It may be the national cocktail of Brazil, but Caiparinhas are enjoyed all over the world. The cocktail's base spirit is cachaca, a liquor often compared to rum. Because of this and the shared ingredient of lime juice, the Caipirinha is often thought of as a cocktail-cousin to the Mojito. The distillation process for the two spirits is notably different though: where rum is typically derived from sugar by-products like molasses, cachaca is distilled from fresh sugarcane which gives it a character and purity of its own. You can also find aged cachaca which has a brown hue, but I prefer using the clear version here as it makes for a prettier drink.
(makes one drink)
Cut half of a lime into 4 wedges and combine it with 1 teaspoon sugar in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Using a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon) mash the sugar and lime wedges together to dissolve the sugar and create a marriage of sweet lime syrup. Fill the glass with ice and top with 2.5 oz Cachaca.