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Cover: Shaken and stirred

Recipes with beach drink

05Jun 12


CaipirinhaToday, I want to share my favourite beach drink with you; it goes hand-in-hand with a country which I dream of and cherish as one of the highlights of my travels: Brazil. The drink is called ‘Caipirinha’, and to me it closes the circle round a perfect afternoon at a Brazilian beach bar, while contemplating the ocean or chatting with the locals.

The secret to a good Caipirinha, as a Rastafarian barman told me while making me one at Praia Do Amor (the Beach of Love) just outside Pipa in the North of Brazil, is to choose the right cachasa and limes. Cachasa is a fire water, and is basically made with cane sugar plants and a very simple distilation process. Thus, there are many Brazilians who make their own cachasa. Limes are grown and exported from Brazil to the rest of the world, and are for this reason delicious and very cheap in the country. One word of advice: do not, please, ever try and make a Caipirinha with lemons; the taste is horrible and it does not remind you of the ocean.

That night in Brazil I went to bed with the Rastafarian barman’s words circling in my head: ‘a good drink must never be short of the three things for which the Caipirinha is renowned: a little sweetness, a citric touch and a wonderful sense of freshness’.

So, If you want to surprise your friends with a different evening drink, make them Caipirinha and you will notice their hips starting to move as if they were actually Brazilians!


  • 4.5 cl Cachaça Fire Water (ask in your local Latin American store)
  •  2 limes cut into quarters
  • 3 generous spoonfuls of sugar
  • crushed ice

How it’s made:

  1. Put limes and sugar in a mortar.
  2. Crush the two ingredients until the limes have lost most of their juice, but never remove them. (This is an important part of making Caipirinhas, you must leave the limes in.)
  3. Add Cachasa and mix for a minute inside the mortar and then put in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice until it is half full. Shake thoroughly for a minute and then pour into a short whisky glass. (Caipirinhas are not served in cocktail glasses.) It looks good, and you get to drink plenty of them!
  4. For the final touch, add two straws and enjoy the evening and the hip movement!

Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 Cocktail

Note: If you like lime in your drink, have a look at these other “love potions” for more cocktail ideas.

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