Aspen Times Weekly Libation: The Caipirinha
Elk Camp Restaurant, located mid-mountain at Snowmass, is serving up a Rasberry Caipirinha this summer. Sipping one on the deck is the perfect apres-bike or apres-hike refresher.
1/2 lime, cut into thirds
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 ounces cachaca (Brazilian rum)
3 raspberries, plus more for garnish
In a rocks glass, squeeze and drop the lime wedges into the glass. Add the sugar and raspberries and muddle together. Pour in the cachaca and add ice to fill and top off with soda. Garnish with a few raspberries.
It’s tempting to call cachaça a Brazilian rum and think of the caipirinha as another muddled tropical cocktail. The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may change that. Brazil’s national cocktail and unique distillation of sugarcane juice into a clear liquor are poised for the kind of worldwide exposure enjoyed by tequila after the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and Australian wines after the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. “We Americans love to consume the Olympics and ‘travel’ there without going there by drinking and eating and celebrating the culture of whatever the host country is, so I think a lot of people are going to be watching the Olympic Games with a caipirinha in their hands,” Leblon Cachaça President and CEO Steve Luttmann said. And while the caipirinha’s sweet, tropical flavors may resemble a mojito, it’s closer in spirit to a margarita. As the caipirinha has gained popularity in many bars, particularly those that hosted viewing parties for Brazil’s World Cup two years ago, some bartenders now mix variations of the cocktail with vodka or sake and add strawberries, oranges or other fruits. But a true caipirinha — cachaça mixed with limes and ice — seems light but requires precision when mixing, said Rafaella Demelo, a Brazilian native and bartender at Bulla Gastrobar, a Spanish bar and restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida. “It’s a very simple drink, but it’s very hard to get it right. Not only do you have to know the amount of liquor to put in it but also the amount of limes to put in it, and the sugar as well,” she said while mixing a caipirinha.
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