Well, it’s official. Even though I’ve been referring to our outside situation as “summer” for like the past 8 weeks, summer is technically, actually, definitely in full swing now. Time for ice cream. Time to position every fan in the house around you while you browse for air conditioners online. Time for patio drinks.
Last summer, Neil got really into making cocktails, a hobby of which I was extremely supportive. We traded in our basic G&Ts for spicy Lemon Ginger Storms and refreshing Pimm’s Cups, and since it was our first summer in our new apartment, we sipped a lot of those cocktails on our shady, flower-filled patio. Part of his new interest in cocktails was introducing me to cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made from sugar cane. An old Portuguese teacher had made cachaça and lime cocktails – or caipirinhas – at a party once, and Neil wanted to recreate them. And ohhh man, they were so, so, so refreshing. Now when I taste one, it makes me feel like its summertime in my heart, regardless of the weather.
Cachaça has its own unique taste. It’s similar to rum – sometimes it’s even called “Brazilian rum” – but it’s got a brighter, greener flavour than rum does, which makes lime and fruit perfect partners for it. We used Liquor Connect to see where we could buy a bottle, and have been getting it at DeVine Wines ever since. I’m not normally one to enjoy such an undiluted cocktail – surely I should add soda or tonic, I thought – but not with caipirinhas. A little lime, a little sugar, and some ice is all it needs – add some fresh tropical fruit and you’ll be in refreshing, cool, summertime heaven.
To make mango caipirinhas, you’ll need a cocktail shaker or a big, strong glass that you feel confident muddling lime in. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use a strong fork or wooden spoon to get all the juice and essential oils out of the limes. And if you don’t have a cocktail shaker at home, simply invert another glass on top of the one you’re muddling in – just make sure it has a slightly smaller rim than the muddling glass.
Okay, that’s enough talking. Happy summer, meus amigos! *Clink*
- ¾ fresh lime, cut into wedges
- 1-2 shots Cachaça, such as Cuca Fresca
- ½ shot simple syrup (see notes)
- 1 cup ice
- Mango spears, to serve
- In a cocktail shaker or a strong glass, muddle the lime wedges well to release their juices. Add the cachaça, simple syrup, and ice; shake well, then pour everything into a rocks glass (or whatever short tumblers you want to serve them in) without straining. Add a generous amount of mango spears and serve.