This strawberry caipirinha is a bright, fresh and fruity variation on the classic Brazilian cocktail. It's easy to make directly in the glass, gently sweet but with a kick, too. Perfect to sip on on a warm day.
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For a long time cocktails were not my thing, but I think that's more I had a bad introduction to them, as well as due to my tastes. In general, I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, nor do I really like overly bubbly drinks. So sodas were never really my thing, for example.
I think so many of the cocktails I first tried were either sickly sweet or mainly sodas so they never really appealed. But then a few years later, I was introduced to some others that were much more my style. The first to sway me was mojitos with caipirinhas a close second.
What's in a caipirinha?
A caipirinha is a simple mix of lime, sugar and cachaça along with plenty of ice. It's simple, relatively strong until the ice dilutes it a little, and refreshing. There's a little debate on quite how to add the sugar - most traditionalists add the sugar in with the lime wedges and muddle them together.
Some argue the abrasive sugar helps get flavor from the lime rind. Others feel you get a bit of grittiness from any undissolved sugar so prefer simple syrup.
Cachaça is a distinctly Brazilian spirit, made from fermented sugarcane juice. It comes both in unaged (clear) and aged versions, and is the most popular spirit in Brazil.
It has some similarities to rum but uses just sugarcane juice rather than molasses. While the caipirinha is the most well known drink that uses it, you'll find it in other cocktails and can use it much in the same way as you would rum.
A strawberry twist on the classic
I've made other twists on this classic before, like my raspberry caipirinha, and this strawberry version is just as simple. All you do is slice up some strawberries and add them with the lime wedges and sugar, muddle, then add your cachaça and ice. The strawberries add a lovely pop of color and flavor to the drink that pairs well.
Make sure you use ripe strawberries as they'll be juicier and have a better flavor. One benefit strawberries have over raspberries is they are less 'bitty' so this is a slightly easier cocktail to drink. Though personally, I find it easy enough to drink around the pieces of lime and drink the odd chunk of fruit as you go.
You could, in theory, muddle the lime and berries together, or shake them with the cachaça and ice, then strain it. But arguably the end result is more of a daiquiri than a caipirinha. The lime in the glass is part of the drink.
Top tip: Remember the ice!
This drink needs a bit of dilution from the ice, so make sure you don't skip it or use too little. You typically use small cubes of ice, or cracked chunks rather than crushed or shaved ice to give gradual dilution, and keeping it cool.
Given the origins, it's probably no surprise to imagine this on a warm day when some of the ice will melt pretty quickly. However if that's not the case when you make it, you might want to add a splash of water to help it along.
This strawberry caipirinha is a delicious and bright twist on the classic, that's perfect to enjoy on a warm day. Easy to make with only a few ingredients and a great mix of bright flavors, it's one to add to your summer sipping for sure.
Try these other summery cocktails:
- Watermelon mojito
- Blackberry bourbon smash
- Lillet spritz
- Plus get more cocktail recipes in the archives.
- ½ lime
- 3 strawberries small, ripe
- ½ tablespoon sugar or a little more/less to taste
- 2 oz cachaca 60ml
- Cut the half lime into four pieces. Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut into quarters.
- Place the lime, strawberries and sugar in the bottom of a rocks glass (short thick-walled glass). Muddle them together well to get lots of juice out of the lime and break up the berry pieces.
- Add the cachaca to the glass then either transfer to a shaker with some ice and shake well, or add ice to the glass and stir to mix and cool.
- If you like, you can transfer the mixture to a fresh glass or simply leave in the one you built the drink in, topped up with extra ice if needed.
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