They say you never forget your first … I remember it vividly, we had just arrived into Brazil from Argentina and were weary, hungry and thirsty. Eagerly we each ordered Brazil’s national drink, a Caipirinha. The bartender warned us to ease into the drink … huh? Ease into it? One sip and I knew exactly what he meant! The burn is something I will never forget! I also vaguely remember vowing never to have another! Funny thing though … they start to grow on you ;-)
With the start of the Summer Olympics, I’ve got all things Brazil on my mind: delicious BBQs, beautiful beaches, sexy Samba, inspiring work in the favelas, and yes, Caipirinhas. Brazilians take Caipirinhas very seriously, in fact there is a law that provides for the standardization, classification, registration, inspection, production and supervision of drinks. Under Decree No. 4851 of October 2, 2003, Caipirinha is defined as “a typical Brazilian drink with an alcohol content of 15-36% (the ones we enjoyed were definitely in the range of 30-36%) in volume at twenty degrees Celsius, obtained exclusively with Cachaça, sugar and lime.”
Traditionally the sugar and lime are muddled with the Cachaça, a Brazilian white rum made from sugar cane, and topped with ice. The key to making them more palatable is to allow the ice to melt … to ease into the drink.
What better way to kick off the Olympics and the weekend than with Caipirinhas! And because I’m slightly obsessed with blueberries at the moment, it’s a Blueberry Basil Caipirinha, basil for a little extra sweetness :-) Happy Friday Friends!
2 oz. of Cachaça
1/4 cup blueberries
2 to 3 basil leaves, torn
1 whole lime, cut into quarters
sugar, to taste
In a heavy glass, muddle the blueberries, basil, lime, and sugar with the Cachaça. Pour into a shaker and add ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with blueberries and basil, top with extra ice if desired, and let thoughts of Copacabana and Samba carry you into the weekend!