Friday Night Cocktails: Caipirinha

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. 

Caipirinha

(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.