Coconut Caipirinha

I am a working mom with a busy household chock-full of home improvement projects, teenagers, pets, so I don’t have much spare time to watch the Olympics.  Even though my son has dragged himself away from his PS4 to honor my husband and me with his presence in order to catch some of the swimming races, that is pretty much the extent of my Olympic viewing.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 I am a bit late to the party since the games began almost two weeks ago, but I am an avid viewer of the evening news, so at the very least I have witnessed the tales of Simone Biles almost losing her balance in the beam final (and getting kissed on the cheek by Zac Efron- a decent consolation!), the Chinese diver whose boyfriend proposed to her after she won a silver medal, and most sensational of all, the apparently fabricated robbery story from Ryan Lochte and pals. 

But since you can read all about the Rio Olympics on any number of news outlets, and this blog is for cocktail recipes, I guess I’d better get to the point and tell you about this week’s drink- the caipirinha.
The WHAT?
I’m sure some of you have heard of the caipirinha, (which is exotically pronounced kai-pur-EEN-ya) especially those of you closely following the Olympics.  It’s the so-called national drink of Brazil.  It’s been featured in many Brazilain and/or Olympics stories by media outlets that are looking for ways to keep viewers engaged.  I’ve been curious about the caipirinha for awhile now, so I figured it was a good time to invest in a bottle of cachaca and mix up a Brazilian cocktail.

 

Cachaca, another exotically pronounced Portugese word, (can you say kah-SHAH-suh?) is a rum distilled from fresh sugarcane. This is unlike most rums, which are distilled from molassas.  But knowing that doesn’t give you any idea of the flavor of cachaca.  And I’m not going to be a big help either, because I can only tell you that it tastes different than Bacardi or Captain Morgan.  It kind of tastes like rum, but with a more sharp, masculine bite to it (but not in a sweaty locker room kind of way).  Some people describe it as smoky or akin to scotch, but I’m not sure that’s an apt comparison either.  It might be one of those flavors that is an acquired taste.  All I can suggest is to be adventurous and order a caipirinha in a bar if you don’t want to buy an entire bottle of cachaca (although I purchased a bottle for $14, not a huge investment).  And if you are gearing up for your own Olympics party this weekend and want to serve Olympic-themed cocktails, go buy yourself a bottle and follow the recipe below for some authentic Brazilian fun!
After tasting the classic caipirinha that I prepared a few nights ago, I decided to put my own spin on the cocktail and create a coconut caipirinha.  The coconut rum adds some sweetness to the drink and smoothes out the more complex flavor of the cachaca.

 

Coconut Caipirinha

Coconut Caipirinha

Here’s the recipe-
Coconut Caipirinha

 

One lime, cut into quarters
2 tbsp superfine sugar
1 ½ oz each of cachaca and coconut rum

 

Muddle the lime one quarter at a time and add the superfine sugar.  Let the mixture sit a couple minutes so the sugar dissolves.  Then fill a shaker with ice and pour in the rums.  Add the lime/sugar mixture and shake vigorously.  Pour into a rocks glass and enjoy!

 

I may be late to this Brazilian cocktail party, but at least I showed up.  Now go do your patriotic duty and toast to the American Olympic team (by drinking a Brazilian cocktail).

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