Key West version of the caipirinha – the drinks we’ve made with regular limes from the Mexican grocery have been very refreshing. And strong. And good. Well, you get the idea…

    • Carl Grooms
      Carl Grooms July 1, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Amy, the key limes, being more tart, are a great counterbalance. I like them much better than Persian limes. Cheers!

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