Friday, March 23, 2012

Sumptous Sips: The Kiwi Caipirinha

Kiwi Caipirinha, pictured here with Brazilian Cheese Puffs
From my first cocktail book, Mambo Mixers
What is a caipirinha? Aside from being Brazil’s national drink, it’s a sultry burst of springtime, blended with samba and all I adore about the biggest country in South America. I’m in love with Brazil. In fact, as I type this, I’m listening to the velvet voice of João Gilberto (Eclipse has to be one of the most magical songs ever composed and sung) and dreaming of beachside strolls along the beaches of Bahia…and beyond. Another sip of caipirinha…
So, why do Iove caipirinhas so much? Because they bring a bit of Brazil to me, here in
New York, and yes, thank you to my many Brazilian friends and students (along with Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon) who also bring me the flavor and spark that I often crave. (And oh, I promise, that if you give me a few weeks in Brazil, I will turn my Portoñol into Portuguese…)
In the meantime, I bring to you a version of caipirinha I first enjoyed several years ago in São Paulo and wrote about in Mambo Mixers. This, the kiwi caipirinha, is a simple and colorful interpretation of this drink. Simple, sumptuous, this is a perfect Friday afternoon drink. Enjoy!

Serves 1

1 kiwi, peeled, quartered, plus 1 clase for garnish
1 teaspoon superfine sugar, or to taste
2 ounces cachaça (Brazilian rum) or your favorite light rum
Ice cubes

Place the kiwi and sugar in a tall bar glass. Use a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon to mash the kiwi and sugar together. Add the  cachaça and stir. Add ice, cover, and shake. Pour into a glass, garnish with the kiwi and lime slice, and serve immediately. 
Note: Simply double to make two at a time. I've made pitchers, but it's a tasting thing more than a measuring thing! I'd make one first--so you know what it should taste like--and then go from there...

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