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Reprinted with the permission of
Serving industry professionals for over 65 years.
When craving a refreshing cocktail capturing the essence of summer, the mojito is a natural choice, bursting with muddled fresh mint, brown sugar and rum. However, if one drink can give the ever-popular mojito a little healthy competition, it’s the caipirinha, Brazil’s similarly soothing national libation. Made with fresh fruit, ice, sugar and cachaça (sans the hassle of muddling mint), it is slowly becoming an appealing option for Americans. Soon, the caipirinha could be as commonplace as a vodka and tonic at restaurants and bars and in the process, shed some light on this unique Brazilian spirit.

Caipirinhas and More

The momentum is increasing, as more and more bartenders are becoming enthusiastic with the spirit. At Grace in Los Angeles, bar manager Jeremiah Doherty makes a caipirinha, but not just a traditional one. His aromatic specialty is Leblon with muddled fresh lavender and blueberries and sweet and sour. Originally, he crafted this cocktail with gin, but then ventured to use cachaça because he preferred its spicier bite. "It’s a lot like vodka in that it’s versatile, not overpowering and not as sweet as rum," he says.

Caipirinhas are the classic way to go according to Adam Seger, GM of Nacional 27 and beverage director of Osteria via Stato in Chicago. "I like to put my own signature on them with the addition of seasonal fruit. In the summer I make a Michigan black cherry caipirinha by muddling the cherries with lime, cachaça and homemade lime syrup. In the winter, I add fresh blood oranges muddled with my limes, sweetened and then spiked with Água Luca," he explains.

Looking ahead to the future, Olie Berlic, founder/CEO, Excalibur Enterprise Inc., confidently asserts, "This category is on the fast track to emulate tequila’s growth in the U.S.... The caipirinha has the potential to capture a big chunk of that because it’s easy to understand and consumers get instant gratification."

cachaça recipes...
that aren’t caipirinhas

The Brazilian Pineapple

4 oz. Pitú Cachaça
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Simple Syrup
1 cup Crushed Ice
2 Pineapple Wedges (garnish)

Combine Pitú Cachaça, pineapple juice, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. Makes 2 servings.

The Charm O’ Charleston

1 1/2 oz. Cabana Cachaça
Sour Mix
Cranberry Juice
1/4 Lime
1 tsp. Sugar
Mint Leaf

Fill cocktail glass with ice. Place lime, sugar and mint leaf on top of ice and add Cabana Cachaça. Add sour mix and shake vigorously. Top with a splash of cranberry juice.
Leblon Breeze

2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Cranberry Juice

Pour all ingredients into a highball glass over ice. Stir and garnish with a pineapple slice. (Note: Pomegranate juice can be substituted in place of cranberry juice to create a Leblon Pomegranate Breeze.)

The Passionfruit Batida

1 1/2 oz. Aqua Luca Cachaça
1 1/2 oz. Passion Fruit juice
3/4 oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3/4 oz. of Cream

Place all ingredients into mixing glass, add ice. Shake and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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