Caipirinha de Limão


Well, obviously you cannot take a cooking class in Brazil without making the country’s national cocktail!  This famous drink is made of cachaça, a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, that I refer to as “fire water.”  I tried drinking it straight once when I was in Rio and wow that hurt bad… reminded me of those college days attempting to shoot Everclear… sigh.

The caipirinha most likely derived from a common home remedy recipe of garlic, honey, lemon, and alcohol that emerged in São Paulo during the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak.  This concoction is still popular today in curing common colds.  Eventually the garlic was removed… sugar was added to reduce the acidity… ice was added to ward off the heat… the caipirinha was born for the world’s imbibing pleasure.

For more recipes from my Brazilian cooking class, click here.  Also, try another South American national drink recipe — the Pisco Sour of Chile and Peru !

Caipirinha de Limão (recipe by Simone Almeida of Cook in Rio)

Ingredients (per serving):

  • 1 small lime, cut into pieces
  • 1 T of passion fruit
  • 2 T of sugar
  • Ice
  • 1 shot of cachaça


In each glass, put the cut up lime, passion fruit, and sugar.

fresh passion fruit

Use a pestle to muddle the ingredients together.  Add ice and a shot of cachaça.

adding the fire water

Bottoms up!

bottoms up!


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