Starting on the 5th of August is of course the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil is the largest country in South America and is known as the spiritual home of football, as well as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Known for its Carnival, samba, and balneario beaches such as the Copacabana, Rio is one of the most visited cities in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the most popular tourist destination in Brazil. That means a lot of caipirinhas!
Here at Beaumont we want to make sure you are ready for your very own Rio party and of course, cocktails are key. The quintessential cocktail of Brazil has to be the caipirinha – made with a mixture of sugar syrup, fresh lime, and cachaca (a Brazilian alcohol made from sugar cane juice). Now the caipirinha may look like one of the most simple cocktails to make (if you were to glance at the recipe) – however, that is not entirely true. There are a number of bar tools you would need in order to make the perfect caipirinha and make sure you are ready for Rio!
This cocktail, as with many cocktails, requires in the first instance a certain amount of preparation. There are few ingredients in a caipirinha, as a result each ingredient is key and it really pays off investing in fresh and juicy limes, as well as a high quality cachaca. In order for the limes to be able to release the most amount of flavour they should first be cut into wedges, using the lemon and lime wedger this can be very easily and efficiently be achieved; one lime will create enough perfectly proportioned wedges to make at least two caipirinhas, for example.
Once you have your lime ready, now it is time to release the juice. To release the juice from the lime wedges first they should be place in the whisky glass and then crushed and muddled using a muddler of your own choosing; we have many muddlers – some large, some small, some wooden, some plastic – however, we would recommend the large heavy wooden muddler. It makes light and easy work of almost every fruit it comes up against.
Before you muddle your limes, however, you first need to measure out and add your sugar. Again to keep your caipirinha as traditional as possible it is best to use sugar from sugar cane, and of course for the perfect cocktail accurate measurements are key! This is where your bar spoon comes in. Once you have measured out the correct amount of sugar and added it to the whiskey glass with the lime wedges – then it is time to muddle! Preferably with some samba music on in the background, or perhaps whilst doing the samba if you are really talented…
Finally, no caipirinha is complete without crushed ice. Once you have muddled your sugar and your limes, measured out 50ml of cachaca in your beautiful Mezclar jigger, and given it a good stir with your professional bar spoon, there is only one thing left to do: add your crushed ice. If, like many of us, you do not have any crushed ice to hand then our portable ice crusher would certainly come in useful! Not quite small enough to carry around in your back pocket, our ice crusher is certainly portable, whilst also being waterproof – ensuring that any trapped ice doesn’t leak out all over your back bar…
And with that, all that is left to do is leave you with the quintessential caipirinha recipe. With Beaumont’s range of cocktail tools and barware at your disposal, making caipirinhas and enjoying the Rio games like a true Brazilian couldn’t be easier! Just beware… they are a wee bit alcoholic!
– 50 ml cachaça (sugarcane alcohol)
– 1/2 soft lime cut into wedges
– 3 barspoons sugar (from sugarcane)
– crushed ice
Put your lime wedges in a large whisky glass. Add the sugar and crush the pieces of lime with a muddler just so much that you get the lime juice out. Fill the glass with crushed ice and top up with cachaça. Stir hard for a few seconds and then serve it with a straw. If you have to substitute the cachaça it’s best done with white rum (it technically then becomes a Caipiríssima) or vodka (Caipiroska) Other types of sugar changes the dimensions a little bit but works fine.
The type of cachaça used changes the drink completely, traditionally you use the industrial varieties like 51, Ypioca or Velho Barreiro. More exclusive brands, like the aged from Minas Gerais, makes it a different drink (in some peoples view more sophisticated).